Index of "International Adoptions Reports"
Index of "Population, Refugees and Migration" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
U.S. Department of State
1995: International Adoption -- Republic of Georgia
Bureau of Consular Affairs
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR RELATING TO THE
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS PROVIDED
FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. QUESTIONS INVOLVING
INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO
Any parents considering adopting a Georgian orphan must
bear in mind the fact that there are very few adoptable
children in Georgia. Of the few that are adoptable, many are
chronically ill or handicapped. The majority of children
living in orphanages still have parents or guardians, who
retain parental rights but are unable at this time to care for
the children. Parents lose their parental rights if they do
not have any contact with the child for more than a year;
however, they may sign a document forfeiting their parental
rights and declaring their consent to the child's adoption.
This may also be the case in direct adoptions (when the child
is not in an orphanage).
The Republic of Georgia has three orphanages for infants
(until age three). The largest is in Tbilisi. Currently,
about 100 children live there, but none are adoptable. On an
average, 12-15 of the healthy infants in the orphanage are
officially relinquished each year to the state by their
mothers. There is a waiting list of three to four years for
adoption of these children by Georgian couples. Americans
should be aware that the Georgian Government has indicated that
it is likely to closely scrutinize any adoptions of Georgian
orphans by foreigners.
The following is a guideline for U.S. citizens who are
interested in adopting a child in Georgia. This process can be
expensive, time-consuming and difficult, involving complex
foreign and American legal requirements. Adoptions are given
careful consideration on a case-by-case basis by both foreign
judicial authorities and American consular officers to ensure
that the legal requirements of both countries have been met for
the protection of the adoptive parent(s), the natural parent(s)
and the child. Interested Americans are strongly advised to
read the following information carefully. Contact the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service early in the process,
before you have identified a specific child to adopt. Contact
American consular officials in Georgia before formalizing an
adoption agreement to ensure that appropriate visa procedures
have been followed.
AVAILABILITY OF CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION
Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following
pattern for visa issuance to orphans:
IR-3 Immigrant Visas IR-4 Immigrant Visas
Fiscal Issued to Georgian Issued to Georgian
Year Orphans Adopted Abroad Orphans Adopted in U.S.
FY-1992 2 0
FY-1993 1 2
Fy-1994 3 7
GEORGIAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY
In the Republic of Georgia, both the Ministry of
Education's Agency for Orphanages and the Ministry of Health's
Agency for Motherhood and Childhood are responsible for
adoptions. The first will assist primarily with children three
years and older, and the latter will assist with infants.
Contacts for Adoption in the Georgian Government
The following names have been provided as possible contacts
for adoption information in the Georgian government. The
Embassy makes no representation as to the quality of assistance
that prospective parents may receive from these individuals.
Mr. Guram Jumbaridze
Ministry of Education's Agency for Orphanages
52 Uznadze Street, Tbilisi, 380002
Mr. Jojua Dazmir
Ministry of Health's Agency for Motherhood and
30 Gamsakhurdia Avenue, Tbilisi
tel: (8832) 38-97-09
fax: (9932) 38-98-67
telex: 212223 Lazer SU
Ms. Lamara Gagua
Leading State Advisor (on Education)
State Building 7 Dzerjhinski Street, Tbilisi
tel: (8832) 98-39-06
GEORGIAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES
The Republic of Georgia continues to adhere to the legal
procedure for adoption which was set forth in the Code of
Marriage and Family of the Georgian SSR.
1. If the child's parents retain parental rights, a notarized
certificate of consent to adoption must be obtained from the
parents or guardians. When the natural parents have been
deprived of these rights due to negligence, the orphanage
should have taken the case to court and been issued a document
indicating the court's decision. With this document, the
orphanage has the right to issue consent to adoption in lieu of
the natural parents. The orphanage also retains this right
when the child has no surviving parents or guardians.
2. Once a child is located, the adopting parents, if
foreigners, must apply to the State Council Advisory on
Education with several documents:
a. An announcement addressed to the prime minister
with their intention to adopt a specific child.
b. The consent of adoption from the child's parents
or orphanage (from step 1).
c. If the adopting party is a couple, they must have
their marriage certificate. Single individuals may
also adopt and should have a document indicating
their marital status.
d. Documents from the adopting party's doctor(s)
certifying their health.
e. Proof of the I-600 approval. This satisfies the
Georgian government's requirement for a U.S.
f. A completed homestudy.
The process of finding a child and presenting these
documents may be done through a lawyer in Georgia if the
adopting parents grant power of attorney. For the remaining
steps, however, the prospective parents must come to Georgia.
3. Based on the documents in step 2, the Georgian government
forwards its approval of the adoption to the district
government of the child's residence. The prospective parents
must go to this district to sign the adoption papers. The
local government may also provide a new birth certificate with
the child's new name or the adopting aprents may choose to wait
and obtain a birth certificate in the United States.
4. To take the child out of Georgia, all documents should be
taken to the Department of Visas and Registration of Foreign
Citizens at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They will issue
a passport and exit permit to the child.
American citizens adopting an orphan abroad must obtain an
immigrant visa for the child. This process begins in the
United States when the prospective parents file a preliminary
petition (I-600A) with the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. If approved, the petition is forwarded to the U.S.
Embassy in Moscow, where immigrant visas for several former
Soviet Republics are processed. The adopting parents will have
to bring the child to Moscow for a medical examination and an
immigrant visa interview. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow strongly
urges any parents considering adopting a child in the former
Soviet Union to contact the Embassy before leaving the United
States. Once adopting parents arrive in the former Soviet
Union, the parents should come to the Embassy in Moscow before
setting out to adopt. The immigrant visa unit of the Consular
Section conducts a daily briefing for adopting parents.
Documents submitted for adoption purposes should be
accompanied by a Georgian translation.
GEORGIAN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED STATES
The address of the Georgian Embassy is as follows:
Embassy of the Republic of Georgia
1511 K Street, N.W., Suite 424
tel: (202) 393-6060
fax: (202) 393-5959
AMERICAN EMBASSY IN GEORGIA
The address of the American Embassy in Georgia is as
American Citizen Services
#25 Antonely Street
Tbilisi, Georgia 380026
tel: (7) 8832-98-99-68
fax: (7) 8832-93-37-59
WHAT TO BRING FOR YOUR NEW BABY/CHILD
Since it is difficult to predict how long it may be
necessary for you to remain in Georgia with your adopted child,
you may want to consider what articles you might want to bring
with you. You should be aware that not all U.S. style baby
products are readily available abroad. You may wish to
consider bringing certain items with you. These might include:
- Plastic or cloth baby carrier
- Bottle nipples
- Disposable diapers
- Baby wipes
- Baby blankets
- Infant wear
- Thermos bottle, for hot water to prepare dry formula
- Baby bottles (plastic, glass, or disposable)
- Disposable plastic bags for baby bottles
The U.S. Embassy/Consulates all maintain current lists of
doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your
child encounter health problems while still in Georgia.
Specific questions regarding adoptions in Georgia may be
addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or
Consulate. You may also contact the Office of Children's
Issues, U.S. Department of State, Room 4800 N.S.,
2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, telephone
(202) 647-2688 with specific adoption questions. Recorded
information concerning significant changes in adoption
procedures is available 24 hours a day at: (202) 736-7000, or
by automated fax (calling from the telephone on your fax
machine) at (202) 647-3000. If the country you are interested
in is not listed, procedures have not significantly changed.
Information on immigrant visas is available from the State
Department's Visa Office, at (202) 663-1225. This 24 hour
automated system includes options to speak with consular
officers during business hours for questions not answered in
the recorded material. Application forms and petitions for
immigrant visas are available from the U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service, the nearest office of which is listed
in the federal pages of your telephone book, under U.S.
Department of Justice.
In addition, the State Department publishes Consular
Information Sheets and Travel Warnings. Consular Information
Sheets are available for every country in the world, providing
information such as the location of the U.S. Embassy, health
conditions, political situations, and crime reports. When
situations are sufficiently serious that the State Department
recommends U.S. citizens avoid traveling to a country, a Travel
Warning is issued. Both Consular Information Sheets and Travel
Warnings may be heard 24 hours a day by calling the State
Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at
(202) 647-5225 from a touch-tone telephone. The recording is
updated as new information becomes available. In addition,
this information is accessible through the automated fax
machine, as above, and is also available at any of the 13
regional passport agencies, field offices of the U.S.
Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates
abroad. Furthermore, you may write in requesting information,
sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Overseas Citizens
Services, Room 4811 N.S., 2201 C St., N.W., U.S. Department of
State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818. Finally, information is
available through your personal computer. If you have a
computer and a modem, you can access the Consular Affairs
Bulletin Board (CABB). This service is free of charge, and may
be reached at: (202) 647-9225. Consular Information Sheets and
Travel Warnings may also be accessed by subscribers to many
on-line services. For complete information on accessing
consular information via computer, please request document
1016, entitled "Consular Information Program," from the
automated fax system, which is described in the preceding
APPLYING FOR U.S. CITIZENSHIP FOR AN ADOPTED CHILD
Questions about naturalization of an adopted child as a
U.S. citizen after the child has entered the United States
should be addressed to the INS office with jurisdiction over
the adoptive parent(s)' place of residence. The process
requires that INS Form N-643 Application for Certificate of
Citizenship in behalf of an Adopted Child, be filed with the
INS before the child is 18 years of age.
Interested Americans should be aware that the process of
adopting a child in Georgia and bringing the child to the U.S.
may be time-consuming and difficult. The American Embassy and
Consulates General and the Department of State stand ready to
assist adoptive parents, within the limits of our authority.
U.S. citizens arriving abroad to finalize an adoption are
advised to proceed carefully with all local foreign adoption
procedures. They should also work closely with the nearest
U.S. Embassy/Consulate throughout the adoption process to
ensure that the child selected will qualify for U.S.
immigration benefits and that all the necessary documents are
in order. Any feedback adoptive parents are willing and able
to provide about their experiences while trying to adopt
children would be very helpful to us in ensuring the validity
and usefulness of the information in this and similar
brochures. Please contact the Office of Children's Issues with
ideas about how we can try to make the experience easier (if
possible) or at last easier to understand.
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