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U.S. Department of State
1995:  International Adoption -- Republic of Georgia
Bureau of Consular Affairs

     FOREIGN COUNSEL                                                 
         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.

         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
         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
                   (8832) 95-99-81
                   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

         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.
                  certified homestudy.
              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.
         The address of the Georgian Embassy is as follows:
                   Embassy of the Republic of Georgia
                   1511 K Street, N.W., Suite 424
                   Washington, D.C.  
                   tel:  (202) 393-6060
                   fax:  (202) 393-5959

         The address of the American Embassy in Georgia is as
                   U.S. Embassy
                   American Citizen Services
                   #25 Antonely Street
                   Tbilisi, Georgia  380026
                   tel:    (7) 8832-98-99-68
                   telex:  210212
                   fax:    (7) 8832-93-37-59
         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
         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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