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

     

     
     
                      INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION IN GREECE
     
                                                                     
     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
     FOREIGN COUNSEL.                                                
     
     
     PLEASE NOTE   Greek children can be adopted only by persons who
     are either Greek citizens or of Greek origin.  Exceptions will
     be made only for children with health problems, at the
     discretion of the institutions listed below.  The only
     condition in such a case is that the adoptive parents are of
     the same religion as the child.
     
     
     GENERAL   The following is a guideline for U.S. citizens who
     are interested in adopting a child in Greece.  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 Greece 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 Greek            Issued to Greek    
     Year         Orphans Adopted Abroad     Orphans Adopted in U.S.
     
     FY-1988              0                          0
     FY-1989              0                          0
     FY-1990              0                          0
     FY-1991              5                          0
     FY-1992              5                          3
     FY-1993              7                          0
     FY-1994              6                          0
     
     
     GREEK ADOPTION AUTHORITY   The following Greek institutions
     which care for orphaned or abandoned infants may sponsor
     children for adoption, subject to compliance with the
     requirements of Greek law regarding adoption by aliens, and the
     institution's own rules and regulations.
     
                   Metera Foster Home
                   65 Democratias Street,
                   GR-131 22 Athens, Greece
                   tel:  262-1911 or 261-1181
     
                   P.I.K.P.A. (Patriotic Institution for Social
                        Welfare and Assistance)
                   5 Tsoha Street, Ambelokipi,
                   GR-151 21 Athens, Greece
                   tel:  642-7856
                   (As a rule, the prospective adoptive parents
                   must belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.)
     
                   The Municipal Home for Foundlings 
                   (Demotikon Vrefokomeion)
                   Painoniou and Domokou No. 2
                   Stathmos larissis
                   104 40 Athens, Greece
                   tel:  882-2500 or 883-0343
     
         In addition, the Municipal Homes for Foundlings located in
     Patras and Thessaloniki may sponsor children for adoption.
     

     GREEK ADOPTION PROCEDURES   Persons interested in adopting a
     child from Greece should correspond directly with the above
     agencies for detailed information regarding adoption procedures
     and formalities.  However, according to information obtained
     from the Ministry of Social Services, Children's Protection
     Section, the waiting period is long since there is usually a
     sizable waiting list of prospective adoptive parents.
         In all other orphanages in Greece, the children have either
     a surviving parent or a guardian.  These children cannot be
     adopted without the permission of that parent or guardian. 
     Adoption is carried out through a child custody court
     proceeding.
         Whether an individual adopts a child from one of the above
     institutions or privately, a lawyer is required.  The Embassy
     maintains a list of English-speaking Greek lawyers, some of
     whom specialize in adoption.  This list is provided to
     interested individuals upon request, with the understanding
     that although the attorneys enjoy good reputations, the Embassy
     cannot guarantee their professional integrity or ability.
         Information regarding visa reqirements for the admission of
     an adopted child into the United States should be obtained from
     the nearest Immigration and Naturalization Service office or
     from the Visa Section of the nearest American Embassy or
     Consulate.
     
     
     GREEK EMBASSY AND CONSULATES IN THE UNITED STATES
     The address of the Greek Embassy is:
     
                   Embassy of Greece
                   2221 Massachusetts Ave, N.W.
                   Washington, D.C.  20008
                   tel:  (202) 939-5800
                   fax:  (202) 939-5824
     
     Greece also has Consulates in the following U.S. cities:
                   Los Angeles, CA
                   San Francisco, CA
                   Atlanta, GA
                   Chicago, IL
                   New Orleans, LA
                   Boston, MA
                   New York, NY
                   Houston, TX

     AMERICAN EMBASSY AND CONSULATE IN GREECE
     The address of the American Embassy in Greece is:
     
     
     Street Address                         Mailing Address
     U.S. Embassy                           U.S. Embassy
     American Citizen Services              American Citizen Services
     91 Vasilissis Sophias Blvd.            PSC 108
     10160 Athens,  Greece                  APO AE 09842
     
     tel:  (30) (1) 721-2951                fax:  (30) (1) 645-6282
                    721-8401                               725-3025
     
     The United States also maintains a consulate in Thessaloniki.
     
     
     DOCTORS   The U.S. Embassy/Consulate all maintain current lists
     of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your
     child encounter health problems while still in Greece.
     
     
     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in Greece
     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
     paragraph.
     
     CONCLUSION
     
         Interested Americans should be aware that the process of
     adopting a child in Greece 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.
     
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