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


     
                     INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION IN HUNGARY
     
     
                                                                     
     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   According to the U.S. Embassy in Budapest,
     Hungary, the Hungarian Parliament has passed an amendment to
     the country's adoption law no longer permitting foreigners to
     adopt children through direct adoption.  This law will go into
     effect in the near future.
         Hungarian adoption authorities require that both
     prospective parents see the child before they initiate the
     adoption procedure.
         The waiting period for an adoptable child in Hungary might
     be as long as five to six years.  The demand for children
     (especially under the age of three) is much higher than the
     number of children available for adoption in Hungary.  The
     demand for older children or those of Gypsy background is less,
     and therefore the waiting period for these children may be
     shorter.
     
     
     GENERAL   The following is a guideline for U.S. citizens who
     are interested in adopting a child in Hungary.  This process
     can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult, involving
     complex foreign and U.S. legal requirements.  Adoptions are
     given careful consideration on a case-by-case basis by both
     foreign judicial authorities and U.S. consular officers to
     ensure that the legal requirements of both countries have been
     met for the protection of the prospective adoptive parent(s),
     the birth parent(s), and the child.  Interested U.S. citizens
     are strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. Immigration and
     Naturalization Service early in the process, before you have
     identified a specific child to adopt.  Contact U.S. consular
     officials in Hungary before formalizing an adoption agreement
     to ensure that appropriate visa procedures have been followed.
     

     
     HUNGARIAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY   Children in Hungary are
     available for adoption from institutions:
     
     In Budapest:  Public Authority of the Municipality of Budapest,
                   Administrative Office
         (Budapest Fovaros Kozigazgatasi Hivatala, Hatosagi Osztaly)
              Address:  1056 Budapest, V. Vaci u. 62-64.)
     
     In the surrounding areas:  County Public Authority of the 
                   Municipality, Administrative Office
              (Megyei Kozigazgatasi Hivatala, Hatosagi, Osztaly)
     
     
     HUNGARIAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES   Please note the change in
     Hungarian law indicated at the beginning of this flyer.  In
     accordance with the new law, direct adoption will only be
     possible for those foreigners who are related to the child to
     be adopted or if the child is the stepchild of the adoptive
     parent.  (Please also note that children who meet this criteria
     may not be eligible as orphans under U.S. immigration law.) 
     There is no change in the adoption of children under state
     custody, as they remain available for adoption by foreigners.
         The application to adopt a child from an institution must
     be submitted to the County Children and Youth Protection
     Institute (GYIVI).  There are nineteen such institutes in
     Hungary.  The Embassy can provide a list of GYIVIs to
     interested parties upon request.
         Requests for adoption from private sources for individuals
     qualifying under the provisions of the new law (again, please
     ensure the child will also qualify for immigration under U.S.
     law) must be submitted to the Public Authority of the
     Municipality Administrative Office which has jurisdiction over
     the place of residence of the biological mother.
         Requests to adopt a child from an institution must be
     submitted in writing to one or more GYIVI offices.  With the
     initial request, the supporting documents outlined below must
     be submitted.  Once a request is received, the GYIVI either
     confirms the registration of the request or notifies the
     adopting parents that there are no children available for
     adoption in the Institute.  If the Institute accepts the
     request, it is recorded and the adopting parents must wait
     until a desirable child becomes available.  The waiting period
     could be as long as five or six years.
         Hungarian authorities require that foreigners attempting to
     adopt a Hungarian child must see the child before initiating
     the adoption procedure.  Therefore, once the desired child is
     available, the prospective adoptive parents must travel to
     Hungary to see him or her.
     
         If they agree to adopt the offered child, they must again
     present up-to-date supporting documentation.  Documents
     presented to the GYIVI must be issued within three months.  In
     addition, prospective adoptive parents must personally appear
     for a hearing in the office of the GYIVI with jurisdiction over
     the orphanage where the child is located.
         At the hearing, the prospective adoptive parents must
     confirm their intent to adopt and also that they are aware of
     the legal consequences of the adoption.  They make a record of
     the hearing with the signature of the prospective adoptive
     parents, and  the adoption procedure is initiated.
         The above requirements of physical appearance of
     prospective adoptive parents is likewise true for prospective
     adoptive parents who qualify under the new law to adopt
     directly.
     
                            Supporting Documents
         The following documents must be presented by the
     prospective adoptive parents with their written request for
     adoption:
     
     1.  Marriage Certificate of Prospective Adoptive Parents, if
     married.  Adoption by a single person is permitted by Hungarian
     law, however, it may be denied on the basis of the opinion that
     a child must be raised in a family.
     
     2.  Birth Certificate of Prospective Adoptive Parents.  Both
     marriage certificate and birth certificate must have been
     issued within the previous three months.  If date of issue is
     older, they will not be accepted.
     
     3.  Evidence Regarding Social and Housing Situation.  Hungarian
     authorities usually accept a homestudy done by a U.S. social
     service agency.
     
     4.  Medical Certificates and Psychological Report.  Reports
     must verify that the prospective adoptive parents are mentally
     and physically capable of taking care of a child.
     
     5.  Evidence of Financial Status.  If the homestudy does not
     contain detailed information regarding the financial status of
     the prospective adoptive parents, evidence of income may be
     requested.
     
     
     TRANSLATION REQUIREMENTS   Original documents and/or certified
     copies with Hungarian translations are required.  If the
     translations are done in the United States, the Hungarian
     Embassy in Washington, D.C. must authenticate the official
     translations.
     
     
     
     HUNGARIAN EMBASSY AND CONSULATES IN THE UNITED STATES
     
                   Embassy of the Republic of Hungary
                   3910 Shoemaker Street, N.W.
                   Washington, D.C.  20008
                   tel:  (202) 362-6730
                   fax:  (202) 966-8135
     
     Hungary also has Consulates in:
                   Los Angeles, CA
                   San Francisco, CA
                   Miami, FL
                   New York, NY
                   Cleveland, OH
                   Houston, TX
     
     
     U.S. EMBASSY IN HUNGARY
     Street Address                       Mailing Address
     U.S. Embassy                         U.S. Embassy
     Immigrant Visa Section               Immigrant Visa Section
     V. Szabadsag Ter 12                  Unit 1320
     Budapest, Hungary                    APO AE 09213-1320
     
     tel:  (36) (1) 112-6450              fax:  (36) (1) 153-0774
     
     
     DOCTORS   The U.S. Embassy maintains a current list of doctors
     and sources for medicines, should either you or your child
     encounter health problems while in Hungary.
     
     
     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in XXX 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 U.S. citizens should be aware that the
     process of adopting a child in Hungary and bringing the child
     to the U.S. may be time-consuming and difficult.  The U.S.
     Embassy 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 U.S. Embassy 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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