Index of "International Adoptions Reports"
Index of "Population, Refugees and Migration" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
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
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
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
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,
(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
The following documents must be presented by the
prospective adoptive parents with their written request for
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
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
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
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
New York, NY
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
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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