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


     
                     INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION IN MOLDOVA
     
     
                                                                     
     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
         In June, 1993, the Moldovan Parliament amended its law on
     adoptions.  According to this law, all adoption agencies
     wishing to operate in Moldova must be registered with the
     Moldovan Committee for Adoption.  Unregistered agencies and
     individuals wishing to adopt are no longer allowed to visit
     orphanages, a measure that is intended to discourage
     individuals from bonding with children that they cannot legally
     adopt.
     
     
     GENERAL
         The following is a guideline for U.S. citizens who are
     interested in adopting a child in Moldova and applying for an
     immigrant visa for the child to return to the United States. 
     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 Moldova 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 Moldovan         Issued to Moldovan 
     Year         Orphans Adopted Abroad     Orphans Adopted in U.S.
     
     FY-1992             13                          7
     FY-1993              1                          0
     FY-1994              1                          1
     
     
     MOLDOVAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY
         On August 2, 1993, the Moldovan Parliament enacted an
     amendment to its law on adoptions.  The new law created the
     Committee of the Republic of Moldova for Adoption, which will
     be responsible for overseeing and approving all adoptions by
     foreigners.  The Committee is a division of the Ministry of
     Science and Education and, as chairperson of the Committee, the
     Vice-Minister of Science and Education has the sole
     authorization to sign documents of adoption.  In addition to
     the permanent staff of five people, the Moldovan State Chancery
     and the Ministries of Health, Justice, Internal Affairs, and
     Foreign Affairs are represented on the Committee.  Adoptions
     will be approved or disapproved by a majority of votes.
     
     
     MOLDOVAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES
         In order to be eligible for adoption, a Moldovan child must
     first be registered on the official list of orphaned or
     abandoned children.  Moldovan citizens are given first priority
     in adopting children; if after six months the child has not
     been adopted by a Moldovan family, he/she is then eligible to
     be adopted by foreign parents, working through a registered
     adoption agency.  In practice, it is impossible for a foreigner
     to adopt a child who is less than six months old.
         All adoption agencies that wish to operate in Moldova must
     register with the Committee for Adoption by presenting
     credentials which establish the agency's right to operate in
     its country of origin.  Once an agency has successfully
     registered with the Committee, it will be allowed to petition
     to adopt eligible Moldovan children.  Registered agencies will
     be given permission to visit these children in orphanages
     and/or hospitals.  Unregistered agencies and individuals
     wishing to adopt are no longer allowed to visit orphanages, a
     measure that is intended to discourage individuals from bonding
     with children that they cannot legally adopt.
          Once an agency has matched a prospective family with an
     eligible child, the agency must submit documentation to the
     Committee showing that the family has met all legal
     requirements for adoption in their own country.  The Committee
     will then review all documentation, and make a final decision
     on the adoption.  The Committee will meet on an as-needed basis
     to consider cases.
         Those approved to adopt a Moldovan child must pay $1000.00
     and the equivalent of a round-trip ticket to the adoptive
     country, so that Moldovan authorities would be able to visit
     the child to monitor the home environment, should the need
     arise.
         Adoption agencies already registered or seeking
     registration, along with prospective adoptive parents, should
     know the following:  Every American notarized document
     submitted in support of an application to adopt a Moldovan
     child must be authenticated.  Authentication of American
     notarized documents is a time-consuming process which can only
     be accomplished in the United States.  The Embassy in Moldovan
     cannot authenticate American notarized documents.  Arriving in
     Moldovan without authenticated American notarized documents may
     mean a long and costly trip to Moldova in vain.
     
     
     ALL IMMIGRATION VISA PROCESSING FOR MOLDOVA IS DONE AT THE U.S.
     EMBASSY IN BUCHAREST, ROMANIA.
     
     The address and telephone number of the embassy in Bucharest,
     provided below for your convenience:
     
         U.S. Embassy
         Consular Section
         Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9
         Bucharest, Romania
         Tel:  40 (1) 210-4042
         Fax:  40 (1) 211-3360
     
     American citizens need a separate visa to enter Romania.  It
     can be difficult for an American citizen to get a Romanian Visa
     in Moldova.  Americans are advised to get one from the Romanian
     Embassy in Washington before they travel.  The Romanian Embassy
     in Washington can be contacted at:
     
              Embassy of Romania
              1607 23rd Street, N.W.
              Washington, D.C.  20008
              Tel. (202) 338-4846
     
     MOLDOVAN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED STATES
         The address of the Moldovan Embassy is as follows:
     
                   Embassy of the Republic of Moldova
                   1511 K Street, N.W., Suites 329, 333
                   Washington, D.C.  20005
                   tel:  (202) 783-4218
                   fax:  (202) 783-3342
     
     
     AMERICAN EMBASSY IN MOLDOVA
         The address of the American Embassy in Moldova is as
     follows:
     
                   U.S. Embassy
                   American Citizen Services
                   Strada Alexei Mateevici, #103
                   277014 Chisinau, Moldova
                   tel:    373 (2) 23-37-72
                   telex:  163261
                   fax:    373 (2) 23-30-44
     
     
     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 Moldova 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 (disposable)
         - Disposable plastic bags for baby bottles
     
     DOCTORS
         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 Moldova.
     
     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in Moldova
     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.

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