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


     
     
     
                     INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION IN SLOVAKIA
     
                                                                     
     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
         Because of declining birth rates and other factors,
     international adoptions are very rare in Slovakia.  There are
     also no private adoption agencies, as Slovakian law only
     permits adoption via state authorities, which require their own
     home studies.  In the few cases which have been processed
     during the recent years, U.S. home studies were used as a
     supplement to rather than a replacement for a Slovakian
     evaluation of the suitability of a couple to be adoptive
     parents.  
         Adoptions by foreigners are technically possible under
     former Czechoslovak law, which still covers this issue. 
     However, only a very small number of children are available for
     adoption.
     
     
     GENERAL
         The following is a guideline for U.S. citizens who are
     interested in adopting a child in Slovakia.  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 Slovakia 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 Slovakian        Issued to Slovakian
     Year         Orphans Adopted Abroad     Orphans Adopted in U.S.
     
     FY-1993              0                          0
     FY-1994              0                          1
     
     
     SLOVAKIAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY
         There is no central office providing information on
     children available for adoption.  Persons wishing to find a
     child for adoption must contact local foster homes either
     personally or through an intermediary, such as a lawyer,
     relative or friend.
     
     
     SLOVAKIAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES
         Once a child is located for adoption the following
     requirements must be met:
     
     1.  The child must be at least one year old and under the age
     of 18.
     
     2.  A written request must be presented to the appropriate
     guardian authority (usually the Department of Youth of the
     local town hall) which must give its consent.
     
     3.  Often a period of 3-24 months of pre-adoption care of the
     child by the adoptive parents is required.
     
     4.  The appropriate district courts have jurisdiction on
     decisions in child adoption cases.  The adoption of a Slovakian
     child normally must take place in Slovakia.
     

     TRANSLATION REQUIREMENTS
         Adopting parents are also required to present the following
     supporting documents translated into the Slovakian language and
     certified by the Slovakian Embassy in Washington, D.C.:
     
     1.  Birth Certificates
     
     2.  Marriage Certificate
     
     3.  Police Certificates/Clearances
     
     4.  Medical Certificates/Clearances
     
     5.  Evidence of Employment and Financial Status
     
     6.  Completed Home Study
     
     
     SLOVAKIAN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED STATES
         The address of the Slovakian Embassy is as follows:
     
                   Embassy of the Slovak Republic
                   2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
                   Suite 380
                   Washington, D.C.  20007
                   tel:  (202) 965-5161
                   fax:  (202) 965-5166
     
     
     AMERICAN EMBASSY IN SLOVAKIA
         The address of the American Embassy is as follows:
     
                   U.S. Embassy
                   American Citizen Services
                   Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4
                   81102 Bratislava 
                   tel:  (42) (7) 330861 or 333338
                   fax:  (42) (2) 330096
     

     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 Slovakia 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
     
     
     DOCTORS
         The U.S. Embassy maintains current lists of doctors and
     sources for medicines, should either you or your child
     encounter health problems while still in the Slovakia.
     
     
     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in Slovakia
     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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