Index of "International Adoptions Reports"
Index of "Population, Refugees and Migration" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
U.S. Department of State
1995: International Adoption -- Uruguay
Bureau of Consular Affairs
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION - URUGUAY
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
GENERAL: Although Uruguay permits adoption by foreigners, laws
requiring one to two years residence with the child before the
adoption is finalized create a practical barrier. Uruguayan
adoptive parents are given preference in adoptions, and there
are few children available for adoption by foreigners. Anyone
over age 30 may adopt, irrespective of marital status, provided
there is at least a 20-year age difference between the adoptive
parent and child. It is desirable, but not mandatory, that the
adopting parents live in Uruguay during the period of custody
before the adoption is complete. Only in exceptional cases is
the removal of children abroad permitted before the adoption is
finalized. The child can travel abroad only with the
authorization of the judge.
URUGUAYAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Anyone wishing to adopt Uruguayan children should contact the
Instituto Nacional del Menor (INAME), Instituto de Adopcion,
Rio Branco 1394, Montevideo, Uruguay, and the Foreign Ministry
regarding the necessary documents and other requirements. Most
adoptions are decreed by the Juzgado de la Familia (Family
Court), in conjunction with INAME. Adoption documents are
registered at the Direccion del Registro de Estado Civil (Civil
Registry) within 30 days of the adoption.
URUGUAYAN ADOPTION LAW:
There are two methods of adoption in Uruguay:
1. "Adopcion" - This requires the consent of the biological
parents, if they are alive, or of the child's legal
representative. After adopcion, the child is still considered
to belong to his natural family and maintains his legal rights
as a child in that family despite the fact that he is legally
adopted by someone else. Adopcion is completed through public
notice/documentation. INAME certifies the "moral fitness" and
financial stability of the adoptive parents after they have had
the child under their care and protection for two years.
Adoption can be revoked for "just cause".
2. "Legitimacion Adoptiva" - To be eligible, the child must be
abandoned, orphaned (both parents deceased), a ward of the
state, or the child of unknown parents. Adoptive parents must
be "morally fit", financially able, and have had the child
under their guardianship or custody for at least one year.
Before attempting to adopt a child from any overseas location,
U.S. citizens should ensure that they understand the legal
requirements for admission of adopted children into the United
States. Adoptive parents should contact the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service for further information, and may
wish to review INS's publication No. M-249, "The Immigration of
Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children." The Department of
State's Office of Children's Issues can also provide a copy of
the circular entitled "International Adoptions."
AGE AND CIVIL STATUS REQUIREMENTS:
1. "Adopcion" - Anyone over the age of 30 is eligible to adopt
a child, irrespective of marital status, as long as the
adoptive parent is 20 years older than the child.
2. "Legitimacion Adoptiva" - Adoptive parents must have been
married for at least five years, be over the age of 30 and be
more than 15 years older than the child.
ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS:
There are no private adoption agencies in Uruguay. Uruguay has
not designated any foreign adoption agencies to handle adoption
of Uruguayan children. It is necessary to retain an Uruguayan
attorney to assist in the adoption process. The Department of
State's Office of Children's Issues and the U.S. Embassy in
Montevideo can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers
practicing in Uruguay upon request.
URUGUAYAN DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS:
INAME (Instituto de Adopcion) and the Uruguayan Embassy or
Consulates in the United States, or the Foreign Ministry in
Montevideo should be able to provide information about the type
of documentation required to apply for adoption of a Uruguayan
child. Generally, foreign documents must be authenticated and
translated into Spanish. U.S. civil records, such as birth,
death, and marriage certificates must bear the seal of the
issuing office. They should be authenticated by the particular
state's secretary of state, the U.S. Department of State
Authentication Office, and the Uruguayan Embassy or Consulate.
Tax returns, medical reports and police clearances should
likewise be authenticated by a local notary public or the
appropriate issuing office, and the clerk of court of the
county where the notary is licensed or some similar authority.
The U.S. Department of State's Authentication Office is located
at 2400 M Street, N.W., Room 101, Washington, D.C. 20520,
tel: (202) 647-5002. Walk-in service is available 8 a.m.
to 12 noon Monday-Friday, except holidays. You may contact
that office for a schedule of fees. It is advisable to take
several copies of your authenticated documentation with you to
URUGUAYAN ADOPTION RECORDS:
Upon adoption, the child's Uruguayan birth certificate is not
amended. Rather, it is modified and reissued showing the
adoptive parents as the natural parents. As such, there is no
indication that the child is adopted or that his/her natural
parents are other than those listed.
URUGUAYAN EMBASSY AND CONSULATE IN U.S.:
Embassy of Uruguay
1918 F Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
tel: (202) 331-1313
Consulates General of Uruguay are located in Chicago, Miami,
New Orleans, New York and Santa Monica.
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS:
It is advisable to contact the Consular Section of the U.S.
Embassy in Montevideo at least one day in advance of the
desired interview date to check that all required documents are
in order and to set an appointment for the immigrant visa
interview. The Embassy cannot guarantee issuance of the visa
in advance of the interview.
For the immigrant visa application the child will need a valid
Uruguayan passport, a medical examination, two 1 3/4 inch color
visa photos, and the appropriate Uruguayan adoption
documentation. The child must be present at the Embassy for
the immigrant visa application. The medical examination must
be performed by a physician from an approved list of physicians
using a specified form. Unless special circumstances would
indicate that the child's care will be particularly costly
(such as a physical handicap), the adopting parents will not be
required to provide further proof of their financial situation,
as this information will have already been provided at the time
of petition (I-600A or I-600) approval.
AMERICAN EMBASSY ASSISTANCE:
Upon arrival in Uruguay to try to arrange an adoption, U.S.
citizens should register at the U.S. Embassy, Consular Section,
American Citizens Services. The Embassy will be able to
provide information about any outstanding travel advisories and
to provide other information about Uruguay, including lists of
physicians, attorneys, interpreters and translators. The
U.S. Embassy is located at Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo,
Uruguay. Telephone: 598-2-23-60-61 or 598-2-48-77-77.
QUESTIONS: Specific questions regarding adoptions in Uruguay
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
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