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Intercountry Adoption: Where Do I Start?
Series: Factsheets for Families|
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2009|
The number of Americans adopting children from other countries grew dramatically from 1990, when 7,000 children received visas to come to the United States for adoption, through 2004, when 22,884 children received such visas. After peaking in 2004, these numbers began to decline, and the statistics for fiscal year 2008 show that 17,433 children were adopted through intercountry adoption that year.1
Intercountry adoption continues to be an option for parents who choose to adopt. This factsheet provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. Depending on your State, your adoption services provider, and the country from which you adopt, the steps in this adoption process may vary. For example, some families will first select an adoption services provider; their choice of country will then be limited to the countries with which that agency works. In every case you must meet the basic requirements of U.S. immigration law.
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The Hague Convention
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) is a multilateral treaty between the United States and approximately 75 other countries. The Convention provides safeguards to protect children and families involved in adoptions between participating countries. The Convention also works to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children.
The process for adopting from Convention and non-Convention countries differs. Adopting a child from a participating country and working with a Hague-accredited adoption services provider is the best way to ensure your adoption will reflect the safeguards enacted by the Hague Convention. For more information, see the Information Gateway factsheet Intercountry Adoption From Hague Convention and Non-Hague Convention Countries at www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/hague.pdf
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