Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 - P.L. 106-279

Date: October 2000


H.R. 2909
Enacted October 6, 2000

Major Provisions of the Act

  • Established the U.S. Central Authority within the Department of State with general responsibility for U.S. implementation of the Convention and annual reports to Congress
  • Allowed the State Department to enter into agreements with one or more qualified accrediting entities to provide for the accreditation of agencies (nonprofit) and approval of persons (for-profit agencies and individuals) who seek to provide adoption services for adoptions covered by the Convention
  • Permitted accrediting entities to do the following:
    • Process applications for accreditation and approval
    • Be responsible for oversight, enforcement, and compliance by adoption service providers with the Convention, the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA), and implementing regulations
    • Perform information collection activities
  • Authorized U.S. adoption service providers to provide services for Convention adoptions only if they have been Convention-accredited or -approved
  • Mandated the State Department and the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS)* to establish a case registry for all intercountry adoptions, including incoming, outgoing, Hague Convention cases, and others
  • Authorized the State Department to take the following actions:
    • Monitor each accrediting entity's performance of its duties and its compliance with the Convention, the IAA, and applicable regulations
    • Issue necessary certificates for the recognition of Convention adoptions and placements made in the United States as long as the State Department has received appropriate documentation to establish that the requirements of the Convention, the IAA, and other regulations have been met
  • Established that Convention adoptions finalized in other countries party to the Convention be recognized throughout the United States
  • Provided procedures and requirements to be followed for the adoption of a child residing in the United States by persons resident in other countries party to the Convention
  • Outlined certain case-specific duties to be performed by the accredited agency, the approved person, or the prospective adoptive parents acting on their own behalf, if permitted by both countries involved
  • Prohibited State courts from finalizing Convention adoptions or granting custody for a Convention adoption unless such a court has verified that the required determinations have been made by both the country of origin and the receiving country
  • Amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for a new category of children adopted, or to be adopted, under the Convention and who meet other requirements to qualify for immigrant visas
  • Preserved Convention records on individual adoptions held by the State Department and INS without affecting Federal laws concerning access to identifying information
  • Preempted State laws only to the extent that they are inconsistent with the IAA
  • Had no effect on the Indian Child Welfare Act

* As of March 1, 2003, the functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service were transferred to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.