Adoption Information: Haiti
Haiti Joins the Hague Adoption Convention
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention) will go into effect in Haiti on April 1, 2014. Haiti deposited its instrument of ratification with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 16, 2013.
USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) Begin Processing Hague Adoption Convention Cases
Beginning April 1, 2014, the United States will process Hague Convention adoptions with Haiti. DOS consular officers will be able to verify on a case-by-case basis that individual adoption cases in Haiti meet the requirements of both the Hague Adoption Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act. Consular officers will be able to:
Effective April 1, 2014, USCIS will accept Forms I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, from prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt a child habitually resident in Haiti, as well as Forms I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child habitually resident in Haiti. (USCIS recently published an interim policy memorandum for USCIS officers to use when determining whether an adoptive child from another Hague Convention country can be considered to be habitually resident in the United States.)
USCIS, DOS and Haiti: Working Together to Ensure a Smooth Transition of Non-Convention Cases
In the first week of February 2014, senior USCIS and DOS officials traveled to Haiti to meet with the Haitian adoption authority, l’Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR), to discuss Haiti’s transition to an adoption system that will meet the requirements of the Convention.
The Haitian and U.S. Governments agreed that the following non-Hague Convention adoption cases may proceed under the U.S. non-Hague Convention or “orphan” process after the Hague Adoption Convention enters into force for Haiti on April 1, 2014:
Important Note about Form I-600A Extensions: IBESR recently raised concerns about the extension of Form I-600A approvals during the transition period. USCIS is seeking clarification on how this may impact transition cases that otherwise meet the criteria listed above. However, prospective adoptive parents should be aware that cases with Form I-600A approvals that are extended or expire before April 1, 2016 may not qualify as a transition case in Haiti. We will provide more information on this issue when it is available.
Additional Note: The transition cases described above may proceed under the U.S. non-Hague Convention process, but the Haitian Government is responsible for determining the procedures that will apply to these cases in Haiti. Also, this U.S.-Haiti transition plan could change if Haiti determines changes are necessary during its transition to a Hague Adoption Convention system.
Additionally, the Hague Adoption Convention does not apply to a final adoption obtained before a country’s entry-into-force date. So if U.S. prospective adoptive parents have obtained a final adoption of a child in Haiti before April 1, 2014, then these adoptive parents may file a Form I-600A or Form I-600 with USCIS, or a Form I-600 with USCIS or the Department of State, for that child at any time before the child reaches age sixteen, even after April 1, 2014, because the Hague Adoption Convention would not apply to the adoption.
To establish a smooth transition process for these non-Hague Convention adoption cases, USCIS, DOS, and IBESR personnel will meet regularly in a working group. The working group will provide a forum for cooperation between the U.S. and Haitian governments on the transitional non-Hague Convention cases, as well on Haiti’s transition to a adoption system that is consistent with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention. This working group will also help the U.S. Government provide the public with more information as it becomes available.
What This Means for U.S. Prospective Adoptive Parents
Prospective Adoptive Parents Wishing to Pursue a Hague Convention Adoption in Haiti
If you are a prospective adoptive parent who wishes to pursue an adoption in Haiti, but you have not filed a Form I-600A or a Form I-600 with USCIS before April 1, 2014, then you must begin the Hague Adoption Convention process.
To pursue a Hague Convention adoption in Haiti, you may begin filing the following forms with USCIS after April 1, 2014:
Prospective Adoptive Parents Wishing to Pursue a Non-Hague Convention Adoption in Haiti
If you are a prospective adoptive parent wishing to continue pursuing the non-Hague Convention process in Haiti, please review the information below to determine whether your case may proceed as a transition, non-Hague Convention, case after the Hague Adoption Convention enters into force in Haiti on April 1, 2014.
If your case does not meet the transition-case criteria outlined in the chart above, then you may need to begin the Convention process.
To Continue Pursuing a Non-Hague Convention Adoption in Haiti
U.S. prospective adoptive parents who pursue a non-Hague Convention adoption in Haiti must meet the criteria described in the chart above in the section titled, What This Means for U.S. Prospective Adoptive Parents.
You may maintain your approved Form I-600A for Haiti, but must file a Form I-600 petition on behalf of a specific Haitian child before it expires and before April 1, 2016.
If you wish to request a one-time, no-fee extension of your Form I-600A approval for an additional 18 months:
However, please see note above about USCIS and DOS efforts to clarify the Government of Haiti’s concern about Form I-600A extensions during the transition period.
To Change Your Non-Hague Convention Adoption Case to the Hague Adoption Convention Process
If you began the adoption process before April 1, 2014, but your case will be unable to meet the transition case criteria described in the chart above by April 1, 2016, you may continue your adoption from Haiti provided that you continue with your case through changing to the Hague Adoption Convention process.
Also, if your case will be able to meet the transition case criteria described in the chart above by April 1, 2016, you have the option of choosing to continue your case through changing to the Hague Adoption Convention process.
The directions below describe how to change your non-Hague Convention adoption case to the Hague Adoption Convention process.
If USCIS has approved your Form I-600A:
To start a Hague Convention adoption, you must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, and include:
You may not transfer your Form I-600A approval to initiate a Hague Convention adoption with USCIS. (A Form I-800A is required when prospective adoptive parents choose to pursue a Hague Convention adoption because there are Hague Adoption Convention-specific requirements that USCIS does not evaluate in the Form I-600A adjudication.)
If your Form I-600A is still pending with USCIS:
If your Form I-600A is still pending with USCIS, you can continue with your case through changing to the Hague Adoption Convention process by:
How to Learn Whether Your Form I-600A for Haiti Is Still Pending with USCIS
Contacting USCIS National Benefits Center
USCIS National Benefits Center
USCIS National Benefits Center
How to Find More Information
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014