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The Universal Accreditation Act of 2012

The Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) goes into effect on July 14, 2014. As of that date, all agencies or persons that provide adoption services in support of the two forms listed below must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider, in compliance with the Intercountry Adoption Act and accreditation regulations.

 The affected forms are:

  • Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition; and
  • Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

The UAA requires that adoption service providers (ASPs) handling non-Hague Convention adoption cases that fall under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 101(b)(1)(F) follow the same accreditation or approval process required of ASPs that handle Hague Convention cases under INA section 101(b)(1)(G).

The UAA assures families pursuing an intercountry adoption that regardless of the country from which they intend to adopt, the ASP they choose will need to comply with the same ethical standards of practice and conduct.   

When to Use an Accredited ASP

The UAA allows for transition cases (grandfathering) in certain situations. ASPs that provide adoption services in these grandfathered cases do not need to be accredited to continue providing adoption services in these cases.

However, ASPs must be accredited in order to provide any adoption services on or after July 14, 2014, in cases that are not grandfathered.

The following tables explain when you will be required to use an accredited ASP. 

Action Taken

Is Accreditation Required?

You file Form I-600A or Form I-600 before July 13, 2013.

 

No. The case is grandfathered, and accreditation is not required.

You have initiated the adoption process in a foreign country with the filing of an appropriate foreign application as determined by the Secretary of State before July 13, 2013.

 

No. The case is grandfathered, and accreditation is not required.

You file Form I-600A or Form I-600 on or after July 13, 2013.

Accreditation is not required for adoption services provided before July 14, 2014.

But accreditation is required for adoption services provided on or after July 14, 2014.

 

You file Form I-600A or Form I-600 on or after July 14, 2014.

Yes. Accreditation is required.

 

Examples:

 

If you file Form I-600A or Form I-600

Then your application or petition will

 

Before July 13, 2013, with a home study prepared by an unaccredited ASP

Be grandfathered under the UAA transition rule.

An unaccredited or unapproved ASP can provide any adoption services, even after the UAA goes into effect on July 14, 2014.

 

 

On or after July 13, 2013, with a home study prepared by an unaccredited or unapproved ASP

Not be grandfathered under the UAA transition rule. 

In this situation, USCIS may rely on a home study prepared by an unaccredited provider if it was completed before the new accreditation requirements go into effect on July 14, 2014. After this date, if you need an amended home study or other adoption services, you will need to work with an accredited or approved ASP, an exempted provider, or an ASP that provides services under a supervisory agreement with an accredited ASP.

  More Information

 

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/21/2014