USCIS Unable to Resume Processing Adoptions from Montenegro
Intercountry Adoptions Under the Hague Adoption Convention
On July 1, 2012, Montenegro became a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). However, the Department of State (DOS) has determined that Montenegro does not yet have a fully functional Convention process in place. DOS consular officers are unable to certify that adoption decrees or custody orders obtained in Montenegro for a child habitually resident in Montenegro have been issued in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention. Without this certification, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative.
USCIS will promptly advise the public when DOS determines that Montenegro is compliant with the Hague Adoption Convention, which will allow USCIS to process Forms I-800 for adoptions from Montenegro.
The Hague Adoption Convention, which entered into force for the U.S. on April 1, 2008, protects the welfare of children, birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s) engaged in intercountry adoptions. Effective April 1, 2008, new intercountry adoptions between the United States and other Hague Adoption Convention countries must comply with Hague Adoption Convention standards. Montenegro acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention on March 9, 2012, and the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force in Montenegro on July 1, 2012. In the U.S., Hague Convention adoptions are processed on USCIS Forms I-800A and I-800.