Adoption Information: Haiti
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention, or Convention) went into effect in Haiti on April 1, 2014. On that day, the United States began processing Convention adoptions with Haiti. We are now accepting:
- Form 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, and
- Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child habitually resident in Haiti.
The Department of State’s consular officers 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 are able to:
- Grant final approval of provisionally approved Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative;
- Issue Hague Adoption Certificates; and
- Issue immigrant visas for Convention adoptees.
Haiti Hague Processing Information
U.S. Prospective Adoptive Parents Pursing a Convention Adoption in Haiti
If you are a prospective adoptive parent who wishes to adopt a child habitually resident in Haiti, but you did not file a Form I-600A or a Form I-600 with USCIS before April 1, 2014, then you must use the Convention process. You may only use the orphan process if you meet the criteria for transition case processing discussed below.
To pursue a Convention adoption in Haiti, you may begin by filing the following forms with USCIS:
- Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, and
- Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. You may only file your Form I-800 petition after your Form I-800A has been approved and while the Form I-800A approval is still valid.
USCIS Processing Update for Form I-800 Petitions Filed for a Child in Haiti
USCIS is currently processing Form I-800 petitions filed for a Haitian child if the requirements of 8 CFR 204.313 are satisfied. When you file your Form I-800 petition for a Haitian child include evidence of:
- A match from Haiti’s Central Authority, L’Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Researches (IBESR),
- Article 16 report issued or provided to prospective adoptive parents by IBESR, and
- Necessary consents from birth parent(s), prospective adoptive parents and/or the child’s legal guardian(s).
Note: The IBESR authorization to adopt letter is not required evidence for the Form I-800 petition.
USCIS and the U.S. Department of State continue to discuss with IBESR the impact that a prior adoption or prior contact by the prospective adoptive parents with the child’s birth parent(s), legal custodians or other individual or entity responsible for the child’s care will have on a Convention case. IBESR has agreed to review cases with known prior contact issues and out-of-order adoptions on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Government will present such cases to IBESR for their consideration.
You are strongly encouraged to include a Privacy Act waiver with your Form I-800 petition if you are:
- A prospective adoptive parent who has filed a Form I-800A application with USCIS for Haiti, but have not yet filed your Form I-800 petition, and
- Aware you have prior contact or out-of-order issues with your Convention case.
This will authorize the U.S. government to inform IBESR of your case. Please know that we at USCIS, as well as all parties involved, give utmost consideration to protecting your privacy and information at all times.
Suggested template language to give USCIS permission to provide your case information to IBESR:
I, [name of prospective adoptive parent(s)], authorize USCIS to provide my name and limited case specifics pertaining to the adoption of [name of child], to the Institut Du Bien-Etre Social Et De Recherches (IBESR) so that the above referenced Form I-800 adoption petition may be considered to proceed in accordance with the new Convention procedures. I certify under penalty of perjury that I am who I represent myself to be.
IBESR has stated it will process Convention cases while the final transition cases are completed.
Haiti Transition (Non-Convention) Case Information
Transition Case Criteria Note: This information was recently updated on April 15, 2016 to reflect new information the U.S. government received from IBESR. You may also read the Department of State’s April 5, 2016, Haitian adoption alert.
On March 31, 2016, IBESR indicated that certain transition dossiers pending with IBESR on April 1, 2016, may continue as transition cases even if the family did not receive a formal match letter by April 1, 2016. IBESR identified these cases as ones where IBESR has provisionally matched, or plans to provisionally match, children with the identified U.S. families but final processing steps are still necessary before IBESR can issue an official referral.
As a result, these cases may proceed under the orphan process (non-Convention) even after the Convention effective date on April 1, 2014, and the original April 1, 2016, transition deadline. This new information is a change from previous transition case guidance. These “transition” cases now include:
- Any case in which:
- A Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, was filed with USCIS before April 1, 2014;
- The dossier was filed with IBESR prior to Feb 15, 2016;
- The prospective adoptive parent filed a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, with USCIS while their Form I-600A approval was valid; and
- IBESR officially matched the child with the prospective adoptive parent, and the child is identified on the Form I-600.
- Any case where:
- IBESR matched the child with the prospective adoptive parent, and the Form I-600 identifying the child was filed with USCIS before April 1, 2014, and was later approved.
The transition cases described above may proceed under the non-Hague Convention process, and USCIS will accept Form I-600 filings from prospective adoptive parents who meet the revised transition criteria. However, the Haitian government continues to be responsible for determining the procedures that will apply to these cases in Haiti. This could include making adjustments to the transition plan described above.
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. adoptive parents obtained an adoption of a child in Haiti before April 1, 2014, then they may file a Form I-600A or a Form I-600 with USCIS for that child at any time before the child reaches age 16, even after April 1, 2014, because the Hague Adoption Convention would not apply to the adoption. (Note: There may be additional requirements related to whether adoptive parents completed a simple or plenary adoption. See the Department of State’s October 22, 2015, adoption alert for more information.)
The information below explains whether your case may proceed as a transition, non-Hague Convention, case.
Your USCIS Filing Status
Can Your Adoption Case Proceed through the Non- Convention Process?
However, the U.S.-Haiti transition plan could change if Haiti determines changes are necessary.
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-Convention Adoption in Haiti
U.S. prospective adoptive parents who are pursuing a non-Convention adoption in Haiti must meet the criteria outlined above.
You may maintain your approved Form I-600A for Haiti, but you must file a Form I-600 petition on behalf of a specific Haitian child that you were matched with by IBESR before your Form I-600A approval expires.
If you wish to request a one-time, no-fee extension of your Form I-600A approval for an additional 18 months, you must:
- Request an extension in writing with the USCIS office that approved your Form I-600A;
- Request the extension before the expiration of your approved Form I-600A, but no earlier than 90 days before its expiration; and
- Submit an amended or updated home study, as appropriate.
- Extensions: We informed IBESR that we may continue to grant one-time extensions of Form I-600A approvals to prospective adoptive parents who continue to demonstrate that they are suitable and eligible to adopt.
- Changing the number of children you plan to adopt: In general, you may request to amend a valid Form I-600A approval to increase the number of children you are approved to adopt. However, because Haiti is now a Convention country, you may only adopt the number of Haitian children reflected on your Form I-600A approval notice for a Form I-600A filed before April 1, 2014. Therefore, if you receive an amended Form I-600A approval increasing the number of children you are approved to adopt, the additional children must be either adopted from non-Convention countries or may not be adopted from Haiti under the non-Convention process.
- Second Form I-600A filing: You will not be able to file a second Form I-600A to extend your case status as a transition case. However, prospective adoptive families will still be allowed to file a one-time, no-fee extension of the original Form I-600A approval, as explained above.
Changing A Non-Convention Adoption Case to the Convention Process
If your Form I-600A approval expires before:
You will need to begin the Convention process to continue your adoption.
- You are not allowed to file a second Form I-600A because the U.S.-Haiti transition provisions are different from the transition provisions that were in place when the United States joined the Hague Adoption Convention in 2008. Previous USCIS policy that allowed prospective adoptive parents to file a second Form I-600A for their case and remain a grandfathered transition case only applied to cases that were in transition when the United States became a Convention partner on April 1, 2008. This policy does not apply for transitions resulting from the entry into force of the Convention in another country than the United States.
If you began the adoption process before April 1, 2014, but your case will not meet the transition case criteria, you may continue your adoption from Haiti under the Convention process.
Also, if your case will meet the transition case criteria, you have the option of choosing to continue your case under the non-Convention process or changing to the Convention process.
The following describes how to change your non-Convention adoption case to the Convention process:
First, you must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, and include:
- The appropriate filing fee;
- A Hague-compliant home study specifying the designated Convention country (such as Haiti) where you intend to adopt; and
- All other documentation required in the Form I-800A instructions.
You may not transfer your Form I-600A approval to initiate a Convention adoption with USCIS. (A Form I-800A is required when prospective adoptive parents choose to pursue a Convention adoption because there are Convention-specific requirements that we do not evaluate in the Form I-600A adjudication.)
We continue to work closely with IBESR to understand how former transition cases that switch to the Convention process will be prioritized and processed by IBESR. We will share additional information about this process as it becomes available.
- If you filed Forms I-600A, I-600, I-800A or I-800 with the USCIS National Benefits Center, you may contact the Adoption Unit directly for more information about your specific case at 877-424-8374, TTY(800) 877-8339 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you filed Forms I-600A or I-600 with a USCIS international office, please contact that office directly by phone or mail. Contact information for USCIS international offices can be found at uscis.gov/international.