If Your Adoption Service Provider Is No Longer Accredited or Approved

An adoption service provider (ASP) is not allowed to act as a primary provider if it loses its accreditation or approval or allows its accreditation or approval to lapse. This can occur if the ASP permanently closes or fails to renew its accreditation or approval. It can also occur when the Department of State (DOS) or the accrediting entity decides to take adverse action against an accredited agency or approved person, including temporarily or permanently debarring an accredited agency or approved person, suspending or canceling the accreditation or approval, or refusing to renew the accreditation or approval.

Please visit the Council on Accreditation’s (COA) website for information about the status of a particular ASP, including the timeframe of any adverse action.

If you are an adoptive parent or a prospective adoptive parent (PAP) working with an ASP whose accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed, you may need to: 

  • Take additional steps with USCIS,
  • Seek help from another ASP to provide any remaining adoption services, and/or
  • Identify another accredited agency or approved person to act as your primary provider and/or home study preparer or reviewer.

What you need to do will depend on where you are in the intercountry adoption process. Use the chart below to help determine what your responsibilities and next steps are as an adoptive parent or PAP.

The Six Adoption Services

The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 identifies six adoption services:

  1. Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  2. Securing necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  3. Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent, and reporting on such a study;
  4. Making determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of adoptive placement for the child;
  5. Post-placement monitoring of a case until final adoption; and
  6. Where made necessary by disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement.

Note: The preparation of post-adoption reports that may be required by a child’s country of origin is not considered an adoption service under U.S. law.

Evidence of a Primary Provider

Only accredited agencies or approved persons can act as a primary provider. Evidence of a primary provider may include, but is not limited to:

  • A letter from the accredited or approved ASP stating that it is acting as the primary provider
  • A copy of the service plan that details the six adoption services
  • A copy of a contract between the PAP and the ASP demonstrating that the accredited agency or approved person is acting as the primary provider

Finding a New Accredited or Approved Primary Provider

You may visit the Council on Accreditation’s (COA) website for information on currently accredited agencies or approved persons.

Keeping the Same Supervised Provider

If you have been working with supervised providers, either in the U.S. or abroad, who were supervised by an ASP whose accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed, the supervised provider must immediately stop providing adoption services on the date the ASP’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed. The supervised provider may enter into a new supervised provider agreement with another accredited or approved ASP to continue providing you with adoption services in the U.S. or abroad. Laws in the child’s country of origin or your place of residence may require you to update your adoption paperwork to reflect the new primary provider. 

Find Your Responsibilities and Next Steps

Note: The below chart is intended to provide general guidance for adoptive parents and PAP(s) who were working with an ASP that has lost its accreditation or approval or has allowed its accreditation or approval to lapse. More than one scenario below may apply to you. If additional evidence is required in your specific case, USCIS will generally issue you a request for evidence (RFE).

Where are you in the intercountry adoption process?

Your responsibilities

Your next steps

  • You did not file a Form I-600A or I-800A application or a Form I-600 or I-800 petition before the date the ASP’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

If the ASP whose accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed was your primary provider, you do not need to identify and provide evidence that you are working with another accredited or approved primary provider until you file your Form I‑600 or Form I-800.        

If the ASP whose accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed either reviewed and approved or performed your home study, you will need:

  • To provide evidence that the home study was reviewed and approved by another accredited agency when you submit your home study to USCIS,*

or

  • A new home study performed by an individual or agency who is authorized under DHS and DOS regulations to conduct home studies. If required by DHS regulations, an accredited agency will also need to review and approve the home study.  

*If the ASP that performed the home study lost or let lapse its accreditation or approval, review and approval by another accredited agency is only an option if the ASP meets the definition of an exempted provider or supervised provider. Otherwise, you will need a new home study.

You may wish to visit the Council on Accreditation’s website for information on currently accredited agencies or approved persons.

  • You filed a Form I‑600A or a Form I-800A,

and

  • Your form was approved before the date your primary provider’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

You do not need to identify and provide evidence that you are working with another accredited or approved primary provider until you file your Form I-600 or Form I‑800.

This is true even if you identified an ASP on your Form I‑600A or Form I‑800A as your primary provider (which you are not required to do) and the ASP’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

Any updated or amended home study you submit must be performed by an individual or agency who is authorized under DHS and DOS regulations to conduct home studies. If required by DHS regulations, an accredited agency must also review and approve the home study.

You may proactively provide USCIS with information about your new primary provider, if you choose.  

Although you do not need to provide evidence of a new primary provider until you file your Form I-600 or Form I-800, you may wish to visit the Council on Accreditation’s website for information on currently accredited agencies or approved persons to act as your primary provider.

  • You filed a Form I‑600A or a Form I-800A,

and

  • Your form was pending on or after the date your primary provider’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

You do not need to identify and provide evidence that you are working with another accredited or approved primary provider until you file your Form I-600 or Form I‑800.

This is true even if you identified an ASP on your Form I‑600A or Form I‑800A (which you are not required to do) and the ASP’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

You may have other responsibilities related to the home study you submitted if the ASP whose accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed either performed or reviewed and approved your home study.

You may proactively provide USCIS with information about your new primary provider, if you choose.

 Although you do not need to provide evidence of a new primary provider until you file your Form I-600 or Form I-800, you may wish to visit the Council on Accreditation’s website for information on currently accredited agencies or approved persons to act as your primary provider.

  • You filed a Form I‑600A, a Form I-600 (combination filing), or a Form I-800A,

and

  • Your form was pending on or after the date the ASP that reviewed and approved or performed your home study lost its accreditation or approval or let its accreditation or approval lapse.

You must provide evidence that the home study was reviewed and approved by another accredited agency.* 

Otherwise, you must submit a new home study performed by an individual or agency who is authorized under DHS and DOS regulations to conduct home studies. If required by DHS regulations, an accredited agency must also review and approve the home study.

*If the ASP that performed the home study lost or let lapse its accreditation or approval, review and approval by a new accredited agency is only an option if the ASP meets the definition of an exempted provider or supervised provider. Otherwise, you will need a new home study.

You may proactively provide USCIS with this evidence, or USCIS will issue you a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • You filed a Form I‑600A or a Form I-800A,

and

  • Your form was approved before the date the ASP that performed or reviewed and approved your home study lost or let lapse its accreditation or approval,

and

You are now required to provide an updated home study on or after the date the agency’s accreditation was lost or lapsed.

You must submit an updated home study performed by an individual or agency who is authorized under DHS or DOS regulations to conduct home studies. If required by DHS regulations, an accredited agency must also review and approve the home study.

You may proactively provide USCIS with updates about your case, or USCIS will issue you a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • You filed a Form I‑600 or a Form I-800,

and

  • Your form was pending on or after the date the ASP you identified as your primary provider lost its accreditation or approval or let its accreditation or approval lapse.

You will need to identify and provide evidence that you are working with another accredited or approved primary provider. 

If you have a pending Form I-800, the new accredited or approved primary provider will need to submit a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, certifying that:

  • You have completed all the required pre-placement training and preparation, and
  • The copy of the Article 16 report provided is a true, correct, and complete copy of the original report obtained from the Central Authority of the Hague Adoption Convention country.

You may proactively provide USCIS with this evidence, or USCIS will issue you a Request for Evidence (RFE).

  • You filed a Form I-600 which was approved or provisionally approved, or you filed a Form I-800 which was provisionally approved, before the date your primary provider’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed;

and

  • Any of the six adoption services remain to be completed

You will need to identify and provide evidence that you are working with another accredited or approved primary provider if any of the six adoption services have not yet been provided.

If you intend to finalize the adoption in the U.S. and therefore adoption services #5 and #6 remain to be completed, you must identify and provide evidence that you are working with a new accredited or approved primary provider.

You may proactively provide the U.S. Embassy or consulate with this evidence. Otherwise, the Embassy or consulate will request information about the new primary provider.

If you do not provide the information to DOS, the case may be returned to USCIS to issue an RFE.
  • You filed a Form I‑600 which was approved, or you filed a Form I-800 which was provisionally approved, before the date your primary provider’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed,

and

  • You have a final adoption and no adoption services remain to be completed
Generally, you will not need to identify another primary provider in order for USCIS to adjudicate your form.

You do not need to take any further action with USCIS or DOS, unless otherwise requested.

Your child was issued an immigrant visa before the date your primary provider’s accreditation or approval was lost or lapsed.

If your child was issued an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, you generally will not need to provide USCIS with evidence that you are working with another primary provider. 

If your child was issued an IR-4 or IH-4 visa and you need to finalize the adoption in the U.S., you will need an accredited or approved ASP to provide adoption services #5 and #6

If you have obtained a full and final adoption, you generally do not need to provide further evidence to USCIS.

If you have obtained legal custody of the child abroad and intend to finalize the adoption in the U.S., you will need to transfer your case to an accredited or approved ASP to provide post-placement services, and if applicable, adoption service #6.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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