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USCIS Unable to Resume Processing Adoptions from Fiji
Intercountry Adoptions Under the Hague Adoption Convention
On August 1, 2012, Fiji joined the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). However, the Department of State (State) has determined that Fiji does not yet have a fully functional convention process in place. State consular officers cannot certify that adoption decrees or custody orders obtained in Fiji for a child who is a resident of Fiji 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.
Because U.S. prospective adoptive parents cannot complete the immigration process for an adopted child from Fiji, USCIS advises these parents not to file any Form I-800 on behalf of a child to be adopted from Fiji, as the USCIS National Benefits Center will reject these petitions. USCIS also advises families not to file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, identifying Fiji as the country from which they intend to adopt.
USCIS will promptly advise the public when State determines that Fiji has a fully functional Hague Adoption Convention system. If State makes this determination, USCIS will begin processing Forms I-800 for adoptions from Fiji.
The Hague Adoption Convention became effective in the U.S. on April 1, 2008, and protects the welfare of children, birth parents and adoptive parents involved in intercountry adoptions. Since this date, new intercountry adoptions between the U.S. and other Hague Adoption Convention countries must meet Hague Adoption Convention standards. In the U.S., Hague Convention adoptions are processed using USCIS Forms I-800A and I-800. Fiji acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention on April 29, 2012, and the Hague Adoption Convention went into effect in Fiji on August 1, 2012.
Before the Hague Adoption Convention went into effect in the U.S. and Fiji, intercountry adoption cases from Fiji were processed using USCIS Forms I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, and I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.