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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

Because U.S. prospective adoptive parents cannot complete the immigration process for an adopted child from Montenegro, USCIS strongly urges these parents to not file any Form I-800 on behalf of a child to be adopted from Montenegro. USCIS also strongly urges them not to file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, identifying Montenegro as the country from which they seek to adopt.

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.

Before the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the U.S. and Montenegro, Montenegrin intercountry adoption cases were processed on USCIS Forms I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, and I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  

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