United States and Russia Announce Bilateral Adoption Agreement

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Release Date

Department of State (DOS) announced today that the Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation in Adoption of Children will enter into force on Nov. 1, 2012.

Both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and DOS work to promote a safe, ethical, and transparent adoption process for prospective adoptive parents, birth families, and children involved in intercountry adoptions. This Agreement will enhance the safeguards and protections for all involved in adoptions between the United States and the Russian Federation.

The Agreement’s entry into force on Nov. 1, 2012, will begin a period of transition from the procedures in place before the Agreement to the new procedures called for in the Agreement. Not all of the provisions of the Agreement will take effect immediately on Nov. 1. We anticipate that the transition period will take six to nine months to complete. Most cases already in progress as of Nov. 1 will be able continue under the old procedures. However, it will be important to monitor and track the effective dates of various provisions in the Agreement to ensure that cases are in compliance with all the requirements throughout the transition period. USCIS and DOS will be conducting regular outreach in the coming months to ensure that new guidance and information is available.

The full text of the Agreement and an updated Frequently Asked Questions can be found online at http://adoption.state.gov. Additional information and guidance will be posted on the USCIS website in the future. Please visit www.uscis.gov/adoption and www.adoption.state.gov regularly for the most up-to-date information.


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