Chapter 1 - Purpose
The Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is an international treaty that provides safeguards to protect the best interests of children involved in intercountry adoptions. By setting clear procedures and prohibiting improper financial gain, the Convention provides greater security, predictability, and transparency for all parties to the adoption, including children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. The Hague Adoption Convention applies to the adoption of a child who:
Is habitually resident in one Convention country (the country of origin) by someone habitually resident in another Convention country (the receiving country); and
Who has been, is being, or is to be moved from the country of origin to the receiving country, either after the adoption or for the purposes of adoption.
The PAP is a U.S. citizen who is habitually resident in the United States; and
Seeks to adopt a child who is habitually resident in a Hague Adoption Convention country (other than the United States) on or after April 1, 2008, and on or after the date the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the other country.
The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. On the same day, the DHS Hague Adoption Convention regulations also took effect.
For the Hague Adoption Convention process, the PAP must file both an application to determine the PAP’s suitability and eligibility as an adoptive parent and a petition to determine the child’s eligibility to immigrate as a Hague Convention adoptee. This Part D addresses the requirements for a PAP to submit a petition for a determination of a child’s eligibility to immigrate as a Hague Convention adoptee.
USCIS guidance does not address other adoption-related requirements, such as the child’s country of origin, state of proposed residence, or other federal agencies including the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Additionally, this Volume does not address the specific requirements for adopted children to obtain U.S. citizenship.
INA 101(b)(1)(G) – Definition of child (for Hague Convention adoptee)
INA 201(b) – Immediate relatives
INA 204 – Procedure for granting immigrant status
8 CFR 204 Subpart C – Intercountry adoption of a Convention adoptee
[^ 3] USCIS uses the term PAP in this Part to refer to the applicant or petitioner and the applicant or petitioner’s spouse, if any.
[^ 4] See Part A, Adoptions Overview [5 USCIS-PM A] for information on determining which adoption process (Hague Adoption Convention, orphan, or family-based) applies, depending on the PAP’s circumstances.
[^ 5] If the PAP is a U.S. citizen residing outside of the United States and seeks to adopt a child residing in a Hague Adoption Convention country, the PAP may be able to use the U.S. Hague Adoption Convention Process (even if the PAP does not intend to immediately immigrate the child to the United States). The PAP may also be required to follow the law and procedures for immigration and adoption in the country where the PAP resides. See Part A, Adoptions Overview [5 USCIS-PM A] for information on determining which U.S. immigration process applies.
[^ 7] The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. For information on the entry into force date for each country, see the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s webpage, Status Table.
[^ 9] See the Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country (Form I-800A). For information on suitability applications, see Part B, Adoptive Parent Suitability Determinations [5 USCIS-PM B].
[^ 11] For general information on other countries’ requirements, see DOS’s Country Information webpage. For more information on requirements of the state of proposed residence, see the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s State Laws Related to Adoption webpage. For DOS guidance, see the Foreign Affairs Manual.
[^ 12] For information on citizenship for adopted children, see Part F, Citizenship for Adopted Children [5 USCIS-PM F]. For more information, see Volume 12, Citizenship and Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens [12 USCIS-PM H].