July 2, 2018: UKRAINE UPDATE
Adoptive parents may have to wait an additional six to 12 weeks in Ukraine to obtain the child’s passport, birth certificate, and other required documents. This wait time is in addition to the 30-day waiting period following the final court hearing. Before you travel to finalize your child’s adoption in Ukraine, you should consider these new timelines in your travel plans.
March 2018: Ethiopia Bans International Adoptions
February 2018: IAAME Fee Schedule for Prospective Adoptive Parents
November 2016: Kyrgyzstan
The United States will begin processing inter-country adoptions from Kyrgyzstan that are initiated on or after November 1, 2016 under the Convention. Prospective adoptive parents should work with their accredited adoption service provider that is authorized by the Government of Kyrgyzstan.
October 2016: Nigeria
Nigeria stated it will no longer require adoptive parents to be Nigerian citizens or of Nigerian descent in order to pursue an intercountry adoption of a Nigerian child in Lagos State. When it is in the best interest of the child, the court may waive the legal requirement that at least one adoptive parent must be a Nigerian citizen.
September 2016: Peru
The Peruvian government announced a suspension of all adoptions (domestic and international) pending an internal review of adoption procedures and cases over the past five years.
July 2016: Nicaragua
From now on, Nicaragua will no longer allow foreign prospective adoptive parents to foster children before a abandonment decree has been issued.
July 2016: St. Vincent and Grenadines
The Adoption Authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has placed a temporary hold on the processing of all adoption cases while it reviews their current procedures and regulations.
May 2016: Uganda
The Ugandan president signed into law amendments to the Children Act that include changes to guardianship and adoption laws in Uganda. Among the many changes, the amendments limit applications for legal guardianship to citizens of Uganda who have lived in Uganda for at least three continuous months. The amendments state that intercountry adoption “shall be considered as the last option” available to children in need of permanency. They also shorten the required pre-adoption residency and fostering period for foreign prospective adoptive parents from three years to one, and state that those requirements may be waived in “exceptional circumstances.”
May 2016: Ghana
Currently Ghana has suspended all international adoption except for specific cases. Per the Ministry, Ghanaian children in need of permanent homes who meet the following criteria may be considered by the Ministry for possible adoption by a foreign family: Children with significant medical needs; Children on the verge of aging out of the opportunity to be adopted; Children who are to be adopted by blood relatives; or Children with special circumstances approved.
April 2016: Congo
The exit permit suspension for Congolese children adopted by foreigners is still in effect. While the Congolese government has recently made significant progress to address the large number of adopted children who have not been able to leave the DRC because of the exit permit suspension, the suspension remains firmly in place.
March 2016: Haiti
Haiti will continue to strictly enforce their current quota policy. Under the quota, each U.S. adoption agency will be allowed to propose a maximum of one dossier/application to adopt from Haiti per month (for a non-special needs or non-relative adoption) and a maximum of 10 additional dossiers/applications to adopt from Haiti per year for families seeking to adopt relatives or children with special needs. This means each adoption agency may propose a maximum of 22 dossiers/families each fiscal year.
October 2015: China
At the end of October 2015, the Chinese government announced major changes to their one child-policy. Now, all married couples living in China will be allowed to have two children, which is great news for children and families in China. Since the one-child policy was imposed to limit China’s population growth in the late 1970s, enforcement of the law has declined — particularly over the past decade. In 2008, Chinese officials announced plans to begin gradually altering the law, and soon after, the Chinese government announced that couples could parent two children if one spouse was an only child. This latest change follows trends to allow Chinese families greater flexibility in regard to family size. Since the vast majority of children placed with adoptive families have minor to moderate special needs, we don’t anticipate that China’s change to the one-child policy will have any effect on the number of children available for adoption internationally. In China, as in many other places, cultural values and an enduring stigma against special needs are the biggest reasons why children with medical or developmental needs are abandoned. This cultural reality is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, and the abandonment of children with special needs in China won’t be curbed by legally allowing larger families.
As of October 2015, China expanded options for single applicants yet again by lifting the special focus requirement. This means the China program now matches single mothers with children who are younger or have more minor or moderate special medical needs.
September 2014: Vietnam
Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announced that it has authorized two U.S. adoption service providers to facilitate intercountry adoptions in Vietnam. The United States will process Hague Convention adoptions from Vietnam through a program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups (Special Adoption Program).
August 2014: Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC confirmed the government’s policy to not review cases during the suspension. President Kabila stated that the DRC adoption process has involved many inconsistencies in case processing and needs to be reformed. The Department of State deeply regrets that families continue to face an indefinite wait for exit permits.
June 2014: Vietnam
The Government of Vietnam is considering a new adoption program. The new program will involve adoptions from Vietnam to the United States, through a special adoption program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups (Special Adoption Program) may commence three weeks after Vietnam’s Central Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announces its authorization of U.S. adoption service providers (ASPs). The Department of State anticipates that the Ministry of Justice will announce its authorization decision by the end of 2014.
May 2014: Nigeria
Nigerian government had reported raids and closures of alleged child-buying operations posing as orphanages or homes for unwed mothers. Prospective adoptive parents are warned about possible scams involving children who may be illicitly offered for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents should carefully research the orphanage or organization through which they plan to adopt.
April 2014: Democratic Republic of Congo
Congolese officials state that adoptive families should be prepared for increased scrutiny of their visa applications as well as possible refusal of the visa citing the following: Reports of children adopted by U.S. families being taken without proper documentation out of the DRC. Many U.S. families have adopted or attempted to adopt from the DRC even though they already have more than two children in the home and have adopted or sought to adopt more than three Congolese children, contrary to Congolese law. Additionally, Congolese authorities claim that some adoptive parents were attempting to go to the DRC to retrieve their adopted children without first having attended all of the Tribunal pour Enfants (Children’s Court) hearings as required by Congolese law. Congolese officials have said that the discovery of such irregularities, among others, is part of the reason the suspension must stay in place while they review the adoption process.