The Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues plays an active role in the intercountry adoption process. In addition to serving as the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Adoption Convention, some of primary functions include:

  • Responding to inquiries about the intercountry adoption process
  • Producing and maintaining country specific adoption information
  • Issuing Adoption Alerts in crisis situations
  • Working with U.S. Embassies on diplomatic efforts with host governments about adoption laws and procedures

For more information, please visit the official Department of State Intercountry Adoption homepage.

This section provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. The process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Additionally, if the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.