Hague Convention Adoption Overview

  • What is the Hague Adoption Convention?
  • The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) was concluded on May 29, 1993 and entered into force on May 1, 1995. The U.S. joined the Convention and thus has abided by the Convention since April 2008. The Convention sets forth safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions from Convention countries will proceed in away that protects the interests of the child.

    As of January 2011, the Convention was ratified by 85 countries. Please check here for the full list of Hague Convention countries.

  • Important Terminology in the Hague Convention Adoption Process
    • Central Authority
    • A Central Authority is an agency or organization that is designated to facilitate, oversee, and regulate Hague Adoption Convention cases. The U.S. Department of State has been designated as the United States Central Authority.

    • Adoption Service providers
    • Adoption Service Providers are agencies who have been accredited by either the Council on Accreditation (COA) or the Colorado Department of Human Services (CO) to provide adoption services in the United States for cases subject to the regulations set forth by the Hague Adoption Convention. An accredited agency does not include a temporarily accredited agency. There are more than 200 accredited adoption service providers in the U.S.

      They mainly provide the services listed below:

      • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
      • Securing the necessary consent from the biological parents or legal guardians to terminate parental rights and to authorize adoption;
      • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
      • Making non-judicial determinations on the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
      • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
      • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement.
    • Approved Home Study
    • An approved home study is a comprehensive review of the home environment of the child's prospective adoptive parents that has been: (1) Completed by an accredited adoption service provider; (2) Approved by an accredited adoption service provider. One of the most critical elements of the intercountry adoption process is the approved home study.

  • General Process
    • Selecting Your Adoption Service Provider
    • Signing Your Adoption Service Contract
    • It may include:

      • Adoption Fees
      • Liability Waivers
      • Disruption and Dissolution Plans
    • Proceeding with Your Adoption
      • Check with your Primary Providers and Supervised Providers, follow their guidance
      • Home Studies
      • Training of Prospective Adoptive Parents
      • Child’s Medical Records: you will have 2 weeks to consider the medical and social needs of the child and your ability to meet those needs.
      • The Transfer of the Child
    • Post-Adoption Reporting
    • Preserving Adoption Records

For more detailed information about immigration Process for Adopting a child from a Hague Convention Country, please visit on one of the following relevant links: