Friday, March 29, 2013

DOS Adoption Notice: India Partially Lifts Suspension on Acceptance of New Adoption Applications

March 28, 2013

India Partially Lifts Suspension on Acceptance of New Adoption Applications

This Adoption Notice is a follow up to the Notice of November 30, 2012.

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) informed us that it is accepting new applications for intercountry adoptions from prospective adoptive parents in foreign countries, including the United States, seeking to adopt children habitually resident in India.  CARA will accept applications for children that CARA classifies as having special needs, e.g., children with a physical or mental disability, children older than five years of age, and children with twin siblings.  For more information, please see CARA’s website .

CARA indicates it may be another two to three months before it can resume accepting adoption applications for children who are habitually resident in India, but are not classified as having special needs.

CARA will continue to process applications registered prior to December 1, 2012.  We will provide an update when CARA begins accepting new applications for children habitually resident in India who are not classified as having special needs.

If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 1-888-407-4747 or e-mail us at  

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, March 15, 2013

DOS Adoption Notice: Reports of the Removal of Children from Orphanages in the DRC

Democratic Republic of Congo  
March 15, 2013

Notice: Reports of the Removal of Children from Orphanages in the DRC

The U.S. Department of State recently received several reports that children adopted in the Democratic Republic of Congo have reportedly been taken from orphanages by a birth parent or relative after the adoption decree and certificate of non-appeal was issued by Congolese courts. This information reportedly has been presented to adoptive families by their agencies either following the Form I-600 petition approval, or immediately prior to filing the Form I-600 petition.

While there is a specific legal procedure through the Congolese courts for a biological parent or relative to reclaim an abandoned or relinquished child prior to any adoption judgments, once a certificate of non-appeal is issued, the adoption judgment can generally no longer be the subject of appeal or objection. Congolese courts are able to dissolve an adoption at the request of the adoptee or the adoptive parent in exceptional circumstances, but only through appropriate legal processes. Adoptive parents who have already received adoption decrees and certificates of non-appeal, but learn that their child was removed from an orphanage by a birth parent or relative, may wish to seek independent legal counsel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to learn their legal rights as the adoptive parents under Congolese law.

The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa maintains a list of attorneys who have identified themselves as willing to assist U.S. citizen clients. Placement on this list does not constitute endorsement or assessment of an individual attorney's qualifications by the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa or the U.S. Department of State.

If you have concerns, questions, or information regarding this issue, please contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children's Issues at

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Adoption Alert: Morocco Update

March 8, 2013

Alert: Morocco

On September 21, 2012, Moroccan Justice Minister El Mostapha Ramid published a notice instructing Moroccan prosecutors to oppose any petitions filed with a juvenile judge seeking the granting of Kafala guardianship decrees to foreign prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) who do not reside in Morocco. In his notice, he asks the prosecutors to emphasize to courts the importance of in-country residency for the Kafala guardianship, to verify whether the prospective adoptive parents reside in Morocco, and to request that judges not issue Kafala orders to foreign PAPs who are not residing in Morocco. The notice states that the new instructions are to ensure the proper application of the existing law. It does not contain any provisions addressing already pending Kafala guardianship petitions.

The Department of State is asking U.S. families who are in the process of applying for guardianship of a Moroccan child to contact the Office of Children’s Issues at  We ask that you provide information about where you are in the process (i.e., matched with a Moroccan child, matched and met Moroccan child, child’s full name and date of birth, region from which the child is being adopted, documentation showing you are approved to adopt a child with special needs, and/or court date set).  This information will help us better understand the number of U.S. citizens who may be affected by this Moroccan notice.  Please use the subject line “Intercountry guardianship from Morocco” to ensure your email is properly routed.  We are also requesting that your email include an attached completed Privacy Act Waiver (Form DS 5505), even if you have already provided this information to the Department of State or the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca.  If you choose to submit a Privacy Act Waiver, please specify on the form with whom the Department may share information regarding your case.  You may choose to include the Moroccan government and/or your members of Congress.  Please do not send photos, any other documents, or any additional information at this time.  Large documents/photos could hamper our ability to access the inbox.

The Office of Children's Issues will reach out directly to families as additional information becomes available.  Any such information that affects U.S. citizens who are in the process of obtaining guardianship of a child from Morocco will also be posted on the State Department’s website (

Please continue to monitor for updated information

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, March 1, 2013

DOS Adoption Notice: Adoptions from Lesotho to Begin Under the Hague Adoption Convention

March 1, 2013

Notice: Adoptions from Lesotho to Begin Under the Hague Adoption Convention

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Lesotho on December 1, 2012. At that time, Lesotho did not yet have a fully functional Convention process in place and elected to suspend intercountry adoptions. The Government of Lesotho notified the U.S. Embassy in Maseru that the current suspension on intercountry adoptions will cease on February 28, 2013. The United States determined that it will be able to process Convention intercountry adoptions initiated from Lesotho on or after March 1, 2013. However, please note that minor delays may be encountered while the Ministry of Social Development finalizes its structure for in-country fees, which the Ministry expects to publish in April 2013.

The Government of Lesotho also notified the U.S. Embassy in Maseru that accredited adoption service provider Small World, Inc. is now authorized to provide services in Convention adoptions from Lesotho. This is the only U.S. adoption service provider currently authorized to operate in Lesotho. Adoption service providers interested in seeking authorization should contact Lesotho's Ministry of Social Development.

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers that the Ministry of Social Development does not expect to publish a fee structure for in-country fees until approximately April 1, 2013. The Department of State reminds adoption service providers that, in accordance with the accreditation and approval standards, prospective adoptive parents must receive a detailed fee schedule for the entire process, including foreign country program expenses, when deciding whether to contract with a specific adoption service provider.

The Department of State will provide updated information on as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children's Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States. Email inquiries may be directed to

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.