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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 1, 2008

Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption Enters into Force

Today, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption enters into force in the United States. The provisions of the Hague Convention now govern both incoming and outgoing intercountry adoptions between the United States and other Convention countries.

The Hague Convention establishes international norms and procedures for processing intercountry adoption cases involving more than 70 Convention member countries. It mandates safeguards to protect the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. It also provides that member nations recognize adoptions that take place within other Convention countries.

As the designated Central Authority for the United States, the Department of State is responsible for ensuring that these new requirements are met for all intercountry adoption cases under the Hague Convention involving a U.S. adoptive parent or child.

Membership in the Convention will change the U.S. intercountry adoption process with respect to other Convention countries in many ways, including:

  • Establishing federal accreditation of adoption service providers, through accrediting entities designated by the Department.

  • Launching the Adoption Tracking Service that the Department will use to track incoming and outgoing cases. For the first time, it will be possible to track the cases of American children who are adopted by citizens of other Hague countries.

  • Establishing a Hague Complaint Registry which will track public complaints related to intercountry adoptions.

  • Using new Department of Homeland Security petition forms (I-800A and I-800) for “Convention adoptees.”

  • Issuing new certificates from consular officers in Hague cases stating that the requirements of the Convention have been met for an adoption or custody declaration completed overseas.

  • Issuing a declaration from the Department, for outgoing adoptions or custody declarations under the Hague Convention, documenting that the new requirements have been met.


Released on April 1, 2008