Intercountry Adoption Act
Provides the standards and procedures for adoption of children to and from the USA in regards to other countries.
Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 P. L. 106-279; 114 Stat. 825; 42 U.S.C. 14901 et seq. is
designed to provide for implementation by the United States of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect to Intercountry Adoption. By so doing, the Act accepted standards
and procedures for adoptions between implementing countries that prevents abuses such abduction or sale of children, ensures proper consent for the adoption, allows for the child's transfer to the receiving
country, and established the adopted child's status in the receiving country.
As with some of the other important Acts related to adoption, the average adopting person should be aware of the Act but need not address the specifics of the Act.
The following is adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website referenced above.
Reasons Bill Initiated
- The United States needed Federal legislation to ratify the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect to Intercountry Adoption.
- Hague Convention sets minimum standards and procedures for adoptions between implementing countries that:
- Prevents abuses such abduction or sale of children.
- Ensures proper consent for the adoption.
- Allows for the child's transfer to the receiving country.
- Establishes the adopted child's status in the receiving country.
- To provide for implementation by the United States of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
Services Provided/Measures Taken
- The U.S. Central Authority to be established within the Department of State with general responsibility for U.S. implementation of the Convention and annual reports to Congress.
- The State Department to enter into agreements with one or more qualified accrediting entities to provide for the accreditation of agencies (non-profit) and approval of persons (for-profit agencies and
individuals) who seek to provide adoption services for adoptions covered by the Convention.
- Accrediting entities to (1) process applications for accreditation/approval, (2) be responsible for oversight, enforcement of compliance by adoption service providers with the Convention, IAA and implementing
regulations, and (3) perform information collection activities.
- U.S. adoption service providers to be authorized to provide services for Convention adoptions only if they have been Convention-accredited or -approved.
- State and INS to establish a case registry for all intercountry adoptions-incoming, outgoing, Hague Convention cases and others.
- The State Department to:
- Monitor each accrediting entity's performance of its duties and their compliance with the Convention, the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) and applicable regulations.
- Issue certificates to cover Convention adoptions/placements for adoption made in the United States necessary for their recognition so long as the Department has received appropriate
documentation to establish that the requirements of the Convention, IAA and regulations have been met.
- Convention adoptions finalized in other countries party to the Convention to be recognized throughout the United States.
- The procedures and requirements to be followed for the adoption of a child residing in the United States by persons resident in other countries party to the Convention.
- Certain case-specific duties to be performed by the accredited agency, the approved person, or the prospective adoptive parents acting on their own behalf if permitted by both countries involved.
- State courts to be prohibited from finalizing Convention adoptions or granting custody for a Convention adoption unless such a court has verified that the required determinations have been made by the
country of origin and the receiving country.
- The Immigration and Nationality Act to be amended to provide for a new category of children adopted, or to be adopted, under the Hague Convention and meeting other requirements to qualify for immigrant
- The preservation of Convention records on individual adoptions held by the State Department and INS without affecting federal laws concerning access to identifying information.
- The admissibility of documents with regard to Convention adoptions without their legalization/authentication.
- State laws/provisions of law to be preempted only to the extent that they are inconsistent with the IAA, and the Indian Child Welfare Act to remain unaffected by the IAA.
Help for Adopting Families by State
Cities and Towns in