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October 2008Vol. 9, No. 8Intercountry Adoption Updates From the Department of State

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) protects children and their families against the risks of unregulated adoptions abroad and ensures that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children. Since it entered into force for the United States in April 2008, the U.S. Department of State has worked diligently to oversee compliance with the Convention. To inform adoption service providers and prospective adoptive families of the most current information on the intercountry adoption process, the Department of State regularly updates its website on topics including:

  • Policies and procedures
  • Accreditation of providers
  • The Convention complaint registry
  • Resources for parents, service providers, and State authorities
  • Country-specific alerts during crises

The website currently lists more than 200 adoption service providers that are accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved to provide certain key adoption services in connection with Convention adoption cases. The list is updated frequently, as is a list of providers denied accreditation/approval. The Department of State recently released a notice urging providers that have been denied accreditation/approval to transfer their pending Convention cases to an accredited or approved provider. An interim notice was also released offering guidance on how to handle coordination of services and the relationship between providers that have and have not been accredited or approved.

The Department of State also released updates on adoption processing in the following two countries:

  • The Vietnamese Department of International Adoptions suspended the acceptance of new adoption dossiers on July 1, 2008, and the bilateral adoption agreement between the United States and Vietnam expired on September 1, 2008. Only those cases received by the Vietnamese authorities prior to the July 1 suspension will be processed to their conclusion. Due to serious irregularities in the adoption process in Vietnam, the Department of State is unable to predict when a new agreement may be negotiated and signed.
  • The Government of Liberia, concerned over the increasing number of cases in which adoptive parents have terminated their relationship with Liberian adoptive children, indicated it is carefully reviewing all cases submitted for approval, resulting in an increased processing time. A revised adoption law is pending approval by the Parliament in Liberia; if enacted, it would provide additional safeguards to protect adoptive children, birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents.

Visit the Department of State website often for updates: