Intercountry Adoption and The Hague Convention

International adoption over the years has changed, and the profiles of children needing homes has changed.  The children most requested by adoptive families habitually resident in the United States are healthy infant girls, and are now finding families in their birth countries.  Children with special needs, older children and boys are typically are more available for international adoption. 

Families that are habitually resident in foreign countries wanting to adopt from the United States are typically seeking healthy newborn children.  We are tasked with the effort to find a family within the United States first, and, after all efforts are exhausted, only then under the Hague are we permitted to place the child in a foreign country.

Domestic adoption is becoming more socially accepted, enabling more children to find adoptive families in their birth countries.

News coverage of these changes is not always positive. Some of the changes also pose new challenges. As you read about new developments within the adoption process around the world, or the growing number of special needs adoptions, you may likely wonder:
  • What will the process look like for me?
  • What country should I choose?
  • And could I handle a "special needs" adoption?
These are perfectly reasonable questions. We are here to help answer these, and any other questions you may have. At every step of the process, we will help guide you through each important decision and help you prepare for what to expect.

The cost for adoption and the length of time it takes to complete the process varies depending on which country you choose. But the following is a typical process for international adoption:

  1. Choose a Placing Agency: Not all agencies are equal.  Not all approaches are the same. 
  2. Choose a Country Program: Aim to have at least one program in mind when you apply to Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. 
  3. Apply: Complete our application online or return a printed application by mail.
  4. Homestudy: During this 2-4 month process, you will explore issues related to being an adoptive family, in-depth, with your social worker. 
  5. Prepare the Dossier: “Dossier” is a formal term for a collection of documents prepared in a specific way. 
  6. Apply for USCIS Approval: You must obtain permission from the U.S. government to bring a child into the United States from another country as an immediate member of your family.
  7. Wait and Prepare: The waiting time for a referral varies by country.
  8. Your Child Referral: A full-disclosure agency, Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. strives to deliver accurate and thorough information about your child. 
  9. Meeting your child: Once legal steps are complete, Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. will help coordinate arrangements to meet your child.
  10. Post Placement: Upon your return home, your social worker will visit your family.
  11. Finalize or Re-finalize your Child’s Adoption: Several months after your child is home, Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. will issue consent for you to finalize your child’s adoption in the United States. 

To learn more information about the Hague Convention and how it impacts adoptions in Convention countries, click here.

As an agency that has received Hague accreditation, we are required to provide certain information to clients upon initial contact. In order to maintain compliance with the Intercountry Adoption Act and Hague Regulations we are providing all prospective clients the following information. The samples are substantially like the documents you will be required to sign. Hard copies of each of these samples are available upon request.

  • Disclosure and Quality Control Practice
  • Sample Adoption Services Agreement
  • Sample Waiver of Liability Statements
  • Sample Grievance Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Manual for International Adoptions
  • Supervised Providers

    The Hague Convention on International Adoption Complaint Registry can be found on the Department of State Website.

    According to the Hague Regulations, we are required to disclose any domestic or foreign supervised providers that we use that you will be working with directly or indirectly when adopting from a country that is a part of the Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoptions.

    As a primary provider, HOAA may also supervise agencies and attorneys to ensure that all six adoption services, described below, are provided according to the Convention*.  At this time HOAA has a supervised provider agreement with Heart of Adoptions, Inc.

    *Hague Convention Specifics

    Only adoption service providers that have been accredited or approved on a Federal level may offer certain key adoption services for adoptions under the Hague Convention. According to the Convention, only an accredited agency, a temporarily accredited agency, an approved person, a supervised provider, or an exempted provider can offer or provide adoption services. (22 CFR Part 96, Accreditation and Approval Standards)

    A supervised provider is any agency, person, or other nongovernmental entity, including any foreign entity, that is providing one or more adoption services in a Convention case under the supervision and responsibility of an accredited agency, temporarily accredited agency, or approved person that is acting as the primary provider in the case. (22 CFR 96.2)

    Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

    (1) Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
    (2) Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
    (3) Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
    (4) Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
    (5) Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
    (6) 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.