Americans Abroad

Americans living abroad can choose one of two paths towards adoption. They can follow the process in their country of residence or that of the United States.

Depending on the country of residence and the country from which you are adopting, the process can be relatively easy to follow or incredibly difficult and unpredictable. France’s procedure, for example, is very bureaucratic but predictable.  Ireland’s, on the other hand, is unpredictable and discouraging.

To learn more about how to proceed in your country of residence follow the links on the right side of this page. If you do not speak the language, you can do an online translation of the pages, such as Google Translation. Alternatively, seek English language support groups or post a query on if they have an active site in your area.

If you have specific questions, send an email and we’ll try to help.

If you go through the US system you can find information here.

US Citizen and Immigration Services

Some social workers who are certified to work with Americans abroad. Please note, I  have no experience working with any of these agencies and these listings are not recommendations. I am providing this information meant as references only. I will add to these as I collect information.

Randy Barlow

Gerald A. Bowman

A list is also kept by Adoptive Families Magazine.

A list of agencies accredited to work with Hague countries.

Visa requirements and information about different countries from the US Dept. of  State.

Adoption alerts and news from the Office of Children’s Issues, US Dept. of State

General information on adopting (explains Hague and non-Hague country requirements)

Information about state laws

An important recent news release from the Office of Children’s Issues, US State Department

April 2010: The Department of State wishes to notify U.S. citizens living abroad in another Hague Adoption Convention country who plan to adopt a child residing in the United States or a third country, that the country where the adoptive parents live may require them to follow local adoption laws and procedures as the receiving country in a Convention adoption, in order for the child to enter that country legally.

Prospective adoptive parents should therefore consult the Central Authority of the receiving country prior to initiating an adoption.  Contact information for Central Authorities can be found in the Country Information section of this website. Prospective adoptive parents may also contact the Office of Children’s Issues to seek assistance in accessing information from the receiving country to understand the applicable adoption and immigration requirements.

The receiving country may require that an adoption be processed as a Hague Convention intercountry adoption even in cases where the child and the prospective adoptive parents are U.S. citizens. Adoptive parents’ failure to comply with local adoption laws and procedures to which their adoption may be subject could result in the adopted child’s inadmissibility to enter the receiving country.