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The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is a phrase you'll likely hear more than once as you start on your international adoption journey. So just what is this convention, and what impact will it have on your adoption?

The answer is it depends. This convention was created to make certain that children who are adopted out of their home country and into another have not been abducted, exploited, sold or trafficked and that their best interests have been taken into consideration before the adoption is made.

The Convention also wants to make certain that a child has been given every chance to be adopted within his native country before being placed for adoption in another country.

But not every country is a member of the Hague Convention. As of last year, only 75 countries were members of the Hague Convention. The United States joined in 2007, and the convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008.

And while the provisions of this convention have caused some problems and have temporarily halted adoptions in Guatemala, I'm hoping the Convention will in the end make adoptions both smoother and safer.

So What Does the Convention Require?

Adoption agencies wanting to facilitate adoptions through countries that are Hague members have to be accredited on a Federal level. Furthermore, they must disclose ahead of time in writing the fees and estimated expenses associated with an adoption.

As for parents wanting to adopt from a country that is a Hague member, when they are applying to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, they will have to fill out a Form I-800A or I-800 rather than the long-time standard I-600A or I-600.

What This Means

If you adopt from a Convention country, you will have greater protection than you would adopting from a non-Convention country.

What This Does Not Mean

It doesn't mean you can't adopt from a country that is a non-member. It just means you won't have the same type of protections. If you choose to adopt from a non-member country, be sure to do your homework and find a reliable adoption agency.

Helpful Links

Learn what the State Department says about this.

Other Helpful Information

The high cost of international adoption is one reason many couples don't adopt. Don't let finances stand between you and your child. Learn more.

Would you like to adopt from China? Although the wait can be up to two years, the price is very reasonable and the adoption program is stable. Here are some tips for adopting from China

Many couples are now planning to adopt from Ethiopia because of the shorter wait and the reasonable costs. Learn more about adopting these beautiful children.

The children available from Kazakhstan are generally well cared for and the program usually takes less than a year. Learn more about adopting from Kazakhstan.

The Ukraine might be an excellent adoption country choice, especially if you are interested in an older child adoption. Click here to learn more.

Are you wondering what the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions is and how it might affect your international adoption? Learn more.

Adoptions are currently on hold from Guatemala. Learn why.

If you would like to adopt from Russia, it's a great choice if you are older or already have several children in your home. Here are some tips.

Are you thinking about adopting from Korea? You can adopt a baby from Korea, but there are age limits, and recently, the process has been extended to about three years. Learn more.

If Haiti is your adoption country choice, here are some things you should know.

A Jamaica international adoption is an affordable, yet relatively unknown way of building a family. Here's the scoop on adopting from Jamaica.

Unfortunately, if you hoped to adopt from Romania, you will have to look elsewhere. Here is a brief explanation of why international adoptions from Romania are not allowed.

A Russian international adoption can rescue a child from the stigma of being an orphan. Here's what it's like to grow up an orphan in Russia.

Do you have your heart set on adopting a child from Brazil? It is possible, but be prepared for a complicated and sometimes lengthy process. Read more about it here.

If you feel you can't afford the high agency fees, take heart. The Ukraine may be an excellent adoption country choice for you. You can pursue an independent adoption from the Ukraine. Learn more here.

Are you interested in pursuing an independent adoption from Kazakhstan? It is possible. Learn some of the steps you will have to take by clicking here.

Adoptions from Nepal are now once again possible. Learn more about it by clicking here.

A Taiwan adoption might not be something you considered when deciding on an international adoption, but adopting from this small island off the mainland coast of China can mean a far shorter wait. Here's what you need to know about adopting from Taiwan.

If you're looking for an international adoption choice that isn't as expensive, consider some of the low-cost alternatives by clicking here.

The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, opened the eyes of the world to the desperate plight of Haitians, including the countless orphans of Haiti. American citizens especially have been moved to open their homes to these children, but the U.S. State Department is urging these parents to slow down. Read more.

Corruption and greed brought an end to adoptions from Cambodia, but new laws and regulations are now being established that might one day allow American parents to again adopt from Cambodia. Learn more.

It is possible to adopt from Honduras without using an agency, but you will need to know the language and have contacts there. Learn more.

An update to pursuing a Haiti adoption: It is now not only once again possible, but necessary in light of the devastating earthquake in 2010. Learn more.

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