Parents seeking to complete an international adoption have a wide range of options. While Americans are familiar with adoption from countries such as China and Russia, families wishing to adopt are able to choose from hundreds of countries when seeking a child to adopt. However, each country has its own adoption procedures and requirements; not all American parents will meet every country's requirements.
Hague Convention Countries
The following countries are part of the Hague Convention, an international agreement that sets standard rules and regulations to safeguard international adoptions across the world. These countries have all agreed to follow the convention adoption procedures, including having a Central Authority to oversee adoption related information, providing an adoption certificate to all adopted children, and providing adoptive families and adoption agencies with a list of all fees and expense estimates associated with the adoption process. According to the US Department of State, as of October, 2010, American parents are eligible to adopt from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela
American families seeking to adopt are not limited to adoption from Hague Convention countries, as there are many non-Hague countries with children seeking adoption. Adoption oversight and regulation in non-Hague countries vary greatly. These countries are not required to disclose adoption fees and expenses; the adoption process and procedures are not standardized and vary by country. As of October 2010, the US Department of State lists Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Burma, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe as countries allowing American families to adopt.
Some countries have strict residency, relationship or citizenship requirements that must be met before a child is able to be adopted and brought to the United States, making adoptions from those countries rare and challenging. For example, the Hague country of Bolivia requires Americans seeking to adopt a Bolivian child to be legal residents of the country. Iran, a non-Hague country, only allows Iranian citizens--including those living in America--to adopt children from the country In addition, the adoption policies for any country may change with little or no notice. The US Department of State provides a list of countries with their adoption requirements and procedures on its Website for prospective parents wishing to learn more about a specific country.