Adopting from Belize
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. To learn more, read About Belize.
Hague Convention Information
WARNING: Belize is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. If you wish to immigrate your adopted child to the U.S. following the adoption, do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Belize before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter." See the "How to Adopt" section for more information. To learn more, read about Belize and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Belize is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Belize, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more about Who Can Adopt from Belize.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Belize is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Belize must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Belize attempt to place a child with a family in-country (i.e. in Belize) before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Belize’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States. To learn more, read about Who Can Be Adopted from Belize.
How to Adopt
Because Belize is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Belize must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from Belize.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
Under Belizean law, adoption orders made under section 141 remain provisional for 12 months during which time quarterly reports regarding the progress of the child must be submitted to the court by a competent authority in the country where the adopted child lives. After the 12 month period has expired, an application can be made to a designated court for the adoption to be made final.
We strongly urge you to comply with Belizean reporting requirements and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Belize’s history of positive experiences with American parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Belize
4 Floral Park Road Belmopan, Belize Central America Tel: ++501-822-4011
Belizean Adoption Authority
Belize Immigration and Nationality Department
Dry Creek Street Belmopan Central America Tel: ++501-822-3860, 501-822-0739
Belize Vital Statistics Unit
Embassy of Belize
Permanent Mission of Belize
820 2nd Avenue Suite 922 New York, NY 10017 Tel: 212-599-0233
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).