Adopting from Estonia
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After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.
Hague Convention Information
WARNING: Estonia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Estonia before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter." To learn more please read about Estonia and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Estonia is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Estonia, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. To learn more about this process please read Who Can Adopt from Estonia.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Estonia is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Estonia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. To learn more please read Who Can Be Adopted from Estonia.
How to Adopt
Because Estonia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Estonia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Estonia
- Bring your Child Home
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Estonia.
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 Estonia
Kentmanni 20 Tallinn, Estonia Tel: 011-372-668-8100 Fax: 011-372-668-8267 Email: ACSTallinn@state.gov
Embassy of Estonia
Consulate General of Estonia
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about intercountry adoption and related immigration procedures, call the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) 1-877-3424-8374.