Adopting from France
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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. For more information please read About France.
Hague Convention Information
France is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between France and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
France is not considered a country of origin in intercountry adoption. There are few children eligible for adoption in France, with a long waiting list of French prospective adoptive parents. Most intercountry adoptions in France are by legal residents of France who adopt in third countries.
While legally possible, intercountry adoption of a French orphan by foreigners is unlikely. No French orphans have received U.S. immigrant visas in the past five fiscal years. The information provided is intended primarily to assist in rare adoption cases from France, including adoptions of French children by relatives in the United States, as well as adoptions from third countries by Americans living in France.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and France is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from France, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. For more information on this please read Who Can Adopt from France.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because France is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from France must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that France attempt to place a child with a family in France before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to France's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
How to Adopt
WARNING: France is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in France before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter." Read on for more information.
France's Central Authority
Since January 2009, the Central Authority for adoptions in France is the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Because France is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from France 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.
NOTE: The information provided is intended primarily to assist in rare adoption cases from France, including adoptions of French children by relatives in the United States, as well as adoptions from third countries by Americans living in France.
- 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 Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in France
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from France.
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 Traveling Abroad in France.
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 France
2, avenue Gabriel 75382 Paris Cedex 08 Switchboard: +33 1 43 12 22 22 Fax: +33 1 42 66 97 83 Internet: U.S. Embassy France
The French Central Authority
Service de l'Adoption Internationale (SAI), Autorité Centrale (International Adoption Service, Central Authority) Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes (Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs) 244 boulevard Saint-Germain 75303 PARIS 07 SP France Telephone number: +33 (1) 4317 9118 Fax number: +33 (1) 4317 9344 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org websites: / French Central Authority
Embassy of France
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