Adopting from Israel
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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948 and the Israelis subsequently defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. For more information please read About Israel.
Hague Convention Information
Israel 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 Israel and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Israel is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Israel, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. For more information please read about Who Can Adopt from Israel.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Israel must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Israel attempt to place a child with a family in Israel before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Israeli requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
Relinquishment/Abandonment Requirements: Either the birth parents must provide a signed statement that they are willing to abandon the child or a court must declare the birth parents as unknown or unable to raise the child.
How to Adopt
Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Israel 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: If you filed your I-600a with Israel before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.
- 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 (or Gain Legal Custody) in Israel
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from Israel.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Israel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Israel.
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Israel 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 that country'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 Israel
Embassy of Israel
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)