Can You Adopt in the US While Living in Another Country?

The short answer is yes! Read on for details.

Denalee Chapman July 27, 2016
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For US citizens hoping to adopt but living abroad, the good news is that you CAN proceed with your adoption plans even while living in another country! 

There are organizations that specialize in “expat adoptions.” Whether adopting a child from the United States or from any other country, the process is similar to adopting while living in the United States. General requirements must still be met, including a home study.

Additionally, some countries require you to follow their adoption guidelines, even if you’re adopting from the United States. Central Authorities from the country you live in (the receiving country) will make the country’s guidelines accessible to you. For contact information for the Central Authorities in the country you’re currently residing in, go to

Also be aware that you must be adopting from a Hague Convention country in order for your adoption to be facilitated while abroad. Interestingly, some countries require that even when the adoptive parents and the adoptee are U.S. citizens, the adoption to be processed as a Hague Convention intercountry adoption. 

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the U.S. guidelines on adoption and immigration before you even begin the process, whether you live in the United States and are adopting internationally, or whether you are a U.S. citizen and living abroad while adopting. Visit the government’s site here for information.

Although does not endorse any of the following, you may find valuable information by contacting these agencies and social workers who are focused on helping military families, diplomats, missionaries, and international school teachers adopt while living outside of the United States:

Adopt Abroad

Rainbow Kids

Randy Barlow & Associates

Children’s House International

So journey on in your adoption quest!  Enjoy your time abroad and continue to plan to grow your family through adoption!

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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