Adopting from Costa Rica

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Collage of the capital city of San Jose, ..

Iglesia de Ujarras, one of the oldest churches in , Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion.

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Notice: As of July 14, 2014, all individuals and agencies facilitating international adoptions must be in compliance with the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act.

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

About Costa Rica

Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. To learn more, read About Costa Rica.

Hague Convention Information

The Hague Convention on Intercountry adoption, which entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, requires that all adoptions between the United States and Hague Partner countries have certain safeguards that ensure the adoption is in the best interest of the child. There are no exceptions to this rule. Private adoptions are those that are not handled by the Costa Rican Council on Adoptions (PANI), but are arranged by an attorney and approved by a judge. There have been allegations of fraud in connection with private adoptions, and the Costa Rican National Council on adoptions strongly discourages them. To learn more, read about Costa Rica and the Hague Convention.

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Costa Rica is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Costa Rica, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. To learn more about the process, read Who Can Adopt from Costa Rica.

Who Can Be Adopted

To learn more, please read Who Can Be Adopted from Costa Rica.

How to Adopt

Because Costa Rica is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Costa Rica must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Costa Rica
  6. Bring your Child Home

To learn more about the process of adopting from Costa Rica, please read How to Adopt from Costa Rica.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Costa Rica. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print; all in one place. To learn more, read about Traveling Abroad in Costa Rica.

After Adoption

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:

Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Contact Information

NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica

US Embassy San Jose, APO AA 34020 Tel: (506) 2519- 2466 Fax: (506) 2220-2455 Internet: U.S. Embassy Costa Rica

Costa Rican Adoption Authority

Patronato Nacional de La Infancia P.O. Box 5000-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica Tel: (506) 25230794 Fax: (506) 25230895 Email:

Embassy of Costa Rica

2112- S Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008 Tel: (202) 234-2945/46 Fax: (202) 265-4795 Internet: Embassy of Costa Rica

Costa Rica also has consulates in: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Juan, San Francisco, and Tampa.

Office of Children's Issues

U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/CI SA-17, 9th Floor Washington, DC 20522-1709 Tel: 1-888-407-4747 E-mail: Internet: U.S. Department of State

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)


Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information