Adopting from Latvia
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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
The name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. To learn more please read About Latvia.
Latvia Adoption Alert
There have been numerous adoption alerts for Latvia. To learn about these, please read Latvia Adoption Alert.
Hague Convention Information
Latvia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Latvia. To learn more please read about Latvia and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
In addition to the U.S. requirements, prospective adoptive parents need to meet Latvia’s requirements to adopt a child from Latvia. To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from Latvia.
Who Can Be Adopted
As Latvia is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Latvia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Latvia have determined that placement of the child within Latvia has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Latvia’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.
How to Adopt
WARNING: Latvia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Latvia before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” for the case. Read below for more information.
Latvia's Adoption Authority Ministry of Welfare
NOTE: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Latvia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600 or; 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.
Because Latvia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Latvia 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 for your adoption to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.
- Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
- Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
- Be matched with a child by authorities in Latvia
- Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
- Adopt a child in Latvia
- Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt from Latvia.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Latvia. 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. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Latvia.
Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
If the adoptive parents and the child continue to reside in Latvia, the orphan court having jurisdiction over the child’s place of residence will monitor the adopted child’s well-being for the first two years after the adoption's finalization.
If the adoptive parents and the child reside overseas, the Ministry requires post-adoption reports on the adopted child for two years after the adoption (one a year). The reports should be conducted by appropriate child welfare officials in the state where the child resides.
We strongly urge you to comply with Latvia’s 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 U.S. citizen parents
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Child Welfare Information Gateway
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Latvia
1 Samnera Velsa St. Riga, LV-1510 Tel: 371-6710-7034; 371-6710-7000 Fax: 371-6710-7001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: U.S. Embassy Latvia
Latvian Adoption Authority
Children and Family Policy Department Ministry of Welfare 28 Skolas St., Riga, Latvia, LV-1331 Tel: 371-6702-1600 Fax: 371-6727-6445 Email: email@example.com Internet: Latvian Adoption Authority
Embassy of Latvia
2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: 202-328-2840 Fax: 202-328-2860 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: Embassy of Latvia
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street, N.W. SA-29 Washington, D.C. 20520 Tel: 1-888-407-4747 Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov Internet: [[[adoption]].state.gov U.S. Department of State]
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures: National Customer Service Center (NCSC) Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833) Internet: USCIS
For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local) Email: NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=latvia