Adopting from Tonga

The official flag.



The official coat of arms

Royal Sunset Island Resort at 'Atata Island.

A group of Tongan children.

The Free Church of .

The Royal Palace.

Two Tongan girls playing.

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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

Tonga - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.

Hague Convention Information

Tonga is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption ( Hague Adoption Convention ). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Tonga did not change.

Tongan law states that prospective adopting parents must reside with the child for period of at least six months prior to the application for adoption of that child. In addition, under Tongan law, only illegitimate children may be adopted.

The Tongan Government is proposing to pass a Dual Nationality Law in the near future. It is unclear, however, what this law may contain or how it may affect adoptions of Tongan children. The Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji (which handles Tongan immigration issues on behalf of the U.S. Government) will monitor the progress of any such legislation and update this flyer accordingly.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Tonga, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from Tonga.

Who Can Be Adopted

Tonga has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Tonga unless he or she meets the specific requirements. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from Tonga.

How to Adopt

Adoption Authority

Tongan Adoption Authority

The Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Tonga is the adoption authority.

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Tonga generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Tonga
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home

To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from Tonga.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Tonga. 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 Tonga.

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:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Adoption Services Support Group for Adopting Persons

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Tonga

The U.S. Embassy that has jurisdiction over the Kingdom of Tonga is located in Suva, Fiji. The Consular Section is located at:

Embassy of the United States 31 Loftus Street P.O. Box 21 Suva, Fiji Tel: (679) 331-4466 Fax: (679) 330-2267 Recorded Information: (679) 330-3888 Email: Internet: U.S. Embassy Tonga

Tongan Adoption Authority

P. O. Box 11 Nuku'alofa, Tonga Tel: (676) 23599

Embassy of Tonga

Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 Tel: (917) 369-1136 Fax: (917) 369-1024

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