Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Hague Convention


Bosnia and Herzegovina is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

While there is nothing in Bosnian law that specifically prohibits foreigners from applying to adopt a Bosnian child, the law stresses that there must be overwhelming justification and exceptionally compelling reasons for a foreigner to be permitted to do so. The definition of "overwhelming justification" is judged on a case-by-case basis. The law says specifically that a foreign citizen may be an adoptive parent "if the adoption is in the best interest of the child and if the child cannot be adopted in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina have two distinct procedures for adoption: a full adoption implies a permanent relationship between the adopted child and adopting parents equal to a blood relationship. Only a child up to the age of 10 can be adopted fully. Partial adoption implies all the rights and duties that exist between the adopting parents and adopted children under the law, although it does not affect the rights and duties of the adopted child and his/her biological parents and other relatives. A partial adoption does not irrevocably terminate the biological parent(s) – child relationship and, therefore, a partial adoption is not an adoption for U.S. immigration purposes.

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