Haiti Adoption Alert
The Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherche (IBESR), Haiti’s central adoption authority, recently announced updated information related to its Hague Adoption Convention intercountry adoption procedures. The announcement is available, in French, on IBESR’s website. Among other clarifications, IBESR announced that the registration period for re-authorization of international adoption service providers will be from July 14, 2014 until August 14, 2014. The list of supporting documents required is available on IBESR’s website in French. For more information on intercountry adoptions in Haiti you may contact adoptionUSCA@state.gov, or contact IBESR directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Notice: No expedite fees charged for adoptions by U.S. or Haitian Governments (April 29, 2014)
The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has heard reports from a number of prospective adoptive parents regarding certain adoption service providers requests for substantial additional payments. These adoption service providers are claiming that these fees are charged by the Haitian authorities to expedite the adoption process. The Embassy has verified with Haiti’s adoption authority, the Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), that the Government of Haiti does not charge expedite fees in association with adoptions in Haiti.
Likewise, the U.S. government does not charge expedite fees in any visa cases. All possible immigrant visa fees are published on travel.state.gov. The Department of State and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Haiti do not charge fees for additional visas services, including any expedite fees. All visa processing fees are collected on the U.S. Embassy premises at the time of the visa interview.
If you are applying for a U.S. immigrant visa for an adopted child, do NOT pay any fees at cybercafés, banks, or to anyone outside the U.S. Embassy claiming to act on behalf of the U.S. government. Prospective adoptive parents who are asked to make payments for expedited visas fees to an adoption service provider should immediately report such behavior to PAPFraud@state.gov.
The U.S. government does not require adoptive parents to travel to Haiti at any point during the adoption process, although the Haitian government may have such requirements. We also remind prospective adoptive parents that the U.S. government is not involved in the local adoption process.
Contact information for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti is listed below:
U.S. Embassy in Haiti Consular Section (Adoptions Unit) Boulevard du 15 Octobre Tabarre 41 Tabarre, Haiti Tel: 509-2229-8000 (within Haiti); 1-866-829-2482 (from the United States) Email: email@example.com Internet: haiti.usembassy.gov/
The Department of State will continue to publish updates on intercountry adoptions in Haiti on adoption.state.gov. Please direct any questions related to Haitian adoptions to AdoptionUSCA@state.gov, 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.
On April 1, 2014, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) will enter into force in Haiti. The United States will be able to process Convention intercountry adoptions from Haiti that are initiated on or after April 1, 2014. However, please note that delays may occur while Haiti’s adoption authority, the Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), implements a Convention-consistent adoption process, including finalizing the schedule of in-country fees.
The Government of Haiti has authorized a limited number of U.S. adoption service providers (ASPs) to provide adoption services in Haiti. However, they may further reduce these numbers to help manage their caseload. IBESR may revoke the authorization of ASPs that are not currently providing adoption services in Haiti, which could potentially allow those who remain to process a greater number of cases. ASPs concerned about their authorization status and those interested in seeking authorization may contact IBESR for more information.
In its March 2014 letter, IBESR agreed to process as a transition case, any case in which a Form I-600 or I-600A was filed before April 1, 2014, as long matching occurs by April 1, 2016 and no I-600A extension is required. We will provide additional information if it becomes available and is confirmed. Questions about the transition process, and Form I-600A, and Form I-800A filings should be directed to USCIS. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) will enter into force for Haiti on April 1, 2014. Haiti’s adoption authority, Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), deposited its instrument of ratification with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on December 16, 2013.
The Department is also currently assessing whether consular officers will be able to verify that the requirements of the Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 will have been met with respect to individual adoption cases by the date that the Convention enters into force for Haiti. This decision includes determining if Haiti has designated a central authority and key competent authorities to undertake specific responsibilities outlined in the Convention as well as determining if those authorities have the capacity to fulfill their stated functions. The Department must also review Haiti’s adoption laws, procedures, practices, and infrastructure to ensure that key Convention principles will be implemented. Those principles include consideration of subsidiarity, adoptability of the child, effective consent, determination of habitual residence, prevention of improper financial gain, and prohibition against prior contact with a child’s legal guardian(s) until the appropriate time in the adoption process.
The Department of State expects to inform the public by April 1, 2014 whether the United States will be able to certify Convention adoptions from Haiti. The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov.
USCIS will continue to accept I-600A applications specifying Haiti until March 31, 2014. However, we encourage adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents to contact IBESR prior to initiating a new adoption from Haiti. If you have questions about the status of your adoption case, please work closely with your adoption agency or facilitator. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Haiti’s adoption authority, Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), has authorized a limited number of U.S. adoption service providers (ASPs) to provide adoption services in Haiti pursuant to its new administrative adoption procedures, which became effective on November 5, 2012. Although these new procedures are part of the Government of Haiti’s efforts to become a Hague Adoption Convention partner with the United States, at this time Haiti is not party to the Convention. The U.S. government will continue to process adoptions under the non-Hague system until the Convention enters into force for Haiti.
In order to complete an intercountry adoption from Haiti, the adoption must comply with all of Haiti’s laws and regulations. These include the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt, the eligibility of the child for intercountry adoption, and the matching of prospective adoptive parents with a specific child. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law. All adoptions filed with the Haitian government on or after November 5, 2012 must comply with the new procedures.
The Department strongly urges all U.S. prospective adoptive parents interested in pursuing an adoption in Haiti to work with an ASP authorized by IBESR. The Department emphasizes that Haiti’s new procedures prohibit adoptions in which arrangements are made directly between the biological parents or custodians and the prospective adoptive parents (i.e. private adoptions). The new procedures also prohibit adoptions in which prospective adoptive parents seek a match with a child without the assistance of IBESR or an ASP authorized by the Haitian government (i.e. independent/individual adoptions). Similarly, Haiti will not approve adoptions where the child’s biological parents or legal representatives expressly decide who will adopt their child, unless the adoption is of a spouse’s child, is an intra-family adoption, is by a child’s foster family, or the child is the sibling of a child who has already been adopted.
The procedures (paras. 37-40) also specifically require ASPs authorized by IBESR to conduct post-adoption reporting on the child every six months for the first two years and annually for three additional years after the child is placed with the adoptive family. These reports must include a medical evaluation of the child, a school report, a psychological evaluation, and a social evaluation. The director of the authorized ASP must author the first four reports and forward them directly and solely to IBESR, whereas an independent expert may author the final three reports and the parents can submit them to IBESR.
According to IBESR, the following 20 U.S. ASPs have been authorized to provide adoption services in Haiti. The Department will publish the names of any additional authorized ASPs upon receipt of official notification. Publication of this list of ASPs does not constitute the Department’s endorsement of them:
- A Love Beyond Borders
- Adoption-LinkAll Blessings International/Kentucky Adoption Services
- All God’s Children International
- America World Adoption
- Bethany Christian Services
- Building Arizona Families
- Carolina Adoption Services, Inc.
- Children of All Nations
- Children’s House International
- Chinese Children Adoption International
- Dillon International, Inc.
- European Adoption Consultants, Inc.
- Holt International Children’s Services, Inc.
- Lifeline Children’s Services
- Love Basket
- MLJ Adoptions, Inc.
- Nightlight Christian Adoptions
- Sunny Ridge Family Center, Inc.
- Wasatch International Adoptions
The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince will continue to clarify the new procedures as they are updated by IBESR, and the information in this update is subject to change. Please refer to our website adoption.state.gov for updates on adoptions in Haiti.
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