How to Adopt from Cyprus
Cypriot Adoption Authority
Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labor & Social Insurance
Because Cyprus is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Cyprus 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 so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Cyprus before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in Cyprus
- Bring your Child Home
1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:
The first step in adopting a child from another country that is party to the Hague Convention is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and other Hague Convention countries. Learn more. There are no adoption agencies in Cyprus. The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia maintains a list of English-speaking lawyers who are licensed to practice in Cyprus. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend the services of any specific attorney.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how. Once the U.S. Government determines that you are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Cyprus. Cyprus's adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Cypriot law.
3. Be Matched with a Child:
If both the United States and Cyprus determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Cyprus may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.
After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify Cyprus's adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.
Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Cyprus, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Cyprus.
- ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Social Welfare Services΄ main responsibilities during the adoption process are:
- 1. To investigate whether an individual or a family are eligible to become adoptive parents.
- 2. To safeguard the best interests of children as soon as the application for adoption is submitted to the Court.
- 3. To submit to the Court a report indicating whether the adoption is in the best interests of a child.
- 4. To act as a temporary guardian to a child and to submit to the Court the report in order to issue the adoption order.
- 5. Post adoption counseling.
- ROLE OF THE COURT: The court with jurisdiction over the case reviews the application for adoption and issues the adoption order provided that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.
- ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: There are no adoption agencies in Cyprus. The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia maintains a list of English-speaking lawyers who are licensed to practice in Cyprus. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend the services of any specific attorney.
- ADOPTION APPLICATION: Prospective adopting parents need only to submit a written application signed by both spouses to the District Welfare officer of the district of their habitual residence. During the eligibility study they will be requested to undergo full medical tests.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Contact Social Welfare Services directly for list. NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.
- ADOPTION FEES: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process. Attorneys in Cyprus provide legal services only when Cypriot families adopt children from abroad. Fees vary from case to case.
6. Bringing Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
- 1. Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate. Applications for the issue of a new birth certificate are accepted at all District Administration Offices irrespective of the place of residence. Documents required:
- 2. Cypriot Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Cyprus. Applications for the issue of a new passport are accepted at all District Administration Offices irrespective of the place of residence. Documents required:
- 1. Application (Form M.9E);
- 2. Birth certificate (original);
- 3. Two recent photographs;
- 4. Adoption degree;
- 5. Fees: 42.72 euro.
For additional information contact the Cypriot Ministry of Interior.
- 3. U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.
To learn more about the Child Citizenship Act please read The Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
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