How to Adopt from Mongolia


Adoption Authority

Mongolia's Adoption Authority

Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor of Mongolia (MSWL) and the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens

Central Agency for International Adoption: Please note that adoptions in Mongolia require the consent of two separate agencies. The Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor has primary responsibility for placement and approval of adoptions generally. The Office of Immigration, Naturalization, and Foreign Citizens assists with all cases of international adoptions. Approval of both agencies is required before the adopted child can immigrate to the United States.

Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor of Mongolia (MSWL)

Mailing Address: United Nations Street 5, UB-46, Government Building No 2 Tel: 976-11-267635; Fax: 976-11-327635; Fax: 976-11-328634 Internet: MSWL

Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens, Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs

Mailing Address: Chinggis Avenue 11, Sukhbaatar District, Ulaanbaatar 210628 Tel: 976-7011-9588; Tel: 1882; Fax: 976-11-313259 Internet: Office of Immigration

The Process

Because Mongolia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Mongolia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. 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 Mongolia 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. Learn more .

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Mongolia
  6. Bring your Child Home

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

In general, the first step in adopting a child 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 Mongolia.

Please note: In addition to using a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider, prospective adoptive parents are required to work with an adoption agency that has also been approved by the Mongolian Government. Adoptive parents must use one of the Mongolian Government-approved adoption agencies listed here:

Lutheran Social Services (LSS)

Adoption Services 2414 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404 1.888.205.3769

LSS in Mongolia

9A-51, Bayangol district 8 P.O. Box 777 Ulaanbaatar 310529 Mongolia Tel: 976-11-362-282 Email:

Small World

401 Bonnaspring Drive Hermitage, TN 37076 Phone: 615.883.4372 Fax: 615.885.7582 E-mail: Website: Small World

Small World in Mongolia

Sukhbaatar district Jamyangiin Street 8-304 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Tel: 976-11-314-516 E-mail:

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.

The first step for prospective adoptive parents is to apply to one of the Mongolian Government-approved U.S. adoption agencies for a home study. Once the U.S. Government determines that you are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt your adoption service provider will gather all necessary documents and present them to the MSWL.

3. Be Matched with a Child:

If both the United States and Mongolia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for inter-country adoption, the central adoption authority in Mongolia may provide you with a referral for a child.

Based on the home study, the MSWL will propose a child with whom to match the prospective parents. 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 the Mongolia'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.

5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Mongolia:

Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Mongolia, 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 Mongolia. In order to finalize the adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to Mongolia to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Mongolian authorities. The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Mongolia generally includes the following:

  • ROLE OF THE COURT: The Office of Immigration, naturalization and Foreign Citizens grants the final approval for the adoption.
  • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: The adoption agency gathers documents from prospective parents and presents them to the MSWL. After a match has been made, the adoption agency then presents the documentation to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens for final approval. This process normally takes approximately one month.
  • TIME FRAME: It is hard to predict how much time is required to complete an adoption in Mongolia. The time frames provided here are intended as guidelines only, and the specific circumstances of each case can significantly impact the length of the process. As of March 2007, adoption procedures take approximately twelve to eighteen months from the time all of the necessary paperwork is submitted to MSWL to the time the MSWL delivers it for final approval to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens.
  • ADOPTION FEES: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency should itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process. Fees will vary. There are no Mongolian government fees for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents can expect to pay notary fees and/or fees for translation of documents.
  • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required by the government of Mongolia:
1. Cover letter;
2. Adoption application form;
3. Identification documents;
4. Passport copy- father, mother;
5. Drivers license copy- father, mother;
6. Marriage certificate copy;
7. Copy of highest diploma - father, mother;
8. Financial statement from Bank & Taxation office (received not later than 2 month before submission of application);
9. Medical documents;
10. Medical report - father, mother (received not later than 2 month before application);
11. Medical analysis on HIV/AIDS;
12. Police clearance document;
13. I-800 approval notification;
14. Police clearance (received not later than 2 month before submission application);
15. Court decision on permission to adopt (if any);
16. Home study document;
17. Home study 6-8 pages (as much as possible specific);
18. Home study Agency or Social worker License;
19. Legal and parent commitment document ;
20. Letter from Adoption agency to the MSWL;
21. Copy of Accreditation from Central authority or State to work in Mongolia;
22. MOU with the Ministry of Social Welfare (if any);
23. License of Adoption Agency (valid);
24. Letter from Parents to the Agency Requesting Authorization to adopt;
25. Photos of family & home.

The required documents are detailed in Article 58.3 of the Mongolian family law is available at this website. 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.

6. Bring 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. Parents who have adopted a child must register their adoption to the State and Civil Registration and Information Center (SCRIC), which then issues a birth certificate and adoption decree. The parent must be present at the registration. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

2. Mongolian Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a Passport from Mongolia.

3. U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for a 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.

The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, does process U.S. immigrant visas.

To learn about the Child Citizenship Act please read The Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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