Adopting from Israel

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The official flag.



The official coat of arms.

The Western Wall and Dome of the Rock.

Praying at the Western Wall.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Collage of Tel Aviv.

Beach in Tel Aviv.

Street market in Jerusalem.

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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

Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948 and the Israelis subsequently defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. For more information please read About Israel.

Hague Convention Information

Israel is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Israel and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Please Note: Adoption in Israel by non-Israeli citizens is rare and is possible only through the Israeli Central Agency for International Adoption.

NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Israel is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Israel, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. For more information please read about Who Can Adopt from Israel.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Israel must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Israel attempt to place a child with a family in Israel before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Israeli requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.


Relinquishment/Abandonment Requirements: Either the birth parents must provide a signed statement that they are willing to abandon the child or a court must declare the birth parents as unknown or unable to raise the child.

How to Adopt

Adoption Authority

Israel's Adoption Authority

The Central Agency for International Adoption, managed by Ms. Orna Hirshfeld, is the national adoption authority. Ms. Nehama Tal has been assigned to be the inspector on international adoption.

The Process

Because Israel is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Israel 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 Israel 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 (or Gain Legal Custody) in Israel
  6. Bring your Child Home

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

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Israel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Israel.

After Adoption

What does Israel require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Israel and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

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

NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Israel

Immigration Visa Unit 71 Hayarkon Street Tel Aviv , Israel 63903 Tel: (972) (03) 519-7601 Fax: (972) (03) 519-7619 Email: Internet: U.S. Embassy Israel

Israel's Adoption Authority

Central Agency for International Adoption Ministry of Labor 10 Yad Harutzim Street Jerusalem 91012 Tel: 972-2-6708177 / 8 Fax: 972-2-6708451

Embassy of Israel

3514 International Dr. N.W. Washington DC 20008 Tel: 202-364-5500 Fax: 202-364-5527 E-mail: Internet: Embassy of Israel

Israel also has consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco

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