Jamaica and the Hague Convention

St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral i Spanish Town

Jamaica 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).

There are two types of adoptions in Jamaica - Adoption Licenses and Adoption Orders. An Adoption License allows a Jamaican citizen child to be taken to a "scheduled country" (in this case, the United States) and to be adopted in that country (in this case, the United States). Under Jamaican law, U.S. citizens residing in the United States who are not adopting a relative will only qualify for an Adoption License. An Adoption Order signifies the full and final adoption under Jamaican law and is only available to prospective adoptive parents who are Jamaican citizens or who reside in Jamaica. An Order legally replaces an original birth certificate, as it shows date of birth, (new) parentage, and (new) name. The child's Jamaican passport information may also be changed based on the new parentage and name.


To bring an adopted child to the United States from Jamaica, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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