Maldives and the Hague Convention

Colorful skyline of Male.

The Republic of the Maldives (Maldives) 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).

Maldivian law and Islamic Shari’a law, upon which Maldivian family law is largely based, does not allow the adoption of Maldivian children in Maldives. Maldivian law recognizes only long term guardianship as an alternative to adoption, and this arrangement is only available to Maldivian nationals. According to Maldivian law, prospective adoptive parents who are non-Muslim may not be appointed guardians of Muslim children. Prospective adoptive parents should refer to our information sheet on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari'a Law is observed for more information.

The Maldivian government is currently considering significant revisions to its laws governing the guardianship of minors. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Maldives who wish to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should contact Maldives adoption authority, the Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights (see contact information below).

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information sheets for more information on travelling to Maldives and the U.S. Embassy Sri Lanka & Maldives website for information on consular services.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Maldives and the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s website for information on consular services.

MALDIVE'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY: Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights

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