Serbia Adoption Alert
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) will enter into force for Serbia on April 1, 2014. The United States has determined that it should be able to process Convention intercountry adoptions from Serbia that are initiated on or after April 1, 2014.
The Government of Serbia also notified the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade that accredited adoption service provider, Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc., is now authorized to provide services in Convention adoptions from Serbia. This is the only U.S. adoption service provider currently authorized to operate in Serbia. U.S. adoption service providers interested in seeking authorization should contact Serbia’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +381 11 3631448.
U.S. prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers are reminded that adoption services in Serbia can only be completed either through direct contact with the Ministry or with the assistance of a U.S. adoption service provider authorized to provide intercountry adoption services in Serbia.
Adoption cases can proceed under the non-Convention adoption process after April 1 if the prospective adoptive parents in the United States filed Form I-600A with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) designating Serbia before April 1, 2014, filed Form I-600 with USCIS or the Department of State before April 1, 2014, or completed the adoption before April 1, 2014. All other cases will be processed as Convention adoption cases and will require Form I-800 and I-800A.
The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States. Email inquiries may be directed to AdoptionUSCA@state.gov.
This Adoption Alert is a follow up to the Alert of March 29, 2013.
The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade has received reports that one or more U.S. adoption service providers may be providing prospective adoptive parents misleading information about the Serbian adoption process. Specifically, there may be misleading information as to who is authorized to provide adoption services and which children are eligible for intercountry adoption.
Serbia places a priority on domestic adoption. Generally, only children with special needs are available for intercountry adoption. Adoption services in Serbia can be completed either through direct contact with the Ministry or with the assistance of an authorized U.S. adoption service provider. A small number of U.S. adoption service providers are authorized by the Serbian Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Policy to provide services related to intercountry adoptions in Serbia. Prospective adoptive parents who decide to use an adoption service provider may wish to verify the agency’s authorization by contacting the Ministry at email@example.com or by calling +381 11 3631448.
The Department strongly encourages prospective adoptive parents to read the procedures for completing an intercountry adoption from Serbia on the Department’s Serbia adoption information page. There is no legal alternative to the Serbian adoption process. Prospective adoptive parents who received contradictory or misleading information from a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider are encouraged to register a complaint about the provider online through the Hague Complaint Registry, at: adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/agency_accreditation/complaints.php.
Prospective adoptive parents are also encouraged to report such activity by an adoption service provider that is not accredited or approved to the licensing authority of the state where the agency is located. A record of the complaint may also be submitted to the Office of Children’s Issues via email to AskCI@state.gov.
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