United Kingdom and the Hague Convention

Classic red telephone box and London double-decker bus in front of the Houses of Parliament clocktower.

The United Kingdom (UK) is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of the child’s country of origin.

The UK is generally not considered a country of origin in intercountry adoption because UK children are usually not eligible for intercountry adoption. Most intercountry adoptions in the UK are completed by UK residents who adopt while living in other countries. The information provided below is intended primarily to assist in rare adoption cases from the UK, including adoptions of UK children by relatives in the United States. This information may also be useful to U.S. citizens considering adopting from another country while living in the UK.

U.S. Immigration Requirements for Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from the UK, 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 Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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