Adopting from Uruguay

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The official flag



Maldonado City

Kindergarteners in Montevideo

Old Town, Montevideo street.

Skyline of Montevideo

Two children

Montevideo's Palacio Salvo.

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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

Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century launched widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent. Source: [1]

Hague Convention Information

Uruguay 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 Uruguay and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

While intercountry adoptions are legal in Uruguay, Uruguayan law explicitly favors local adoptions over intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents must live in Uruguay with the child they plan to adopt for a minimum of six months. A judge may reduce this time requirement on a case-by-case basis if he/she believes it is in the best interests of the child.

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

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Uruguay is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Uruguay, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from Uruguay.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Uruguay is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Uruguay must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from Uruguay.

How to Adopt

Adoption Authority

Uruguay's Adoption Authority

Departamento de Adopción y Legitimación Adoptiva (DLAYA or Department of Adoption and Legitimating of Adoptions

The Process

Because Uruguay is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Uruguay 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 Uruguay 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 in Uruguay
  6. Bring your Child Home

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

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

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

After Adoption

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

Adoption Services Support Group for Adopting Persons

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Uruguay

Lauro Muller 1776 Montevideo, Uruguay Tel. (598-2) 418-7777 Ext. 2365 Fax (598-2) 418-4110 E-mail:

Uruguay's' Adoption Authority

DLAYA Rio Branco 1394 Montevideo, Uruguay Tel: (598 2) 908-3219 E-mail

Embassy of Uruguay

1913 I (Eye) Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 Tel. (202) 331-1313 Fax (202) 331-8142 e-mail:

COUNTRY also has consulates in: Chicago, IL; Coral Gables, FL; New York, NY; Santa Monica, CA; and San Juan, Puerto Rico

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