Who Can Be Adopted from Sri Lanka


Because Sri Lanka is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Sri Lanka must meet the requirements of the Convention. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Sri Lanka have determined that placement of the child within Sri Lanka was given due consideration, and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Sri Lanka’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.


Relinquishment: Generally, the birth parent(s) are required to attend the court hearing to formally relinquish custody of the child in front of the judge. If the Department of Probation and Child Care Services cannot locate the birth parents, the judge has the authority to waive the requirement that the birth parents be present.

Abandonment: The relevant Provincial Commissioner decides if a child is abandoned in consultation with the Placement Committee in each children’s home. What constitutes abandonment in each case is left up to the discretion of the Provincial Commissioner in consideration of the specific the situation. If the Provincial Commissioner cannot come to a decision, s/he can refer the issue to a court.

Age of Adoptive Child: Foreigners may only adopt Sri Lankan children between three months and 14 years of age.

Sibling Adoptions: The Department of Probation and Child Care Services will attempt to keep sibling groups together when matching children with prospective adoptive parents.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Prospective adoptive parents may request to adopt a child with or without special needs and/or medical conditions.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: The process of adopting a child from Sri Lanka can be lengthy. Under Sri Lankan regulations, an application from foreign prospective adoptive parents to adopt a Sri Lankan child must be registered with the Sri Lankan government through one of its diplomatic missions abroad. It generally takes at least one year to match a child with a family. After a child is identified, prospective adoptive parents should be prepared to stay in Sri Lanka from four to six weeks for the court proceedings.

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