Adopting from Canada
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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically, the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across the world's longest unfortified border. For more information, read About Canada.
Hague Convention Information
Canada 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 Canada and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention. To learn more, read about Canada and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Canada is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Canada, 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, read about Who Can Adopt from Canada.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Canada is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Canada must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Canada attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Canada's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
How to Adopt
Because Canada is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Canada 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 Canada 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 more0.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in Canada
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more, read about How to Adopt from Canada.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Canada. 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. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place. To learn more, read about Traveling Abroad in Canada.
What does Canada require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
Information on post-adoption procedures and requirements for each province and territory can be found on the Social Development Canada website.
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Canada and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.
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
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents
The U.S. Embassy in Canada does not issue Immigrant Visas. All Immigrant Visas for Canada are issued by the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal:
United States Consulate General Montreal
1155 rue Saint-Alexandre Montreal, Quebec H3B 3Z1 Canada Tel: (514) 398-9695 Fax: (514) 398-0973 Internet: U.S. Consulate General Montreal
In Canada, the various provinces are responsible for setting and administering adoption policies and procedures. The following Canadian Government office and website provide contact information for the provincial central adoption authorities, who can provide specific information on adoption in Canada:
Intercountry Adoption Services (IAS)
Human Resources and Social Development Canada 333 North River Road/ Place Vanier, Tower A / 2nd floor OTTAWA, Ontario Canada K1A 0L1 Tel.: (613)-954-0880 Fax: (613)-948-7537 Internet: Human Resources Social Development Canada
This link lists the provincial adoption authorities of Canada:
Embassy of Canada
Canadian Embassy 501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001 202-682-1740; Fax: 202-682-7701 Internet: Canadian Embassy
Canada also has consulates in: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.
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: AskCI@state.gov 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 adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=canada