Adopting from Madagascar
Hague Convention Information
Madagascar 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 Madagascar and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
The Government of Madagascar has ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. A new adoption law in Madagascar went into effect in 2007, which closely follows Hague Convention processing requirements. Practical implementation of the new law is still being tested as cases work their way through the system. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents are advised to read the below requirements, particularly regarding timing of documents required in the initial application, and follow developments closely.
Adoptive parents are advised to follow legal adoption procedures carefully. Madagascar adheres strictly to the law. Prospective adoptive parents are also advised that Madagascar has two adoption processes: simple adoption and plenary adoption. Only international plenary adoption, involving a long and sometimes difficult legal process, is recognized by both Madagascar and the United States as valid for intercountry adoption. Simple adoption, involving the mayor of the town where the child is located, is not a valid adoption for U.S. visa or Malagasy passport purposes.
NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Madagascar is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Madagascar, 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). Learn more.
Under Malagasy law, once the case moves from the administrative to the judicial phase, at least one of the adoptive parents must come to Madagascar and live with, or otherwise become familiar with the child for a one-month probationary period. After the end of this period, the final court proceedings will take place, and one parent will need to be present for these as well. The adoption is not final until these proceedings are complete, and the child will not be able to receive a passport or a visa until after the end of the court proceedings. Although the new law imposes several specific time requirements that govern the timing of each step in the process. However, past experience under the old law suggests these time periods could be much longer. Under the old law, cases often took four to six months or longer after the probationary period.
Age of Adopting Parents
At least one spouse must be over the age of 30 to adopt in Madagascar.
The couple can have no more than three other children, either biological or adopted.
They must possess good moral character and demonstrate the means to care for the physical and educational needs of the child.
They must agree to keep the Malagasy Central Authority informed, through regular written reports, of the child's well-being, and progress in integrating until the child reaches age 18.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Madagascar is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Madagascar must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Madagascar attempt to place a child with a family in Madagascar before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Malagasy 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
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information