Who Can Adopt from Brazil

Rio de Janeiro at night.

Adoption between the United States and Brazil is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Brazil, 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.

Adoption in Brazil can be a complicated process, sometimes involving long waits. Brazilian adoption law gives preference to Brazilian citizens and citizens of countries that have implemented the Hague Adoption Convention. Please be aware that without Brazilian citizenship, it is unlikely that a U.S. citizen will be able to adopt a healthy, single child under the age of 5 years. The following types of children are most commonly available to U.S. citizens without Brazilian citizenship:

1. Generally older children between the ages of 9 to 12.
2. Sibling groups of any number and of all ages.
3. Special needs children of all ages.

In addition to the U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Brazil also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

4. International adoption will only be considered after all possibilities of finding a national adoption match are exhausted.
5. Brazilian citizens living abroad will have priority to adopt over foreign citizens from other countries.


Brazilian law requires foreign prospective adoptive parents to live in Brazil with the prospective adoptive child for 30 days prior to the adoption.

Age of Adopting Parents

Persons over the age of 18 may adopt, regardless of marital status. The adopting party must be at least 16 years older than the potential adoptee.


Adults over the age of 18 may adopt, regardless of marital status. Joint adoption is granted if parents are legally married or have a stable union contract. Divorced or legally separated couples may adopt together if they agree on the guardianship, schedule of visits, and have proof of relationship with the child.





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