Who Can Be Adopted from Albania

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Because Albania is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Albania must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Albania attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Albania's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

Albanian Law number 9695, dated March 19, 2007, on the adoption procedures and Albanian Adoption Committee: Only children listed in the Albanian Adoption Committee are eligible to be adopted. In the lists of the Committee are registered those Albanian children, about whom:

  1. Abandonment has been declared by way of a final judgment (see article 250 of Albanian Family Code)
  2. Consent has been given by their biological parents; OR
  3. Consent has been given by the court for the children kept under care (see article 246 of Albanian Family Code).

Relinquishment Requirements

According to Article 246, the consent of both parents is required for the adoption of a minor. If one of the parents is deceased, is unable to express their will, or had their parental rights removed, the consent of the other parent is sufficient. When both parents of the child are deceased, or when their capacity to act has been removed or the parents are not known, the court decides if the child may be adopted. If the adoptee has reached the age of 10 years old, their opinion may be considered and if they are 12 years of age their consent is required.

Abandonment Requirements

Declaration of abandonment (article 250 of Albanian Family Code):

The district court can declare as abandoned, a minor at a social care institution, public or private, or in the care of another person, when the parents, in an obvious manner, have not been involved with the child for a period of one year before the request for the declaration of the abandonment was submitted.

Declaration of abandonment (article 246 of Albanian Family Code):

If the minor has been housed in an institution since their birth, the timeframe of one year is reduced to three months'.

Age Requirements

Child should be under 18 at the time of court decision granting adoption, but to be eligible for a U.S. visa through The Hague Adoption process the child must have been under the age of 16 when the court adoption decree was granted.

Sibling Requirements

No known restrictions

Requirements for Special Needs or Medical Conditions

No known restrictions

Waiting Period

An orphan must have been put up for local adoption for a period of six months before an international party may initiate adoption proceedings. This section of law covers all international adoptions, and requires confirmation that the child has had no chances to be adopted in Albania in the six months from the date of registration in Albanian Committee lists.

Revocation of Relinquishment of Rights

According to Article 248 consent for the adoption may be withdrawn by the biological parents within 3 months from the time it was given. This period serves as a probationary period for the relationships between the adoptive parents and the adoptee. The probationary period is needed to establish an adoptive relationship between a child and a family.

The parents may withdraw their consent even after this three month period has elapsed, up until such time as the competent court enters its decision.

The court, before it decides, must verify that the above-mentioned timeframes have been fulfilled, that all necessary efforts to return the child to the biological parents have been made and that the probationary period with the adoptive family has been successful. If the person, with whom the child was placed during the probationary period and after, refuses to return the child, the parents may petition the court for the return of the child, if this is in the child's best interest.

Family Adoptions

Under Albanian Family Code, there are two kinds of adoptions. The first type is legalized family adoption, whereby one relative transfers the parental rights of a child directly to another relative. Under this process, the child is never abandoned and the parents never relinquish parental rights. In these cases, the children are never available for adoption by any other party and never appear on the list of eligible children, which is where the Albanian Adoption Committee lists all children who are eligible to be adopted by any fit party. It is important to note that under Albanian law, any Albanian citizen who later acquires an additional citizenship is still considered an Albanian citizen. This means that naturalized Albanian-Americans are eligible to adopt under this procedure. Unfortunately, due to the process of transferring rights, this type of adoption will not qualify a child to receive a visa through Hague Adoption procedures.

WARNING: Albania is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Albania before a U.S. consular officer issues an "Article 5 Letter.


Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information [1].

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