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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > February
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 15, 2006

Implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption

Convention Facts

  • The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption was completed and circulated for member countries' comments on May 29, 1993 under the auspices of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, an international organization begun in 1893. Currently, 68 countries have joined the Convention.
  • The Convention strengthens protections for adopted children. Its key principles include:
1) Ensuring that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of children; and
2) Preventing the abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.
  • The Convention is expected to enter into force for the United States in 2007. At that time, private adoption service providers will generally need to be accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved, or be supervised by a provider that is accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved, in order to provide adoption services in cases involving the United States and another Convention country.

United States Intercountry Adoption Facts
  • Intercountry adoption is increasing. Over the last decade, the number of intercountry adoptions to the U.S. has more than doubled.
  • From October 2004-September 2005 (FY 2005), US citizens adopted 22,739 orphans from around the world. Of these intercountry adoptions, 13,241 were from countries that have joined the Convention. This accounts for 58.2% of incoming intercountry adoptions in FY 2005.

Top 10 Convention Countries from which U.S. Citizens Adopted in FY05


No. of Adoptions

1. China


2. Guatemala*


3. India


4. Colombia


5. Philippines


6. Mexico


7. Poland


8. Thailand


9. Brazil


10. Moldova


Top 10 non-Hague Countries / Territories from

which U.S. Citizens Adopted in FY05


No. of Adoptions

1. Russia


2. South Korea


3. Ukraine


4. Kazakhstan


5. Ethiopia


6. Haiti


7. Liberia


8. Taiwan


9. Nigeria


10. Jamaica


*Although Guatemala is a party to the Convention, its adoption procedures do not meet the standards of the Convention.

The Department of State and the Convention

  • The Intercountry Adoption Act, which was signed into law on October 6, 2000, names the Department of State the U.S. Central Authority for the Convention.
  • Implementing the Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act is a top priority for the Department.
  • Before completing the Final Rule on accreditation and approval of adoption service providers, the Department held public meetings, conducted extensive research, and reviewed and considered over 1,500 public comments on the Proposed Rule. (Responses to the public comments can be found in the Preamble of the Final Rule, which is published with the Final Rule in the Federal Register.)
  • The Department of State has added professional staff to work exclusively on implementing the Convention in the United States.
  • The Department of State is in the process of designating accrediting entities, and hopes to sign agreements with accrediting entities in 2006.
  • The Hague Implementation Unit in the Office of Children’s Issues is coordinating implementation efforts. Additional information on implementation is available on our website at travel.state,gov, or at adoptionUSCA@state.gov.


Released on February 15, 2006

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