This section provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. The process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Additionally, if the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.

International Adoption

Thank you for your interest in adopting a child from Haiti.  Each year thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from abroad and many families in other countries adopt U.S. children. Intercountry adoption is governed by both the laws of the country in which the child lives and the country in which the adoptive parents live. To learn more about international adoptions, please visit the Department of State’s web page on Intercountry Adoptions.

Please note that there have been several alerts on international adoptions from Haiti.  In addition to the general information on this site please also review these recently posted notices.

For more information specific to Haiti, please click on The Adoption Process and Local Requirements below.

General Regulations

Haitian law does not allow for a Haitian child to travel to the United States to be adopted.  Therefore, prospective adoptive parents must obtain a full and final adoption under Haitian law before the child can immigrate to the United States. Prospective adoptive parents can expect a lengthy process to adopt a child in Haiti.

As of November 5, 2012, Haitian regulations require that prospective adoptive parents work with a U.S. adoption service provider (ASP) authorized to operate in Haiti by its adoption authority, l’Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR). For a list of current ASPs in the United States authorized to provide adoption services in Haiti, please visit the Department of State’s alert website or click on The Adoption Process section below.

The Department emphasizes that Haiti’s new procedures prohibit adoptions in which arrangements are made directly between the biological parents or custodians and the prospective adoptive parents (i.e. private adoptions).  The new procedures also prohibit adoptions in which prospective adoptive parents seek a match with a child without the assistance of IBESR or an ASP authorized by the Haitian government (i.e. independent/individual adoptions).  Similarly, Haiti will not approve adoptions where the child’s biological parents or legal representatives expressly decide who will adopt their child, unless the adoption is of a spouse’s child, is an intra-family adoption, is by a child’s foster family, or the child is the sibling of a child who has already been adopted.  If you are a U.S. citizen of Haitian descent desiring to process an intra-family adoption, we recommend that you contact L’institut de Bien-Etre et de la Recherche (IBESR) directly.

Please note that the Government of Haiti also requires any orphanage, crèche or children’s home in Haiti to possess an accreditation to participate in international adoptions.

Requirements Regarding Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, prospective adoptive parents must meet the following Haitian requirements.

  • Residency:  Haitian courts and/or IBESR require U.S. prospective adoptive parents to travel to Haiti before the adoption is finalized, although Haitian law does not require prospective adoptive parents to reside in Haiti.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  For married couples, at least one member of the couple must be at least 30 years old, and the oldest member of the couple may not be older than 50 years old.  A single person must be 35 years old or older. An adoptive parent must be at least 14 years older than the child they intend to adopt, unless the child is a relative, in which case the age difference required shall only be 9 years.
  • Marriage:  Haitian law permits adoptions by single prospective adoptive parents and by opposite sex spouses who have been married for at least five years. Proof of a common-law marriage must be established by a certificate issued by the competent authorities, and the consent to adoption of both members of the couple is necessary.
  • Income:  There are no specific income requirements for Haitian adoptions, although prospective adoptive parents must be able to provide proof of employment and financial stability.

Haiti is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force in Haiti on April 1, 2014. All adoptions initiated on or after April 1, 2014 must follow the Convention process. Adoptions initiated prior to April 1, 2014 may meet the requirements to proceed as transition, non-Convention cases. For a general overview of adoptions under both Hague and non-Hague processes, please visit the Intercountry Adoption web page of the Department of State.

If you initiated an adoption prior to April 1, 2014 and have questions about next steps or the status of your case, you can email the Adoption Unit at For all prospective adoptive parents just getting started, here is a simplified overview of the adoption process in Haiti under the Hague Adoption Convention:

  • Select an authorized Adoption Service Provider (ASP):Selecting an authorized and reputable ASP should be one of your first steps in adopting from Haiti.  Should you have any questions about whether or not a U.S. adoption service provider is authorized, please consult the Department of State alert. Alternatively, you can click on the Authorized Adoption Service Providers section below, or email the Port-au-Prince Adoption Unit directly.
  • File an I-800A with USCIS: To bring an adopted child to the United States from Haiti, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements as determined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Your adoption service provider will help you start the process by instructing you to file a form I-800A with USCIS in order that they may determine your suitability to adopt.
  • Submit an application to IBESR, Haiti’s central adoption authority.  Your ASP will help you collect materials for this application, which will include a personalized letter petitioning for adoption, a home study, a psychological evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents, and an approved I-800A from USCIS which attests that you are suitable to adopt.  It will also include birth certificates, marriage certificates, a clear medical and criminal record, and financial documentation.  Finally, it will require two letters of reference and three recent photos of the adoptive parents.  All of these materials must be submitted in French, or with a French translation, and must be certified as exact, authentic representations.
  • IBESR will match you with a Haitian child who is eligible for adoption.  IBESR will issue an Article 16 report, and parents will be given two weeks to decide whether or not they will accept to adopt a particular child who is eligible for adoption.  It is IBESR that will recommend an appropriate child to be matched with the prospective adoptive parent.  The Hague Adoption Convention explicitly prohibits pre-contact with an adoptable child except in very rare cases.
  • File a Form I-800 with USCIS, including an Article 16 report.The I-800 form must then be filed with USCIS, and will be provisionally approved by USCIS and ultimately transferred to the Department of State and the Consular Section’s Adoption Unit for final approval.
  • Next, file the DS-260 online visa application. This is the online immigrant visa application form used by all people who wish to travel to live permanently in the United States.
  • A Consular Officer will adjudicate the I-800, performing any research that may be deemed necessary.  If everything is suitable, the consular officer will issue an Article 5 letter to IBESR.  This letter informs IBESR that the adoptive parents have been found suitable and the child will be allowed to enter and reside in the United States.
  • Only after the Article 5 letter has been received at IBESR can the adoption be finalized in Haiti. IBESR will issue an Article 23 Certificate stating that the adoption is completed according to the Hague Adoption Convention principles.
  • The U.S. consular officer will verify compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention and issue a Hague Convention Certificate.  S/he will then grant final approval of the I-800 and issue the visa for the adopted child to travel.

Haiti’s adoption authority, Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), has authorized a limited number of U.S. adoption service providers (ASPs) to provide adoption services in Haiti pursuant to its new administrative adoption procedures.  As of November 5, 2012, Haitian regulations require that prospective adoptive parents work with an authorized ASP.

According to IBESR, the following 18 U.S. ASPs have been authorized to provide adoption services in Haiti.  The Department will publish the names of any additional authorized ASPs upon receipt of official notification.  Publication of this list of ASPs does not constitute the Department’s endorsement of them.

  1. A Love Beyond Borders
  2. All God’s Children International
  3. All Blessing International
  4. America World Adoptions
  5. Building Arizona Families
  6. Bethany Global Services
  7. Children of All Nations
  8. Carolina Adoption Services
  9. Chinese Children Adoption International
  10. Dillon International
  11. European Adoptions Consultants
  12. Hand in Hand International Adoptions
  13. Holt International Children’s Services
  14. Joshua Tree Adoptions
  15. Lifeline Children Services
  16. MLJ Adoptions Inc.
  17. Nightlight Christian Adoptions
  18. VIDA
  19. WACAP
  20. Wasatch Adoptions

Under the Hague Convention, prospective adoptive parents will be matched with a Haitian child who Haitian authorities have already determined is eligible for adoption. The adoption service provider chosen by the prospective adoptive parents will be the best resource for information on documentation required throughout the process.

For transition cases initiated prior to April 1, 2014, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Adoption Unit of the U.S. Embassy will conduct an I-604 investigation to establish that the child is an orphan. Although many documents are required to process adoptions in Haiti, below is a list of the most fundamental documents required in order to demonstrate a full and final adoption in Haiti. We encourage every petitioner to learn as much as possible about the local process in order to avoid unnecessary delays and fees in their adoption processing.

  • If the biological parent(s) relinquished the child, a court document known as ” Extrait des Minutes du Greffe du Tribunal de Paix“, which attests to the court proceeding in which prospective adoptive parents and the child’s biological parents or legal guardians agree to the adoption and/or relinquishment of the child.
  • If the biological parent(s) of the child are deceased, an Extrait de l’Acte de Decès (extract of the death certificate) from the Haitian National Archives.
  • If the biological parents are unknown, sufficient proof of abandonment must be furnished.  In Haiti, such evidence includes a birth certificate attesting to the fact that the child is a ward of the state, documentation from IBESR of the child’s abandonment, police reports and other official paperwork.
  • A certificate of adoption issued by IBESR.
  • A final court hearing, known as the “Homologation du proces verbal” allowing a formal name change of the child.  The date of this court hearing is the final adoption date that determines whether a child is eligible for an IR3 or an IR4 visa.

For all adoptions initiated after April 1, 2014, and therefore subject to the Convention, do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Haiti before a U.S. consular officer has reviewed the provisionally approved Form I-800 and issued an Article 5 Letter to IBESR indicating U.S. Central Authority agreement to the adoption proceeding.

For a list of documents required for the IR3/IR4 visa interview, see the Visa Interview section below.

The consular section aims to schedule all visa appointments within three working days of receiving an approved I-600 petition from USCIS. An agent may accompany the child and sign for the parent(s) as long as he/she is given an original Power of Attorney.

We understand that adoptive parents often wish to be present for the final immigrant visa interview. However, we recommend that they wait until the visa is printed and collected before travelling to Haiti in order to account for any unexpected delays.

The following documentation is required at the visa interview:

  1. A Haitian passport reflecting the child’s legal name as shown on the Act of Adoption.
  2. Form DS-260, the biographical data sheet for the child, completed online by the adopting parent in the name of the adopted child.
  3. For all children aged 2 or older, a birth extract, known as an “Extrait de l’Acte Naissance” issued by the National Archive.
  4. Two standard identification photographs.
  5. A medical report by an approved panel physician, including vaccinations (unless the prospective parent(s) of a child under age 10 intends to request a vaccination waiver).  Please read our instructions on getting a medical examination.
  6. If applicable, proof that the adoptive parents saw the child prior to the adoption completion.
  7. Applicants under 18 years old must submit an Affidavit of Support Exemption (Form I-864W) executed by the petitioner. Please see more details on the Affidavit of Support.
  8. An Original Power Of Attorney signed by the adoptive parents naming the agent who will appear with the child at the interview.
  9. Cash or a credit card to pay the USD$325 fee for the visa application.


The average length of time it takes to adopt from Haiti is approximately two years, however some prospective adoptive parents have reported much longer.

While in the past, it would have been acceptable to adopt directly from an orphanage with which one had a direct relationship, the new Haitian Adoption Law and Procedures require that prospective adoptive parents work through an adoption service provider, which will work with IBESR, the Central Authority, to match the adoptive parent with a child.  This procedure is designed to bring Haitian adoptions into Hague compliance.

The child must qualify as an orphan as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) before he/she can be considered for U.S. permanent residence or citizenship.  Please refer to the Department of State’s web page on Intercountry Adoption for step-by-step instructions on how to file a petition on behalf of your adopted child.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Embassy is unable to intervene on your behalf with the local authorities, as the local adoption is a sovereign Haitian issue.  We recommend that you continue to work closely with your local agent to ensure that your case is processed as efficiently as possible by the Haitian government. Please note that for cases subject to the Hague Convention, you should not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Haiti before a U.S. consular officer has reviewed the provisionally approved Form I-800 and issued an Article 5 Letter to IBESR indicating U.S. Central Authority agreement to the adoption proceeding.

The necessary information to access the DS-260 will vary, depending on when and where you filed the petition.  If you filed your petition in Haiti, with USCIS, or applied in the United States after September 16, 2013, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the Consular Electronic Application Center.
  2. Click on DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
  3. Review the Technical Specification Information.
  4. Click on Continue.
  5. Select “Petitioner” from the drop-down menu.
  6. Enter the post-provided Case Number.
  7. Enter the child’s date of birth in YYYYMMDD format in the Invoice ID Number field.
  8. Complete the DS-260.

If you filed in the United States, and have correspondence from the National Visa Center (NVC):

  1. Go to the Consular Electronic Application Center.
  2. Click on DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
  3. Review the Technical Specification Information.
  4. Click on Continue.
  5. Select “Petitioner” from the drop-down menu.
  6. Enter the NVC Case Number.
  7. Enter the Invoice ID Number.
  8. Complete the DS-260.

Petitioners who received letters mailed by NVC prior to September 6, 2013, or who have lost their letters should contact NVC at or +1-603-334-0700 to request their Invoice ID Number.  Petitioners/attorneys/ASPs should send any inquiries about using the DS-260 to NVC at or +1-603-334-0700.

If you are unable to keep the date given to you for the visa interview, please contact the Adoption Unit at as soon as you know.  The Adoption Unit will do its best to accommodate your schedule.

The Adoption Unit strongly urges that you not make travel plans until your child has received his/her visa.