Child and Family Matters

This section provides information on international adoption, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and international parental child abduction.

As U.S. citizen parent(s), you should report your child’s birth abroad as soon as possible to the U.S. Consulate to establish an official record of the child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record will be the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Form FS-240 which is a basic United States citizenship document.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

A Consular Report of Birth (CRBA) is evidence of United States citizenship, issued to a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday, and we recommend that the parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth. For applicants older than age 18 who have never been issued a CRBA, please refer to Possible Derivative Claim to U.S. Citizenship. Anyone who has a claim to U.S. citizenship must be in possession of a valid U.S passport to enter and exit the United States, even if they have citizenship of another country, as well.

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) Delivery

Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) approved at the Embassy in Brasilia and the Consulate General in Recife, Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo are returned via registered mail through the Brazilian postal system (Correios) following the procedure described below

Brasilia:  
The U.S. Embassy in Brasília, uses the Brazilian Correios. Applicants can have their passports, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and/or passport card(s) sent back via SEDEX, for details on arranging passport delivery please email brasiliaacs@state.gov prior to your appointment.

Porto Alegre:
To receive your Consular Report of Birth Abroad by mail you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Note:
– Envelope must be for registered mail;
– Stamps should be in the amount of approximately 100 grams;
– Bring one envelope for each service

If you do not provide us with a self-addressed stamped envelope, either you or a person you designate must pick up your document in person at the Consulate. Note that if a third party comes to pick up your document, he/she will need to present the e-mail sent by the consulate or a written authorization from the applicant.

Recife:  
The Consulate General in Recife uses the Brazilian Correios. Applicants can have the Consular Report of Birth Abroad sent back via SEDEX, for details on arranging passport delivery please email recifeacs@state.gov.

Rio de Janeiro:
The Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro uses the Brazilian Correios. Applicants can have passports sent back via SEDEX, which can be arranged at the time of their appointment for delivery of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

São Paulo:
To receive your Consular Report of Birth Abroad by mail you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Note:
– Envelope must be for registered mail;
– Stamps should be in the amount of approximately 100 grams;
– Bring one envelope for each service

If you do not provide us with a stamped envelope, either you or a person you designate must pick up your document in person at the Consulate. Note that if a third party comes to pick up your document, he/she will need to present the e-mail sent by the consulate or a written authorization from the applicant.

Adopting Under the Hague Convention

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) entered into force with respect to the United States on April 1, 2008. The Convention strengthens protections for children, birthparents, and prospective adoptive parent(s), and establishes internationally agreed upon rules and procedures for adoptions between countries that have a treaty relationship under the Convention (Convention countries). It ultimately provides a framework for member countries to work together to ensure that children are provided with permanent, loving homes, that adoptions take place in the best interests of a child, and that the abduction, sale, or traffic in children is prevented. For additional information on adopting under the Hague Convention, please visit the U.S. State Department website.

As Brazil is also a Hague Convention country, this means that Americans wishing to adopt Brazilian children will now use the Hague Adoption Convention process. As of April 1, 2008, U.S. citizens wishing to adopt in a Convention country must begin this process by filing with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a Form I-800A “Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.” Prospective adoptive parents should consult the USCIS website to download forms and filing instructions here.

Important notes about adopting under the Hague Convention:

  • Only U.S. citizens can adopt under the Hague Convention. Legal permanent residents (LPRs) are not eligible.
  • Please do not accept any adoption placement before USCIS has approved your Form I-800A as this is not allowed under the Convention.
  • You must also refrain from any contact with the parent(s), legal custodian(s), or other individual or entity responsible for the care of a child who may be eligible for intercountry adoption until the contact is permissible under Article 29 of the Convention.
  • Prospective adoptive parents should also be aware that children available for international adoption in Brazil are generally over 5 years of age, sibling pairs, or have special needs.

For more information, please read the following pages of this website:

Please also visit the Intercountry Adoption website of the Office of Children’s Issues for more information.

Both parents must come in person with the child and should bring:

Required Documents:

  • Application Forms: (Complete but do not sign, as these documents must be signed in front of a Consular Officer)
    • DS-2029 Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad (PDF 353KB). When the child is born out of wedlock to an American Citizen father and foreign mother, the American citizen father must complete question #28, the Affidavit of Parentage and Financial Support.  In addition, you must submit evidence of paternity, the parent’s relationship prior to the child’s birth, and support. (PDF 53KB)
    • If you are also applying for a passport, complete the DS-11 online and print.
    • If you experience trouble with the Passport Application Wizard, download the Form DS-11 (PDF – 89kb)
    • If only one parent is an American citizen and the child was born outside of the United States, the American parent must present evidence of that parent’s physical presence in the United States prior to the birth of the child (generally at least 5 years physical presence in the U.S. two of which were over the age of 14). This is a general guideline only. Transmission requirements vary by child’s date of birth and civil status of parents. The U.S. citizen parent may use school records, income taxes, or other documentation as proof of residency in the USA.
    • One recent, color photograph 2×2 inches (5×5 cm) with plain white background and no dates on the picture for the passport photo.
  • Additional required documents (all originals):

    1. The original and copy of the child’s Brazilian Birth Certificate;
    2. For all applicants with Brazilian birth certificates filed on or after January 1, 2018, the applying parents must provide additional evidence of biological relationship to the parent(s) transmitting citizenship.  If your child has a Brazilian birth certificate filed on or after January 1, 2018, you must bring an original full-content birth certificate (“inteiro teor por cópia reprográfica em papel de certidão”), which can be obtained at the “cartório” at which the birth was registered.
    3. The original and copy of the parents’ Civil Marriage Certificate – if applicable;
    4. If one or both parents have been previously married, the original and copy of the document terminating such marriage(s), i.e. Divorce Decree, Death Certificate, etc.;
    5. Satisfactory evidence that the child is the natural child of the mother whose name appears on the Birth Certificate. This may be in the form of medical reports covering pre-natal care, a doctor’s signed statement attesting to pre-natal treatment, mother’s pre-natal exams, hospital records where the child was born, or other evidence as may be required by the Consular Officer. There are also situations which, on occasion, necessitate further proof to verify the relationship between the parents and the child. Adequate pre and postnatal documentation and registration at the Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible after the child’s birth is strongly encouraged to avoid problems;
    6. Evidence of the parent’s American citizenship. This may be in the form of a valid American passport or passport ID, the original of a Birth Certificate showing birth in the U.S., or a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization. If one parent is not a U.S. citizen he/she must present his/her passport and a Brazilian ID Card if he/she is a resident of Brazil;
    7. Original and copy of the Child’s Brazilian passport (if already issued);
    8. Original and copy of the Parents’ valid passports;
    9. Registration from the hospital where the child was born,
    10. Family photos showing the child’s development if the child is not an infant.
  • For fees information please click here

 

Additional Information:

  • Originals of all documents presented will be returned to the reporting parent(s). The copies will be certified and will accompany the final report of birth, which is submitted to the Department of State for permanent record keeping.
  • The parents will receive a certified copy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • Children born in Brazil to American parents, except those in diplomatic or official status, acquire Brazilian Citizenship at birth as well as a possible claim to American Citizenship. They are dual nationals, and are required to have Brazilian passports to enter and leave Brazil. They will need American passports to enter the United States or other countries.

Processing Time

CRBAs and passports are printed in the United States and take approximately 10 working days to be sent back to Brazil. Please consider this timeline when applying for CRBAs and passports.

Replacement Copies of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Official copies of a previously issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad are not available from the Embassy or Consulate and must be requested directly from the Department of State in Washington. Please see the Department of State website for ordering instructions.

U.S. Citizenship Verification for Foreign-Born Adults

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be issued to U.S. citizens only before their 18th birthday. If you have reached your 18th birthday and were born outside of the United States to a U.S. citizen parent, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad can no longer be issued. Nevertheless, you may still be eligible for a U.S. citizenship.

If you believe you may be a U.S. citizen based on the citizenship of your parent(s), please schedule an appointment and follow the instructions for a Report of Birth Abroad above.

Schedule an Appointment

 

Important! With the exception of emergency services, all U.S. citizen services must be scheduled in advance. On the list below, click in the city you’ve chosen to know how to apply for a service at the Embassy, Consulates or Consular Agencies while in Brazil.

Select one of the following consular posts to schedule your online appointment:

Select one of the following Consular Agencies to schedule your appointment by e-mail.

Note: Services at the Consular Agencies are scheduled by e-mail only:

Please check the Contact Information and Working Hours page to find out the appropriate e-mail and street address, and working hours of each American citizen Services Unit in Brazil.

Report of Birth Abroad Delivery Options


Brasilia:
Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) approved at the Embassy in Brasilia are returned via registered mail through the Brazilian postal system (Correios) following the procedure described below:

To receive your CRBA by mail from the Embassy in Brasilia you must bring a registered mail envelope and sufficient stamps with you to your appointment. The registration label will be affixed to the envelope by the post office once the Embassy or Consulate returns it to them. If you are applying for both a CRBA and a passport at the same time, both documents can be returned in the same envelop. Brazilian post office locations can be found here

Porto Alegre:If you would like to receive your consular report of birth abroad (CRBA) by mail, you must provide a stamped envelope.
Note:
– Envelope must be for registered mail;
– Stamps should be in the amount of approximately 100 grams;
– Bring one envelope for each service

If you do not provide us with a stamped envelope, either you or a person you designate must pick up your document in person at the Consulate. Note that if a third party comes to pick up your document, he/she will need to present the e-mail sent by the consulate or a written authorization from the applicant.

Recife: The Consulate in Recife can deliver passaports and CRBA according to applicant’s choice, for more details, send an email to RecifeACS@state.gov.

Rio de Janeiro: The Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro uses a courier service, which can be arranged at the time of your appointment, for delivery of CRBAs.

São Paulo: If you would like to receive your consular report of birth abroad (CRBA) by mail, you must provide a stamped envelope.
Note:
– Envelope must be for registered mail;
– Stamps should be in the amount of approximately 100 grams;
– Bring one envelope for each service

If you do not provide us with a stamped envelope, either you or a person you designate must pick up your document in person at the Consulate. Note that if a third party comes to pick up your document, he/she will need to present the e-mail sent by the consulate or a written authorization from the applicant.

Note: Brazilian postal fees for passport delivery by registered mail are based upon weight and service level.  The Brazilian post office typically considers one passport to be 70 grams and the current price for delivery of one passport by registered mail is BRL 9.00  More information on registered mail prices can be found at Correios website.

If you choose not to have your passport and CRBA delivered by mail, you or a representative who has been designated in writing may pick the passport up at the Embassy or Consulate during our American Citizen Services public office hours..

 

Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:

  1. At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
  2. The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
  3. Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth.

Examples of Documentation

Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met may include (but are not limited to):

  • Wage and tax statements (W-2)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Employment records
  • Rental receipts
  • Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
  • U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.

If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence. Please also read important information regarding Eligibility for CRBA.

The Government of the United States has designated the Office of Children’s Issues of the Department of State as its central authority for child abduction cases.

Please click here for general information on the Office of Children’s Issues and international child abduction.

The Embassy/ Consulate can provide you with a list of local attorneys should you require legal representation. We can also monitor the welfare of children involved in custody disputes when the child is in Brazil.

Minors Traveling To/through Brazil Without One or Both Parents

Brazilian law requires any minor who is a Brazilian citizen (even dual nationals who are both U.S. and Brazilian citizens) to have permission from each parent to travel within Brazil or exit the country.  When a minor travels with both parents, no written authorization is needed.  When the minor travels with only one parent or without either parent, s/he must have two original written authorization letters from each absent parent and carry a copy* of the child’s birth certificate or have an annotation in his/her Brazilian passport authorizing travel alone or with only one parent. Brazilian citizen minors without authorization letters and a birth certificate* or an annotated Brazilian passport likely will not be allowed by authorities to pass through immigration or to board a flight departing Brazil. The U.S. Embassy and its consulates cannot intervene in Brazilian immigration matters or request that this requirement be waived for U.S. citizen travelers.

Written Authorization Letter:  If the absent parent is in Brazil, written authorization letters must be in Portuguese and notarized by a Brazilian notary.  If the absent parent is in the United States or elsewhere outside of Brazil, the authorization must be done at the nearest Brazilian Embassy or Consulate using the form provided by that office. Again, please note that Brazilian law requires two original authorizations for each absent parent. This is important, because Federal Police may request and retain one authorization upon the minor’s entry into Brazil.  Authorities may then request the second original document upon the minor’s departure. Authorizations written in English or executed before a U.S. (or any non-Brazilian) notary public are not accepted by the Brazilian Federal Police.  Similarly, birth certificates issued outside of Brazil that are not apostilled and translated by a certified translator may not be accepted.

Passport Annotation:  In lieu of carrying authorization letters, parents of dual U.S.-Brazilian citizen minors may instead request an annotation be placed in the minor’s Brazilian passport authorizing the minor to travel with only one parent, or to travel alone or with a third party.  This annotation replaces the requirement for written authorization letters until the passport expires.  Parents residing in Brazil should contact the Brazilian Federal Police for details on obtaining an annotated passport.  Parents residing abroad should contact the nearest Brazilian Embassy or Consulate.  The annotated Brazilian passport must not be expired and must be carried along with the minor’s U.S. passport at all times for Brazilian Federal Police to accept it in lieu of an authorization letter.  There is no comparable annotation available in U.S. passports.

Children who are not dual citizens of Brazil:  Please note that, while Brazilian law related to travel authorization does not explicitly apply to non-citizens of Brazil, Federal Police have, at times, delayed the travel of non-Brazilian minors who lack appropriate authorization from both parents.  For this reason, we recommend that families of non-Brazilian minors who may travel through Brazil without one or both parents execute written authorizations (following the instructions in the preceding paragraph) in advance of travel and ensure that the minor, or the minor’s traveling companion, carries the original or notarized copy* of the minor’s birth certificate.

An exemplar of the form used by Brazilian authorities to document parental permission for minors to travel without one or both parents may be found here.

* = if the birth certificate was issued in Brazil, copies must be notarized by a Brazilian notary.  If issued outside of Brazil, copies must be apostilled and translated by a certified translator into Portuguese.

For additional information about minors traveling to the United States without one or both parents, please visit the Customs and Border Protection website