Adopting Under the Hague Convention
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption strengthens protections for children, birthparents, and prospective adoptive parents. It also establishes adoption rules for Convention countries.
Brazil is party to the Convention. Therefore, all adoptions between Brazil and the United States must adhere to U.S. law and the Convention’s requirements. Brazilian law does not allow a Brazilian child to travel to the United States to be adopted.
- Only U.S. citizens can adopt under the Convention. Legal permanent residents (LPRs) cannot.
- Do not accept an adoption placement before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved your Form I-800A.
- You must not contact the parents, legal custodians, or any entity responsible for the child’s care until it is permissible under Article 29 of the Convention.
- Children available for international adoption in Brazil are generally over 8 years of age, sibling pairs, or have special needs.
Please also visit the Intercountry Adoption website for more information.
U.S. Hague Convention Adoption and Visa Process
U.S. citizens planning to adopt from Brazil must follow specific steps to adopt and obtain immigration benefits for their child. You must follow these steps in the correct order.
Please complete these steps in order to meet U.S. law and Convention requirements:
- Choose a U.S. Accredited Adoption Service Provider (ASP);
- Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt from a Convention country, using Form I-800A;
- Be matched with a child by authorities in the child’s country of origin;
- Apply to USCIS for the child’s eligibility for immigration to the United States and to receive U.S. provisional approval to proceed with the adoption Form I-800;
- Adopt in the child’s country of origin; and
- Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for the child to bring them home.
You can find additional details about the Convention Adoption Process, here.
1. Chose a U.S. Adoption Service Provider (ASP)
Find an accredited, U.S. based ASP for Convention adoptions, licensed in your U.S. state of residence.
For more information on working with an ASP, click here
Currently there are three U.S. ASPs authorized to work in Brazil:
CHILDREN’S HOUSE INTERNATIONAL / CHI
Point of Contact: RAQUEL QUEIROZ DE SOUZA
Address: Rua Cristina n° 408 / 701 – Bairro Sion
Belo Horizonte/MG – CEP: 30.310-800
Phone: +55 (31) 98419-9293
HAND IN HAND INTERNACIONAL ADOPTIONS
Point of Contact: CAMILLA TURQUIA GOMES
Address: Rua Julia Nunes n° 145 / 701
Belo Horizonte/MG – CEP: 30.380-400
Phone: +55 (31) 3293-8614 / +55 (31) 99617-6464 / +1 (863) 602-7288
LIFELINE CHILDREN’S SERVICE
Point of Contact: DEVAIR NAVES
Address: Avenida Pe. Antônio J. Santos, n° 142 conjunto 6, Brooklin
São Paulo/SP – CEP: 04563-001
Phone: +55 (11) 5531-6514 / +55 (31) 99972-3113
2. File an Adoption Petition
Submit Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, to USCIS. If USCIS finds you eligible, your ASP will send your Form I-800A approval notice and home study to the central adoption authority of the child’s country of origin.
3. Be Matched with a Child
Your ASP will work with the Brazilian State Adoption Authorities (Comissão Estadual Judiciária de Adoção – CEJA) to identify the child(ren) eligible for adoption and notify the prospective adoptive parents. There will be a gradual preparation of the prospective family and a post-adoptive follow-up.
You may find the list of the Brazilian State Adoption Authorities (Comissão Estadual Judiciária de Adoção – CEJA) here: List of Brazilian State Adoption Authorities (CEJAs)
If both the United States and Brazil determine that you are eligible, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the CEJA may provide you with a referral for a child (Article 16). Learn more about Article 16 here.
Each family must decide for itself whether it can meet a particular child’s needs and provide a permanent placement for them.
4- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
Next, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800, Petition to Classify a Convention adoptee as an Immediate Relative). USCIS will determine whether they are eligible to be adopted and enter the United States.
The U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro will receive the I-800 approval notice, review the child’s information, and evaluate any possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, we will issue an “Article 5 Letter” addressed to the Brazilian Adoption Authorities. This letter states that U.S. authorities have determined the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and that the United States will comply with the Hague Adoption Convention (i.e. that the adopted child will be a U.S. citizen and have all rights of a U.S. citizen).
For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parents may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until the Consulate has issued the Article 5 Letter.
5- Adopt the Child in Brazil
Remember: A court can only finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Brazil after you have completed the previous steps.
For additional information about the adoption process in Brazil, you may contact your ASP or the Brazilian State Adoption Authorities: List of Brazilian State Adoption Authorities (CEJAs)
You may also find additional information on this website.
Once the adoptive parents satisfy Brazilian adoption requirements, a judge may grant a final adoption. The Brazilian government will then allow the child to leave Brazil.
6- Obtain a U.S. Immigrant Visa for the Child
Once the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro is ready to begin final processing of the adopted child’s immigrant visa application, we will schedule an appointment for an immigrant visa interview.
Child’s Birth Certificate – Prospective parents will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for their child. Adoptive parents can change the child’s name and request a new birth certificate, listing their names as parents at the Brazilian Civil Registry Office. If there are first name changes, the child needs to agree.
Child’s Brazilian Passport – The child is not yet a U.S. citizen and will need a Brazilian passport.
DS-260 Application Form – Print your confirmation page with the barcode. Each child must have a separate DS-260.
Adoptive Parents’ Passports – Valid passports and one copy.
Original and Certified Copy of Adoption Decree – Without a finalized adoption, you will not be allowed to depart Brazil with the child.
Original Article 23 letter – CEJA issues this letter.
Medical Exam – Before the visa interview, the child must have a medical exam completed by a Panel Physician in Brazil. Please go to the medical exam page for further instructions.
Form I-864W – Request for Exemption for Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support
Photos – Three 5×5 or 5×7 photos
Immigrant Visa Application Fee – The $325 fee can be paid in U.S. Dollars or Brazilian currency. You can pay with cash or international credit cards at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro.
Attention: We cannot guarantee visa issuance until the interview has been completed. We encourage you NOT to make any final travel arrangements before the visa is issued.
If the visa is approved, you may choose to pick up the visa package at the Consulate or have it sent via courier service.