Adoption

On April 1, 2008, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) entered into legal force for the United States. Poland has been a Convention country since 1995. Only children who are adopted in Poland by American citizens (or dual citizens, American and Polish) in a process fully compliant with the regulations and procedures of the Hague Convention will be able to obtain immigrant visas at the Embassy in Warsaw to enter and permanently reside in the United States, and consequently become American citizens.

To find out more about the processing of adoption cases from a Convention country please see the Hague Visa Process info on the website of the Children’s Issues Office of the State Department.

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw processes immigrant visas for children adopted in Poland. Belarus still has a moratorium on international adoptions. Both Latvia and Lithuania, previously processed in Warsaw, have resumed processing of their adoption cases. If you plan to adopt a child from Poland, please check our Polish Adoption Flyer for more detailed information.

Before you may apply for a U.S. immigrant visa in Warsaw for your Polish adopted child or children, you must make sure that all required immigration procedures have been completed, i.e. the Embassy has on file your I-800 petition for the child pre-approved by the Immigration Service (the National Benefits Center located at Lee’s Summit, MO), as well as your valid fingerprints clearances. Also, make sure that the Embassy has issued a so-called Article 5 Letter with the permission to continue your adoption process through an appropriate Family Court in Poland. All these procedures must be completed before a family judge may place the child in your legal custody.

Before considering an adoption in Poland, you may contact the Office of Children’s Issues, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, or this Embassy.

You may contact us by e-mail by writing to adoptwrw@state.gov, by fax at (48)(22)504-2088, or by phone at (48)(22)625-1401 or (48)(22)504-2106.

“The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. … [I]ntercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin.”

-Hague Adoption Convention, Preamble

Every child benefits from a loving home in deeply profound ways.  Intercountry adoption has made this permanently possible for hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.  When children cannot remain with a relative, and new parents within their communities cannot be found, intercountry adoption opens another pathway to children to receive the care, security, and love that a permanent family can provide.

Some additional resources:

Child Welfare Information Gateway – A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Medline Plus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

A Healthy Beginning: Important Information for Parents of Internationally Adopted Children (PDF 168Kb) – a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“My Administration remains committed to helping every child find a loving home.” – President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation of National Adoption Month 2012.

To adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States, you must first be found eligible to adopt under U.S. law.  The federal agency that makes this determination is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security.  You may not bring an adopted child (or a child for which you have gained legal custody for the purpose of immigration and adoption) into the United States until USCIS determines that you are eligible to adopt from another country.

National Requirements

You must meet certain requirements to bring a foreign-born child whom you’ve adopted to the United States.  Some of the basic requirements include the following:

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  2. If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old.
  3. If you are married, you must jointly adopt the child (even if you are separated but not divorced), and your spouse must also be either a U.S. citizen or in legal status in the United States.
  4. You must meet certain requirements that will determine your suitability as a prospective adoptive parent, including criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and a home study.

State Requirements

In addition to qualifying to adopt under U.S. law, you must also meet your home state’s requirements for prospective adoptive parents.  Learn more about individual state requirements on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.

Foreign Country Requirements

Each country has its own requirements for adopting parents.  Poland’s requirements are explained in the Country Information section on the Department of State website.