Home Legislation Policy Priorities Intercountry Adoption

Intercountry Adoption

Attention: open in a new window. PDF 


Children languishing in orphanages around the world deserve loving homes, too.

Working with our adoption agency members, the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of State, Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS), and foreign embassies, we promote a healthy system of intercountry adoptions in the best interests of children, beginning with the following policy priorities.

NCFA Supports the Children in Families First Act of 2013

The Problem: Every day, all over the world, more children find themselves living without families – on the streets, in orphanages, in refugee camps. By some estimates, there are now 200 million orphans in the world. But the United States government, through our foreign policy and programming, isn’t helping turn this around. Americans know that family is the bedrock of any society, and that children need the permanent love, care, and protection of a family to grow into healthy, productive adults. Although U.S. foreign policy in theory emphasizes preserving or creating safe, permanent families for children, through family reunification, domestic, kinship, or intercountry adoption, the structures and coordination aren’t there to make it happen. We need change, and it will take legislation to get us on the right path.

What CHIFF Does and How it Helps: CHIFF redirects a modest amount of U.S. resources to focus more on ensuring that all children grow up in families and draws on the strengths of four agencies to help achieve this critical goal.

The Legislation: Creates a focal point within the Department of State for vulnerable children and family security that will become the foreign policy and diplomatic hub on international child welfare. The current Office of Children’s Issues, Adoption Division would be moved out of the Bureau of Consular Affairs and turned into a new, stronger policy and program Bureau in the human rights secretariat.

The new Bureau would help build international capacity to implement effective child welfare systems, with particular focus on family preservation and reunification, and kinship, domestic, and inter-country adoption. While the new Bureau would remain the Central Authority on inter-country adoptions for diplomatic purposes, operational responsibilities would be transferred to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);

Streamlines, simplifies and consolidates responsibility for all processing of inter-country adoption cases in USCIS (except final immigrant visa processing, which remains with State); transfers adoption service provider accreditation from the Department of State to USCIS; and

Establishes a Center of Excellence within USAID, dedicated to implementation of the 2012 National Action Plan on Children in Adversity, A Framework for International Assistance, and provides necessary authority and oversight of resources to the USAID Senior Coordinator for Children in Adversity to implement a demonstration program in target countries.

Advising the Development and Implementation of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Regulations

We will continue to be the voice for children when working with the complex variety of interests, agencies, and governments to establish more child- and family-friendly intercountry adoption rules and procedures under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

Educating Adoption Agency Members On How To Make the Transition to the rules for intercountry adoption

We help to ensure sound intercountry adoption practice by providing educational resources, such as manuals, seminars, and briefings, to enable adoption agencies to make the challenging transition to the new system.

We will continue to speak for the best interests of children while working with the complex variety of interests, agencies, and governments to establish more child- and family-friendly intercountry adoption rules and procedures, under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Click here to read Adoption Advocate No. 11 entitled, "A Case for Ethical Intercountry Adoption."

Representing the Concerns and Interests of the Parties to Intercountry Adoption

We help to ensure that the collective and specific-case interests of prospective adoptive parents, foreign orphans, and adoption agencies are served well by the Hague system. Because of our leadership position, we are often able to break through red tape and move stalled cases to ensure that legitimate, under-served adoption concerns are represented.

Communicating changes in adoption policy and procedures: We are a valuable resource for communicating changes in adoption policies and procedures to adoption agencies and all parties to adoption. Key U.S. government agencies, wuch as the U.S. Department of State's Office of Children's Issues and Citizenship and Immigration Services, turn to us to help ensure the adoption community is able to manage such changes in policy, whether due to domestic policy or events in sending countries. Click here to read Adoption Advocate No. 16 entitled, "NCFA Position Statement on the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) 2007 Technical Instructions on Tuberculosis (TB) as They Relate to Internationally Adopted Children."

We meet with representatives of foreign governments to discuss timely issues facing the international adoption community and we serve as a key resource for sending countries. Click here to read Adoption Advocate No. 18 entitled, "State of Adoptions from China."

Join our Community

Facebook     Twitter  icon-blog  

Your Support Makes NCFA's Mission Possible

For 33 years, NCFA has been the authoritative voice for adoption. Our research and education programs have led the way in promoting sound, ethical adoption policies and practices that have enabled children to find nurturing, permanent families through adoption.

Join our Mailing List


2013 National Adoption Conference Platinum Sponsor


2014 Partner for Adoption

Americas Christian Credit Union Web

America's Christian Credit Union (ACCU) believes every child deserves a forever family. Their adoption loan program has helped place over 1,000 children in loving homes. In addition to adoption loans, ACCU provides effective banking solutions to individuals and ministries that empower them to reach their financial goals while expanding God's Kingdom. Click here to read more >>