At this time the Department of State urges all U.S. citizens thinking of adopting in Azerbaijan to consider very carefully the likely difficulties and continuing uncertainty. Although adoptions are technically open, a number of U.S. adoption service providers have decided the situation is in too much a state of flux for them to operate comfortably. There are no guarantees that adoptions will be achieved on a regular basis and in a transparent manner.
For the most current information on adopting in Azerbaijan, please see Intercountry Adoption.
Please note that while the consular section of the Embassy processes the I 604 (Request for and Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation), the immigrant visa will be processed in Tbilisi.
Also, be aware that the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows for the automatic acquisition of U.S. citizenship for both biological and adopted children of U.S. citizens who are born abroad and who do not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.
The following are the Act’s requirements:
1. At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization.
2. The child is under the age of 18.
3. The child must be residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent after having been lawfully admitted into this country as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence.
4. If the child has been adopted, the adoption must be final.
Two important notes: the child does not become a U.S. citizen until he or she enters the U.S., and the child must enter the U.S. with an immigrant visa in order to acquire citizenship under this act. For full information, please see Intercountry Adoption.
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 167KB) – a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Who Can Adopt?
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.
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:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen.
- If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old.
- 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.
- You must meet certain requirements that will determine your suitability as a prospective adoptive parent, including criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and a home study.
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. These are explained in the Country Information section of this website.