Adoptions from Rwanda To Be Processed Under Hague Convention

Eliza Grinberg's picture

On May 20, 2019, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that the United States has determined that it will be able to process intercountry adoptions from Rwanda consistent with the Hague Adoption Convention [PDF version]. This means that U.S. consular officers will be able “to verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations under the [Hague] Convention.”

Under the new rules, “all intercountry adoptions between Rwanda and the United States must meet the requirements of the [Hague] Convention and U.S. laws.” Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt children from Rwanda should “not finalize [such] an adoption or obtain legal custody of a child in Rwanda in a case before a U.S. consular officer issues an 'Article 5/17 Letter.'”

The DOS is advising prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the process of adopting children from Rwanda while Rwanda implements its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. It adds that prospective adoptive parents should work closely with their U.S.-accredited adoption service provider to ensure that they properly complete all of the necessary steps under Rwanda's intercountry adoption laws and regulations in accordance with both Rwandan and U.S. law.

The DOS is asking prospective adoptive parents who started their adoption processes by filing the Form I-600A or Form I-600 before July 1, 2012, the date on which the Hague Convention took effect in Rwanda, to contact the DOS at adoption@state.gov with the details of the case.

The DOS's recognition that it can now process intercountry adoptions from Rwanda under the Hague Convention is significant for those cases. As the DOS recommended, prospective adoptive parents with pending intercountry adoption cases from Rwanda should continue to work closely with their accredited adoption service providers. Prospective adoptive parents should also consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on the immigration laws and regulations governing intercountry adoptions.

To learn about more recent Rwandan adoption news, please see our blog on Rwanda's lifting its suspension of intercountry adoptions in November 2017 [see blog]. To learn more about intercountry adoption generally, please see our growing selection of articles on site [see category].

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Adoptions from Rwanda To Be Processed Under Hague Convention