Haiti

October 17, 2012

Alert: Update On Haiti's New Adoption Procedures

This alert updates the Department of State’s September 14, 2012 notice pertaining to Haiti’s new administrative adoption procedures.  
Haiti’s adoption authority, Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), has postponed the effective date of the new administrative adoption procedures from October 1 to November 5, 2012.  Although these new procedures are part of the Government of Haiti’s efforts to become a Hague Adoption Convention partner, Haiti is not yet a party to the Convention.  The U.S. government will continue to process visas for adopted children under the non-Hague system until the Convention enters into force for Haiti.

IBESR has indicated that it plans to process adoption applications for which a completed file is submitted to IBESR prior to and on October 31 under current adoption procedures and cases filed on and after November 5 under the new procedures.  Since November 1-4 is a long holiday weekend in Haiti, IBESR’s offices will be closed those days.

Under the new procedures, IBESR plans to counsel the child’s biological parents and to obtain their pre-consent to adoption of their child.  This pre-consent will be a prerequisite of IBESR’s adoption authorization.  Prospective adoptive parents will likely be required to work with a U.S. Hague accredited adoption service provider that has been authorized by the Government of Haiti to participate in adoptions involving Haitian children.

Note that with the new procedures, IBESR plans to oversee matching of the child with the prospective adoptive parents.  These procedures may prohibit prospective adoptive parents – except in cases of intra-family adoptions – from establishing contact with the child they are seeking to adopt before they are officially matched to that child.  For further clarification on IBESR’s requirements, please work closely with your adoption agency or facilitator.

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince continues to seek clarification on the new procedures and the information in this update is subject to change.  Please refer to our website adoption.state.gov for updates on adoptions in Haiti.