Algeria

Last Updated: November 2011

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

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Hague Convention Information

Algeria is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Algeria did not change.

Algerian family law is based on an interpretation of Islamic Shari'a law. Algerian courts appoint a legal guardian ("Kafil" - see Algerian statute No. 84/11, articles 116 through 125) for a child. Such legal guardianship (called a "kafala") is treated as the functional equivalent of adoption. If a child has a known parent, the guardian can only be selected from blood relatives of the child (i.e., the child's next of kin). Obviously, if a child's parents are unknown, that does not apply. The prospective adoptive parent can request that the child's name be changed when the biological father of the child is unknown. However, if the identity of the child's biological mother is known and the biological mother is living, a formal consent deed for the name change must be executed by the biological mother. The executed consent deed is then attached to the name change request file, and decided upon by the president of the relevant Algerian court at the referral of the prosecutor. Algeria is the only Muslim country which will authorize a name change for an orphan. Any prospective adoptive parent of an Algerian child should start the application for a kafala at the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Algeria, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more on Who Can Adopt.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Algeria also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: An adoptive parent must be an Algerian citizen, and can be living either in Algeria or overseas. If the adoptive parent is living overseas, s/he must attach to the application form (i) a social investigation duly completed and signed by the Algerian consulate authorities in the country where that adoptive parent lives and (ii) a copy of the registration card given to Algerian citizens when they register with the Algerian consulate abroad.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: Men should not be over the age of 60, and women should not be over the age of 55. However, these criteria may be changed at the discretion of the commission reviewing the application file.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: The same rules apply to single, divorced or widowed individuals.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: A prospective adoptive parent must be able to prove sufficient income to support the child and provide decent accommodation. The prospective adoptive parent must have financial resources of at least the equivalent of 15,000 Algerian dinar per month. If the prospective adoptive parent is living overseas, the Algerian consulate may require a higher minimum income commensurate with income levels in that country.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: The prospective legal guardian must be of the Muslim faith and Algerian nationality, and supply medical certificates showing s/he is in good physical and mental health. In addition, s/he has to be a person of integrity, capable of protecting and entertaining the child, and capable of providing decent and salubrious accommodation for the child.
Who Can Be Adopted

Algeria has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Algeria unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her back to the United States. Find out more about who can be adopted and these U.S. requirements from USCIS.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Relinquishment Requirements:

a definitive agreement for the child's affiliation is given after the signature of the minute of abandonment by the mother.

Abandonment Requirements:

the child's parents are unknown.

AGE REQUIREMENTS:

under nineteen (19) years old.

Sibling Requirements:

not applicable

Requirements for Special Needs or Medical Conditions:

not applicable

Waiting Period:

Three months after the signing of the minute of abandonment by the biological mother and after the psychological interview of the prospective parents by the investigation team in the country of residence of the prospective adoptive parent.

How To Adopt

Algeria's Adoption Authority:

See Contact Information

Please note: U.S. citizens should apply for a kafala with the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Algeria generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provide
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Algeria
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home

There are no adoption agencies operating in Algeria.

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    There are no adoption agencies operating in Algeria. The first step in adopting a child from Algeria is to decide whether or not to use an Adoption Service Provider licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Read more about choosing the right adoption service providers.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    To bring an adopted child from Algeria to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Algeria as described in the Who Can Adopt section.
  3. Be Matched with a Child

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity in Algeria will provide you with a list of orphanages in Algeria that you can than consult with to determine if any eligible children are available. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for that child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Algeria's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Find out more about the orphan process from USCIS.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) In-Algeria

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Algeria generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ALGERIAN EMBASSY: First, a prospective adoptive parent must submit a request for kafala to the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Once the Algerian Embassy receives this request and accompanying information, its social services division will begin an investigation of the prospective parents. If the social services division provides a positive recommendation for adoption, the Algerian Embassy will forward the file to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Algeria, which will in turn forward the file to the Ministry of National Solidarity. The Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity will ultimately make the decision of whether or not to grant kafala. The Commission of the Ministry of National Solidarity only meets every three months.
    • ADOPTION AUTHORITY: n/a
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: Issues the name change document, if any.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: This consists of the request for kafala described elsewhere.
    • TIME FRAME: The U.S Embassy cannot predict how long the process will take. The process of obtaining kafala is generally a long one.
    • ADOPTION FEES: There are no fees for the process of obtaining kafala. The orphanages in Algiers (the "pouponnieres") do not require any payment.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: When submitting a request for legal custody to the Algerian Embassy, the prospective parent should include: (1) a written request for kafala, including his or her reasons for desiring the kafala; (2) a birth certificate for each of the prospective adoptive parents; (3) the family form ('fiche familiale') for married prospective adoptive parents, (4) medical certificates; (5) a criminal records delivered by authorities of the country of residence; (6) work certificates; (7) pay stubs for the last three months, (8) a copy of the consular registration card(s); (9) citizenship certificate of the prospective adoptive parents, (10) recent photo ID of the prospective parents and (11) proof of title or the residential lease agreement for their home. See http://www.algeria-us.org/content/view/102/25/. All documents should be translated into French, and dollar amounts should be converted into Euros.

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, read more on Traveling Abroad to learn about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the kafala in Algeria, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600).

  6. Bring Your Child Home Now that your kafala is complete, there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    Birth Certificate
    The birth certificate is delivered by the relevant orphanage, which will have the birth certificate of each child placed under their care. After obtaining the kafala, the adoptive parent may ask for a new birth certificate at the city hall (mairie) of the child's birthplace as listed in the original birth certificate obtained from the orphanage.

    Algerian Passport

    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Algeria.

    To obtain an Algerian passport for the child, the adoptive parent will have to supply on his or her behalf the following:

    1. Birth certificate;
    2. Citizenship certificate (for someone born in Algeria, the birth certificate IS the citizenship certificate);
    3. Residency certificate;
    4. 4 photos; and
    5. Tax stamp.

    The application for the passport is made through the passport office at "La Daria"

    U.S. Immigrant Visa
    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the kafala is granted, you will need to schedule an appointment with the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about Health Consideration.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

* Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act 2000

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Algeria. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

Obtaining Your Visa

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Algeria, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Algeria registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information


U.S. Embassy in Algeria

Address: 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, 16000, Alger, Algerie
Tel: +213 021 98 20 00
Fax: +213 021 60 73 35
Email: Algiers__webmaster@state.gov
Internet: http://algiers.usembassy.gov/

Algeria's Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity
Address: Route Nationale No. 1 les vergers BP No. 31 Bir khadem, Alger, Algerie Tel: +213 021 44 99 46/47
Fax: +213 021 44 97 26
Email:
Internet:

Algeria Adoption Authority
Ministry of National Solidarity
Address: Route Nationale No. 1 les vergers BP No. 31 Bir khadem, Alger, Algerie
Tel.: +213 021 44 99 46
+213 021 44 99 47
Fax: +213 021 44 97 26

Embassy of Algeria
Address: 2118 Kalorama Road, NW
Tel: (202) 265-2800
Fax: (202) 667-2174
Email: mail@algeria-us.org
Internet: http://www.algeria-us.org/

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)