Moldova

Last Updated: January 2012

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

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Hague Convention Information

Moldova is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption ( Hague Adoption Convention ). Therefore all adoptions between Moldova and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Moldova is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Moldova, you must first 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). Learn more.

Adoption in Moldova can be a complicated process, sometimes involving long waits. Moldovan adoption law gives preference to Moldovan citizens and citizens of countries that have implemented the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

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

  • Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for foreign adoptive parents.
  • Age Requirements: The minimum age requirement for adoptive parents is 25. The maximum age is 50, unless one of the couple is under the age of 50.
  • Marriage Requirements: Married couples and single people may adopt. Unmarried couples may not adopt from Moldova.
  • Income Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must show financial stability.
  • Other Requirements: The presence of the following conditions disqualify prospective adoptive parents from adopting in Moldova : HIV/AIDS, psychological and behavioral disorders, drug addiction, chronic alcoholism, chronic somatic diseases (disability of the 1st and 2nd degree), various forms of cancer, Hepatitis B, C or D. The following conditions may temporarily disqualify a person from adopting: sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and severe virulent diseases.
Who Can Be Adopted

Because Moldova is a member of the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Moldova must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Moldova attempt to place a child with a family in Moldova before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. Learn more about the Convention's requirements for adoptable children.

In addition to Moldova's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

Intercountry adoptions are permitted in exceptional cases, when no relatives or other Moldovan families are able to adopt orphans or become their guardians. Children who have health or developmental problems that Moldovan families cannot afford to treat are also considered exceptional cases.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Waiting Period

Information about children eligible for adoption is published in the Monitorul Official, the Moldovan Governments official register. For the first six months after this information is published, an adoptable child is eligible only for domestic adoption by Moldovan citizens. After six months, an adoptable child is eligible for intercountry adoption. Prospective adoptive parents may indicate the sex and age range of the child they prefer.

How To Adopt

Moldovan Adoption Authority

The Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child Adoption Department

The Process

Because Moldova is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Moldova must follow a specific process designed to meet the Conventions requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

Note: If you filed your I-600a with Moldova before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Moldova
  6. Bringing your Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Moldova is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Moldova. Learn more.

    When adopting in Moldova, prospective adoptive parents are required to use an adoption agency that is also accredited in Moldova. Please find the list of accredited adoption providers in the Contacts section. A registered adoption agency, through its Moldovan representative, forwards the foreign prospective adoptive parents file to the Adoption Department (See the list of required documents below.) The Adoption Department in turn forwards the file to the Education Directorate in the district where a prospective adoptable child resides.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
    After you choose an accredited adoption agency, you apply to be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    Once the U.S. Government determines you eligible and suitableĆ¢ to be an adoptive parent, your information will be forwarded to the adoption authority in Moldova. Moldovas adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Moldovan law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If both the United States and Moldova determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority will provide you with a referral for a child. You cannot identify a specific child that you would like to adopt prior to the adoption authority providing this referral.

    The local Inspector for the Protection of Children's Rights in the district, together with a physician and the director of the orphanage, examines the file and matches the family with an eligible child.

    The prospective adoptive parents are then provided with complete, official information about the child, including health and family background. The Moldovan representative sends the prospective adoptive parents this information including photographs or a video of the child. The representative will also send answers from the Moldovan authorities to all additional questions the prospective adoptive parents may have about the child. The prospective adoptive parents have the option to refuse a prospective adoptive child. If they do so, they must inform the Moldovan authorities in writing of their decision.

    If the prospective adoptive parents agree to accept the child, they send a letter to the Adoption Department through their agency's representative, acknowledging that they are aware of any specific health or other problems, and accept the child. The orphanage receives a copy of the letter from the Adoption Department.

  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:
    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to adopt that child. USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted. Learn how.

    In addition, a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy must review the child's information and determine that the child appears to be eligible for a visa. As part of this process, the Consular Officer may require to see the Panel Physician's medical report on the child. Learn more.

    If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will send a letter (called the Article 5 letter) to the Moldovan adoption authority.

    If approved, the Directorate of Education will forward a Notice of Approval of Adoption to the Adoption Department. The Adoption Department will then decide whether to approve the adoption. Although prospective adoptive parents do not need to travel to Moldova to meet the prospective adoptive child at the time of the acceptance of the match, both parents must appear in court in Moldova to finalize the adoption.
  5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Moldova

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Moldova.

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

    • Role of The Adoption Authority: To begin the adoption process, a registered adoption agency, through its Moldovan representative, forwards the foreign prospective adoptive parents file to the Adoption Department. The Department in turn forwards the file to the Education Directorate in the district where a prospective adoptable child resides. Once a child has been selected the prospective adoptive parents send a letter to the Adoption Department through their agency's representative, acknowledging that they are aware of any specific health or other problems, and accept the child. The orphanage receives a copy of the letter the Department.

      The districts Directorate of Education must then approve the prospective adoption and provide full information on the adoptive parents and the adoptive child to the Adoption Department. If approved, the Directorate of Education will forward a Notice of Approval of Adoption to the Department. The Adoption Department will then decide whether to approve the adoption. Although prospective adoptive parents do not need to travel to Moldova to meet the prospective adoptive child at the time of the acceptance of the match, both parents must appear in court in Moldova to finalize the adoption.
    • Role of The Court: The approved adoption file proceeds to the court system through the districts Inspector for the Protection of Children's Rights. Once prospective adoptive parents satisfy the Moldovan adoption requirements, a judge must grant a final adoption.
    • Time Frame: An adoption can take six to nine months to complete from the time a child is matched with prospective adoptive parents until the completion of the adoption.
    • Adoption Fees: There is a Government fee of 1,500 EUR for each adopted child and cost of airfare for adoption-related travel. Separate attorneys fees can vary greatly.

      The U.S. Embassy in Moldova discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted. Donations or expediting fees, which may be requested from prospective adoptive parents, have the appearance of buying a baby and put all future adoptions in Moldova at risk.

      In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process. Learn more.
    • Documents Required: The adoption application should contain:
      • Name, year, month, and day of birth of prospective adoptive parent(s). Address and state of residence of the parent(s) is also required;
      • Name, year, month, and day of birth of child to be adopted. Residence of the child to be adopted;
      • Information regarding the biological parents and siblings of the prospective adoptive child.
      • Request to change name and place of birth, and register the adoptive parents as the birth parents on the childs new birth certificate;
      • Copy of prospective adoptive parent(s) birth certificate;
      • Doctors Certificate of Eligibility to Adopt;
      • Employment certificate, including occupation, years of service, and income;
      • Authenticated copy of Deed of Sale for a home, or lease agreement for residence;
      • Approval by the prospective adoptive parents Government and permission for the adopted child to reside in the United States.
  6. Bringing Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

      Adoptive parents can change the childs name and request a new birth certificate, listing their names as parents, at the Moldovan Civil Registry Office. Afterwards, the parents need to apply for a passport.
    • Moldovan Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Moldova.

      Adoptive parents can apply for a passport for the child at the Moldovan passport office.
    • 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 adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the childs I-800 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 Physicians medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

      An orphan investigation (Form I-604, Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation) is required in all orphan adoption cases (including transition cases) and serves to verify that the child is an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law. A consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moldova will conduct this investigation.

      In order to be prepared for the I-604 interview at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, adoptive parents must have their U.S. passport and the following documentation and the corresponding English language translations:
      • A certified copy of the child's original Moldovan birth certificate;
      • The child's new birth certificate;
      • The letter of recommendation on the adoption from the Adoption Department;
      • The final decree of adoption;
      • The child's Moldovan medical report;
      • Proof of the childs orphan status; and ,
      • A statement from the orphanage that the child has not been visited by anyone, including known or suspected relatives, for at least the last six months.

      The I-604 adoption interview is an opportunity for a consular officer in Moldova to see the locally generated documentation on each adoption and to review the information with the adoptive parents.

      The consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for immigrant visas. Please email the Embassy at Chisinau-CA@state.gov to schedule an appointment for the I-604 interview in advance.

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.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Moldova. 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 to travel to Moldova. 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 Moldova, see the Department of States 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 Moldova, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What does Moldova require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

We strongly urge you to complete any post-adoption requirements required by Moldova in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Moldovas history of positive experiences with American parents.

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 Moldova

103, A. Mateevici Street
Chisinau , Moldova MD 2009
Tel: (373 22) 408 300
Fax: (373 22) 226 361
E-mail: Chisinau-ca@state.gov
Internet: http://moldova.usembassy.gov/

Moldovan Adoption Authority
The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and FamilyAdoption Department
Ms. Viorica Dumbraveanu
Head of Department
# 1 Vasile Alecsandri Street , Office # 409
Chisinau, Moldova
Tel/Fax: (373 22) 725 300

Embassy of the Republic of Moldova
2101 S Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 667-1130
Fax: (202) 667-1204
http://www.sua.mfa.md

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 or Adoption USCA@state.gov
Website: 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).