St. Vincent and The Grenadines

Last Updated: August 2005

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

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Hague Convention Information

St. Vincent and the Grenadines 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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not change.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 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). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, St. Vincent and the Grenadines also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no residency requirements to adopt.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: You must be 21 years old or older to adopt.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents do not have to be married to adopt. Both married and single parents may adopt.
Who Can Be Adopted

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in St. Vincent and the Grenadines unless he or she meets the requirements.

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. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

How To Adopt

St. Vincent and the Grenadines's Adoption Authority

The Adoption Board

The Process

The process for adopting a child from St. Vincent and the Grenadines generally includes the following steps:

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

    The first step in adopting a child from St. Vincent and the Grenadines is usually to select a 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. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    To bring an adopted child from St. Vincent and the Grenadines 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). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 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 central adoption authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will provide you with a referral to a child. 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 the referred child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to St. Vincent and the Grenadines' requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.
  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in-country

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The authority responsible for adoptions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Adoption Board. The Adoption Board can be reached at:

      The Adoption Board
      c/o the Labor Department
      Murrays Road
      Kingstown
      St. Vincent and the Grenadines
      Tel: 1 (784) 456-1111
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: All adoptions begin with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Adoption Board. The Adoption Board of St. Vincent and the Grenadines handles many international adoptions and will "walk you through" the adoption on a case-by-case basis.
    • TIME FRAME: The process takes about three to six months on average.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Adoption fees vary; prospective parents should contact the Adoption Board to inquire about fees.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Contact the Adoption Board for a complete list of documents requested. The Board will require originals of all requested documents.

      St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not a party of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, so the Legalization Convention "apostille" certificate should not be used for documents to be presented in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

      Instead, the "chain authentication method" will be used to authenticate documents for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This process involves seeking the proper authorities to attest to the validity of a succession of seals or signatures beginning with the seal on your document, proceeding to the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office and ending with the seal of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 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). Learn how.

  6. Bring 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 several 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.

      [How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.]

    • St. Vincent and the Grenadines Passport

      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

      [How to obtain a Passport for the child in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.]

    • 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 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. Learn more.

      Please note: St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not a visa issuing post. The post responsible for visa issuance is Barbados. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados requests that perspective adoptive parents contact them directly for specifics on visa issuance. Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.

      The U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, Barbados
      Consular Section
      The ALICO Building
      Cheapside
      Bridgetown, Barbados
      Tel: (246) 431-0225
      Fax: (246) 431-0179
      Email: consularbridge2@state.gov
      http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov/

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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What does St. Vincent and the Grenadines require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

There are no post-adoption requirements for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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 Bridgetown ( Nearest U.S. Embassy Serving St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Consular Section
The ALICO Building
Cheapside
Bridgetown, Barbados
Tel: (246) 431-0225
Fax: (246) 431-0179
Email: consularbridge2@state.gov
Internet: http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov/

St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Adoption Authority
The Adoption Board
c/o the Labor Department
Murrays Road
Kingstown
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Tel: 1 (784) 456-1111

Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20016.
Tel: 202-364-6730
Fax: 202-364-6736

* St. Vincent and the Grenadines also has a consulate in New York.

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)