Intercountry Adoption and Surrogacy Laws

Accuracy for Adoptees Act

S. 1614, the Accuracy for Adoptees Act was signed into law by President Obama January 16, 2014,  
amending the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to include the following language: 
 

"(c) A Certificate of Citizenship or other Federal document issued or requested to be amended under this section shall reflect the child's name and date of birth as indicated on a State court order, birth certificate, certificate of foreign birth, certificate of birth abroad, or similar State vital records document issued by the child's State of residence in the United States after the child has been adopted or readopted in that State."

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the Convention establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. Read the full text of the Convention. Click on the title link for more information. 

Intercountry Adoption and Child Citizenship Acts

Congress approved two laws in 2000, moving the United States toward standards and practices in place in other Western first world nations.  

 

1)  The Child Citizenship Act  provided automatic citizenship for adoptees under age 18 who were lawful permanent residents and had at least one parent who was a U.S. Citizen.  However, the law was not retroactive, leading to the deportation of some adoptees who committed crimes.  The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 seeks to provide citizenship regardless of the date of adoption, but  continues to languish in Senate Judiciary.  A similar, but conditional, House Resolution has also been introduced. 

 

2) The Intercountry Adoption Act  implemented the Hague Convention on Protection of Children. 

Surrogacy Laws by Country

International surrogacy laws vary widely, with some countries forbidding it; allowing it for altruistic purposes only; or allowing for commercial purposes.     

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