Addressing Convention Country Questions: Hague v. Non-Hague Country Fact Sheet
When considering intercountry adoption, prospective adoptive parents will hear countries often referred to as "Hague Countries" and "Non-Hague Countries". These can also be called "Convention Countries" and "Non-Convention Countries".
For someone just getting started, these terms can be confusing. So, just what is the difference between a Hague Country and a Non-Hague Country?
A Hague Country is a country that has signed and implemented the international treaty referred to as the Hague Convention on Adoption. The full name is: The Hague Convention
on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. It is an international agreement to establish safeguards so that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child. The Convention entered into force for the United States in April 2008. The Hague Adoption Convention applies to adoptions between the United States and the other countries that have also joined it. The Hague regulates the way adoptions are carried out and provides certain procedural safeguards internationally instead of leaving the procedure up to individual countries.
Note: The Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), requires that adoption service providers in the U.S. who are working with prospective adoptive parents in non-Hague adoptions must comply with the same accreditation requirement and standards for all children, regardless of their country of origin.
|Hague Countries||Non-Hague Countries|
|Your Adoption Service Provider||Both require that the agency is licensed in U.S. state of residence and accredited or approved by the Department of State's designated Accrediting Entity|
|Parent Education||For both Hague and non-Hague countries, the prospective adoptive parents must complete at least 10 hours of training|
|Adoptive Parent's Eligibility||Form I-800A; Typically filed before being matched with a child (and before Form I-800)||Form 1-600A; Can be filed at the same time as the Form I-600.|
Provisional Petition Approval; Child's Eligibility
|Country of Origin must determine the child is adoptable with Convention consents and other protections; must meet definition of Convention adoptee (USCIS form 1-800)||Country of origin adoption process must be complete and child must meet U.S. orphan definition (USCIS form 1-600)|
||IH-3 or IH-4 Visas||IR-3 or IR-4 Visas|
|Provisional Petition Approval; Child's Eligibility||Country of Origin must determine the child is adoptable with Convention consents and other protections, must meet definition of Convention adoptee Form 1-800||Must meet orphan definition Form 1-600|
|Submitted before foreign adoption/ legal custody proceedings||Submitted after foreign adoption/ legal custody proceedings|
|Preserved for 75 years||Preserved depending upon state law and agency policy.|
|Country Name||Hauge v. Non-Hague|
It is overly simplistic to say that adopting from a Hague Country or non-Hague Country is better or worse. All children deserve a family, and living in a Hague versus non-Hague country doesn’t change that. It simply helps inform what differences can be expected by the prospective adoptive family during the adoption process.
Check out these Adoption Advocates to learn more about Hague and non-Hague adoption processes:
No. 80 “Avoiding the Perils and Pitfalls of Intercountry Adoption from Non-Hague Countries; Part One: The Orphan Definition. What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.”
No. 81 “Avoiding the Perils and Pitfalls of Intercountry Adoption from Non-Hague Countries; Part Two: Orphan Processing: Navigating Road Blocks and Delays”
No. 118 “Reflection: Ten Years After the U.S. Joins the Hague Convention”
- United States. Department of State. Intercountry Adoption. Hague vs Non-Hague Adoption Process.
- United States. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Children's Bureau. Intercountry Adoption From Hague Convention and Non-Hague Convention Countries. July 2014.
- United States. Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Bringing Your Internationally Adopted Child to the United States: Your New Child's Immigrant Visa., 17 Mar. 2015.
- United States. Department of State. Intercountry Adoption. US Visa For Your Child; the Hague Visa Process.
- "Intercountry Adoption Statistics; Adoptions By Year." Bureau of Consular Affairs U.S. Department of State.
Factsheet prepared by Kaylee Walsh