Argentina 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 Argentina did not change.
Argentina does not currently allow intercountry adoption. Adoption is restricted to Argentine citizens and permanent resident aliens residing in Argentina.
WHO CAN ADOPT
To bring an adopted child to United States from Argentina, 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, Argentina also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be Argentine nationals or permanent resident aliens of Argentina for at least the five years immediately preceding the application for guardianship (first step in the adoption process).
- AGE REQUIREMENTS: If single, the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 30 years of age. There is no minimum age requirement for married prospective adoptive parents. At least one member of the couple must be at least 18 years older than the adoptee.
- MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Married couples must be married at least three years and have no offspring. If the couple can prove they are physically unable to have a child, the court will consider marriages under 3 years. Married couples must adopt jointly except when there is a legal separation decree, the spouse is declared mentally incompetent by a court, or there is a judicial declaration of absence of spouse (presumption of death).
- INCOME REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must prove financial ability.
- OTHER REQUIREMENTS: (Include information about gay and lesbian adoption, and/or adoption by same-sex couples, if available.)
WHO CAN BE ADOPTED
Argentina has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Argentina 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. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.
- Relinquishment Requirements: Biological parents may relinquish their children for adoption only through the courts. This release is irrevocable and can only be signed at the court by appointment set by a judge at least 60 days after the child’s birth. It cannot be done immediately following the birth. The law provides for the 60-day window after the birth of the child to allow the birth mother time to think about her decision. During this 60-day period, the court may review the personal conditions of the biological parents, their age, ability to take care of the child, reasons for the release for adoption and any other considerations and information pertinent to this act. A judge may request the opinion of, technical advice from, and/or the effective participation of a Defensor de Menores e Incapaces from the Minsterio Publico de la Defensa to determine the best interests of the child.
- Abandonment Requirements: A release by the biological parents will not be necessary in those instances when the child is a ward of the court, already an orphan on the streets, or has been housed in a government institution continuously for more than one year without any indication of interest from the birth parent(s).
HOW TO ADOPT
Argentine Adoption Authority
While there is no official adoption authority, prospective adoptive parents must apply to Consejo Nacionalde Niñez, Adolescencia y Familia.
The process for adopting a child from Argentina 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 Argentina
5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
6. Bring Your Child Home
Note: By Argentine law, the adoptive parents must inform the child of his/her adoption before the age of 18. According to the laws of Argentina, adopted children have the right to know their true biological identity and will have access to their adoption file once they have reached the age of 18. This is a commitment that the adopting parents must sign at the court at the time the adoption is granted.
1.) Choose an Adoption Service Provider:
The first step in adopting a child 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.
Because Argentina does not currently allow intercountry adoption, and adoption is restricted to Argentine citizens and permanent resident aliens residing in Argentina, the following information is meant to be a general overview of the process for those who are qualified to adopt.
2.) Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
To bring an adopted child from Argentina 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.
Prospective adoptive parents must file an application with the court having jurisdiction over their domicile. In that application, they may indicate their preference for the child’s gender and age, and whether they consider themselves capable to adopt a child with health problems or other special needs.
The prospective adoptive parents’ names will be placed on a single nationwide list by filing date and be made public. The Consejo de la Ninez, Adolenscencia y Familia will inform them when their turn is reached. Adoptive parents may check their name status by contacting the Consejo at the address included in the Contact Information Section.
In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Argentina 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 Argentina 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.
Once matched with a child, the court will release a child in guardianship to the prospective adoptive parents. The child will remain under the jurisdiction of the court for the full period of guardianship. In no case will the child be permitted to depart Argentina.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Argentina’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. Learn more.
4.) Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in-country:
Application for adoption can only be filed after the guardianship period of no less than six months and not more than twelve months has elapsed. Birth parents will lose all rights and obligations after that time and these rights will be transferred to the prospective adoptive parents.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Argentina generally includes the following:
- ROLE OF THE COURT: The Argentine court releases a child in guardianship to the prospective adoptive parents when a suitable match has been determined.
- ADOPTION APPLICATION: Adoption application can be filed after the guardianship period of 6-12 months has elapsed. After this guardianship period, birth parents lose all rights and obligations to the child.
- TIME FRAME: Once guardianship has been awarded by the court, it takes between six months to a year to obtain the final adoption decree.
- ADOPTION FEES: There are no fixed adoption fees to conclude an adoption in Argentina. Filing the petition for guardianship (to lead to adoption) is free. Prospective adoptive parents are responsible for attorney fees although some courts do provide free legal assistance. The judge may set fees for other services rendered.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required for adoption in Argentina:
- Proof of Argentine citizenship or legal permanent residence in Argentine for the last five years
- Copy of the prospective adoptive parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Evidence of good conduct
- Evidence of financial ability
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:
The adopted child will be granted the father’s surname or compound father and mother’s surname is requested by the parents. The adoptive parents may request the issuance of a new birth certificate identifying the adoptive parents as the child’s legal parents.
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Argentina, 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:
1) 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.
Once the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents may request the issuance of a new birth certificate.
2) Argentine Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Argentina.
After the adoption is finalized, the parents may apply to the Argentine Federal Police for the issuance of a passport. See http://www.policiafederal.gov.ar for more information. To travel outside of Argentina, the child must carry signed, written permission from both parents, or from the non-traveling parent (if traveling with only one parent).
3) 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.
Immigrant visa petition filings for children adopted in Argentina are accepted at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires by appointment only. Adoptive parents should email the Consular Section’s Immigrant Visa unit at BuenosAires-IV@state.gov to request an appointment or to request information on documentation and other information you will be required to provide at the visa interview.
Adoptive parents should allow at least one week between the day of the final interview and receipt of the adopted child’s immigrant visa package. The adoptive parents should not finalize their travel arrangements until they are advised that the adopted child’s immigrant visa has been approved and is ready for issuance.
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.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Argentina. 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 foreign 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 Argentina, 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 Argentian, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Registration is free and can be done online.
What does Argentina require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
By Argentine law, adoptive parents must inform the child of his/her adoption before the child turns 18 years of age. Parents must sign this commitment at the court at the time the adoption is granted. According to the laws in Argentina, adopted children have the right to know their true biological identity and will have access to their adoption file once they have reached the age of 18.
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Argentina and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s 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.