CONTACT INFORMATION

U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan
Consular Section, Adoptions
Embassy of the United States of America
97 Zholdasbekov Street, Samal - 2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050059
Tel: 7-3272-50-48-02
Fax: 7-3272-50-48-84
www.usembassy.kz
Adoption E-Mail: AdoptionsAlmaty@state.gov
General Consular E-mail: ConsularAlmaty@state.gov

Kazakhstani Adoption Authority
Ministry of Education
Committee on Guardianship and Care
83 Kenesary Street
Astana, Kazakhstan 010000
http://edu.gov.kz/

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
1401 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-232-5488
Fax: 202-232-5845
http://www.Kazakhembus.com
Kazakh.consul@verizon.net

Consulate of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York
866 UN Plaza, Suite 586 A
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-888-3024
Fax: 212-888-3025
http://www.kazconsulny.org/
kzconsulny@un.int

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
SA-29
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@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)

Kazakhstan Flag
Kazakhstan

Map of Kazakhstan

 

Kazakhstan is not a member of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Adoption agencies are not recognized in Kazakhstan. Current Kazakhstani law does not recognize any intermediaries that would represent the parents and act between prospective adoptive parents and children. However, foreign prospective adoptive parents can have assistants, such as interpreters or lawyers, who help them through the adoption process.

In March 2008, the Department of State was informed that the Embassy of Kazakhstan is conducting a review of intercountry adoption procedures. Until completed, this review affects the processing of new adoption dossiers. Although initial indications were that no new cases would be processed during the review, we have learned that some new cases may have been accepted. We have offered to assist the Embassy with its efforts to ensure that adoptions from Kazakhstan to the United States are conducted in a transparent, serious and honest process. It is not known at this time how long this review will require.

Updated: April 2008

DISCLAIMER

 

WHO CAN ADOPT

To bring an adopted child to United States from Kazakhstan, 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 adoptive parents, Kazakhstan also has the following requirements for adoptive parents:

  • Residency Requirements: The prospective adoptive parents must reside with the child at the child’s habitual residence for a minimum of 14 days prior to the adoption. This pre-adoption bonding period cannot be waived. 
  • Age Requirements: There are no age requirements other than an unmarried prospective adoptive parent must be at least 16 years older than the child. Prospective adoptive parents over 60 years of age have found it difficult to adopt.
  • Marriage Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents can be single or married, however, some unmarried prospective parents have found it difficult to adopt.
  • Income Requirements: While there are no official income requirements, the prospective adoptive parents are required to show proof of their ability to support the adopted child.

 

WHO CAN BE ADOPTED

Kazakhstan has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Kazakhstan 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 home back to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Relinquishment Requirements: Kazakhstani law requires that orphans be registered with the Ministry of Education Committee of Guardianship and Care for at last six months before they are eligible for adoption.
  • Sibling Requirements: It is difficult for foreigners to adopt two or more biologically unrelated children at the same time. Prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt two or more non-siblings on the same trip are urged to question their adoption agencies carefully prior to visiting the children to ascertain whether this is possible in the city where they plan to adopt.

 

HOW TO ADOPT

Kazakhstan’s Adoption Authority
The Ministry of Education

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Kazakhstan 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 Kazakhstan
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 Kazakhstan 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 Kazakhstan 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 Kazakhstan as described in the “Who Can Adopt” section.

Once the prospective adoptive parents have been cleared for adoption from their home state and have completed the initial processing requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, they must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to indicate their intention to adopt a Kazakhstani orphan.

The Kazakhstani Embassy or Consulate transfers the dossier to the MFA in Astana for processing. The MFA forwards it to the Ministry of Education for review.

The dossier is forwarded to the Guardianship Body in the town where the prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt. Note: The length of time for dossier processing is unpredictable.

After the dossier has been processed, the Guardianship Body issues a letter inviting the parents to travel to Kazakhstan to apply for adoption. Note: This letter is necessary for the parents to obtain a Kazakhstani visa. Also, some cities, such as Almaty and Pavoldar delay issuance of invitation letters for indefinite periods.

3. Be Matched with a Child

After obtaining a visa, the prospective adoptive parents are free to travel to Kazakhstan to select their child and proceed with their petition for adoption.

Note: Make sure you are registered as a foreigner to Kazakhstan either by the Embassy of Kazakhstan or by a passport control officer upon entry to the country. If not registered, you need to get registered with a local Migration Police office within five calendar days starting from the date of entry.

There is no such thing as a “referral” or “pre-identification” in Kazakhstan. Even though the prospective adoptive parents may wish to adopt a particular child, the Government of Kazakhstan does not match a child to the parents or in any way “assign” them a child until they arrive in Kazakhstan, select a child in person, and apply to the court to adopt the child.

Information about medical histories of the child and other pertinent information will be made available only at the orphanage during selection of the child. Prospective adoptive parents have a minimum of 14 days of personal contact with the orphan before formally submitting an adoption application. This means that prospective adoptive parents must stay in the town where the orphan is living and visit the orphan on a regular basis during this two-week period. Nearly all Kazakhstani jurisdictions require that in the case of married petitioners, BOTH parents be present for the entire 14-day bonding period.

Once all legal requirements are fulfilled, prospective adoptive parents may submit their adoption application to the civil court that will decide whether to grant the adoption.

Note: The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Kazakhstan’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 Kazakhstan

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

  • Role of The Adoption Authority: Adoption agents are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Education to notify the Ministry of their intention to provide adoption services. 
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Under Kazakhstani law, prospective adoptive parents may work with any agency or individuals they choose. Please note that adoption agencies are not recognized in Kazakhstan. The current Kazakhstani law does not assume any intermediaries that would be represent the parents and act between prospective adoptive parents and children eligible for adoption. However the regulation admits that adoptive parents as foreigners can have assistants, such as interpreters or lawyers, who would help them to go through the process of adoption.
  • Adoption Application: The adoption application to the Kazakhstani court should include, but not necessarily limited to, the documents listed in the Documents Required section below. 
  • Time Frame: The prospective adoptive parents can expect to stay in Kazakhstan for a minimum of 60 days to complete the adoption procedures. This period includes the residency requirements listed in the WHO section, as well as the time to complete all post-adoption and U.S. immigration paperwork.
  • Adoption Fees: The total cost for adoptions from Kazakhstan (including fees for services charged by U.S.-based agencies) averages approximately $18,000 USD to $25,000 USD per child. This amount includes the following official fees:
    • Application to court - $4 USD
    • New birth certificate - $17 USD
    • Adoption certification - $17 USD
    • Exit stamp from Migration Police of Kazakhstan
    • Registration of the child with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan - $84 USD
    • Expedited passport issuance is an option available at $80 USD. Normal passport issuance takes 1 month.
  • Documents Required:
    • Letter of Intent to adopt a child
    • Commitment from the Family to uphold Kazakhstan Adoption Law (until the child turns 18); Prospective adoptive parents must commit to maintain the child’s Kazakhstani citizenship, submitting post-placement reports annually, and allowing Kazakhstani officials to visit the child up to twice a year. For a sample letter, go to the following link: http://www.kazakhembus.com/Parents_Commitment_Letter.doc
    • Home Study – A licensed home study agent/agency in the prospective parents’ state of residence must perform the home study.
    • Home Study Agency Post-Placement Commitment - prepared by a Home Study Agency Worker. The social worker must agree to conduct post-placement visits and file post-placement reports once a year until the child turns 18.
    • Home Study Agency Letter of Recommendation – The agent/agency provides a separate notarized Letter of Favorable Recommendation
    • Adoption Agency Certificate of Approval of home study
    • Adoption Agency License – Notarized true copy
    • Commitment from the Family to Register the Child with the Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Notarized Copies of each Prospective Adoptive Parent’s Passport
    • Notarized copy of marriage certificate, if applicable
    • FBI Background Checks – Each prospective adoptive parent must obtain a background check.
    • Medical Forms – Each prospective adoptive parent’s physician must copy the medical form (http://kazakhembus.com/Medical_Form.doc) onto their letterhead and complete it.
    • Verification of Employment Letters, including salary information. Self-employed prospective adoptive parents must have their business accountant attest to the business’s financial stability.
    • Financial Statements (Affidavits)
    • Bank Letter – Notarized letter from the prospective adoptive parents’ bank
    • Home Ownership Verification
    • Notification from USCIS of Petition Approval – Either the I-171H or the I-179C form.
    • Powers of Attorney – The U.S. adoption agency will provide a form for the parents to consent to having someone act on their behalf in Kazakhstan.
    • Pictures of the prospective adoptive parents.
    • Divorce Decree – Notarized copies of all divorce decrees, if applicable. Note: Kazakhstan only allows prospective adoptive parents to have had two divorces.
    • Single Parents must submit a notarized copy of their birth certificate, letters naming the person who will be appointed guardian if the adoptive parent can no longer care for the child, and an acceptance letter from the appointed guardian.

      Once the court makes a decision on your adoption, there is a 15-day waiting period before the decision is final. In some cases, the judge can waive this “appeal period,” but such waivers are rare and prospective adoptive parents should assume the 15-day waiting period will not be waived. In some cases, it may be possible for one or both prospective parents to leave Kazakhstan and return for the child, or have someone else complete processing and escort the child to the United States.

 

5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Kazakhstan, 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. 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 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.

After the court’s decision is finalized, the parents may apply for the adoption certificate, the child’s new Kazakhstani birth certificate, based on the court decree. The birth certificate will include the child’s new name.

Kazakhstani Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Kazakhstan.

Parents may also apply for a Kazakhstani passport based on the court decree. The passport will hold the child’s new name.

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.

In addition to the passport, the child will need a permanent exit visa from the local Migration Police Office (formerly OVIR) where the child resides.

An adopted child must be registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Astana prior to departing Kazakhstan. Adoptive parents are not required to apply in person. Usually it is done by adoption coordinators upon a power of attorney issued by adoptive parents. The MFA will stamp the child’s passport as proof of registration.

Due to processing time for the birth certificate, passport, Migration Police permanent exit stamp, and MFA registration (all of which must occur consecutively), parents should allocate AT LEAST 5-7 days after the adoption is final before applying for the U.S. immigrant visa with the U.S. Embassy in Almaty.

 

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.


Statistics

Statisitcs about adoption from Kazakhstan
 

TRAVELING ABROAD

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Kazakhstan. 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 Kazakhstan, 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 Kazakhstan, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

 

AFTER ADOPTION


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

Kazakhstan has a requirement that all adopted children must have a Post Placement Report (PPR) filed for them each year until the adopted child turns 18. This is extremely important, and a failure by adoptive parents to comply with this requirement could have a negative effect on the ability of future families to adopt from Kazakhstan .

The PPR should be done in the U.S. state where the child and family reside, preferable by a licensed social worker and include up to 5 photos of the child. The PPR should be translated into Russian or Kazakh and sent to the Department of Education of the city or region from where the child was adopted.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Kazakhstan 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 Kazakhstan’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:


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Posted 279 days ago
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Thomastox
Posted 279 days ago
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Posted 279 days ago
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