Guidance

Intercountry adoption: information for adoption agencies

How adoption agencies should handle applications from people wishing to adopt a child from another country.

Adoption agencies are responsible for assessing prospective adopters wishing to adopt a child from another country who approach them. Our Intercountry Adoption Casework Team must then process all cases of intercountry adoption.

Contact details

Intercountry Adoption Casework Team

Ground Floor Area D, Mowden Hall
Staindrop Road

Darlington
Durham
DL3 9BG

Submitting the application to us

After approving intercountry adoption applicants as suitable to adopt, the adoption agency must send the completed application to our Intercountry Adoption Casework Team

The submission of incomplete files will result in delay, so agencies should make sure that the application is complete before sending it to us. To make sure you send us all the necessary documents, we recommend attaching the ‘Intercountry adoption application checklist’ to the front of the application.

We will send you an acknowledgement once we have received the case papers. If any papers are missing or have been completed incorrectly, we will contact you to rectify the errors.

We will also request the adopters’ contact details at this stage, and will take the application forward with the relevant authorities both in the UK and the country in question.

Adoption restrictions on specific countries

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 requires the Secretary of State for Education to publish the list of countries on which we have placed adoption restrictions.

There are restrictions in place for the following countries:

  • Cambodia
  • Guatemala
  • Nepal
  • Haiti

List of designated countries

Adoptions made on or after 3 January 2014

England, Wales and Northern Ireland automatically recognise adoptions made on or after 3 January 2014 in any of the countries listed on The Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) Order 2013.

Scotland recognises adoptions made on or after 3 January 2014 in the countries listed on The Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions)(Scotland) Regulations 2013 and its amendment.

Adoptions made before 3 January 2014

The UK government automatically recognises all adoptions made before 3 January 2014 in any of the countries listed on The Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973 and The Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions)(Variation) Order 1993.

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