Mother and daughter on riverbank

Intercountry Adoption

All the Regional Adoption Services in Wales assess applicants who wish to adopt from abroad.

The assessment process is similar to that for domestic adopters although  applicants cannot be assessed for both domestic adoption and intercountry adoption concurrently.  Residents of the Vale of Glamorgan, the City of Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf are eligible to have an assessment carried out by our adoption service in relation to adopting a child from overseas.  At the initial interview applicants will be able to discuss their interest in adopting, reasons for choosing to adopt from overseas and the assessment process.

Applicants will need to meet the criteria specified by the country from which a child comes from, as well as meet the eligibility requirements in the UK. It is the applicant’s responsibility to research, prepare and provide all information about adoption requirements specific to the country the child comes from. All applicants will be expected to undergo a generic preparation training for all adopters.

When considering adopting from another country it should be a country that you have links with, or knowledge of the culture, history and language. It is also important that a child establishes and maintains links with the country of their birth and for adoptive parents to consider the  issues a child might experience in terms of their identity.

The process of assessment is similar to that of adopting a child in the UK but on completion, the assessment will be sent to the Welsh Government for a certificate of approval. This certificate will be sent to the Agency in the country of your choice and a child matching the profile in your assessment will be identified. As a part of the introductions, it will be necessary for you to travel to the country where the child resides.

There are cost implications and applicants wishing to be assessed as adopters for a child in another country will have to pay a fee  for the assessment to be completed.  This fee is dependent on whether the country they wish to adopt from is covered by the “Hague Convention” or is a “Designated Country”. It is important also to remember the additional costs of  accommodation and travelling to the country and  legal fees etc which may be incurred.


“Hague convention” – the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption.  If an intercountry adoption is made from a country where this convention is in force, it will be recognised in the United Kingdom and there is no need for the child to be re-adopted in the UK.  If the adopters are habitually resident in the UK and at least one of them is a British citizen, the child will become a British citizen.

Designated country” – Adoptions in countries listed in the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973 (the designated list) are recognised in the UK and there is no need for the child to be re-adopted in the UK.  However a separate application will need to be made for British citizenship for the child.

“Other” – an adoption is not recognised in the UK unless it is a Hague Convention adoption or made by a country on the designated list.  The adopter(s) will need to apply for an adoption order in the UK, which will also confer British citizen on the child.


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