There are foreign countries that do not permit intermediaries . - U.S. accredited and approved Adoption Service Providers - to provide adoption services or to supervise others providing adoption services. For example Ukraine, Jamaica, Afghanistan, and Pakistan disallow adoption service providers. In each of these countries adoption services are provided by public government authorities or competent authorities which is a court or governmental authority that has jurisdiction and authority to make decisions in matters of child welfare, including adoption. Some call this an independent adoption.
The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the Universal Accreditation Act requires all intercountry adoptions be supervised by a Primary Provider. A Primary Provider is a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider who is responsible to provide or verify the provision of the required six adoption services as indicated by the Hague Convention. The required six adoption services with all intercountry adoptions are:
- Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption
- Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption
- Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study
- Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child
- Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption
- When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement
The Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 requires all prospective adoptive parents who are choosing to adopt a child from a foreign country employ a Primary Provider even when adopting a child from a country that does not permit Adoption Service Providers. The Primary Provider must be licensed/authorized as an adoption agency in their state of operation and have achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Adoption.
For adoptions in countries that disallow intermediaries, the Primary Provider is responsible for:
- Developing and implementing an Adoption Services Plan that details the provision of all six adoption services. The Adoption Services Plan would indicate which adoption services will be provided by the foreign country’s public government authority or competent authority and which services will be provided by a U.S. Adoption Services Provider.
- Supervising adoption service providers within the United States. For example, families choosing a Primary Provider not licensed/authorized in the State of their residence will require an Adoption Services Provider within their state to complete their home study investigation and post-placement supervision. This in-state Adoption Services Provider for the home study and post-placement supervision must be supervised by the Primary Provider.
- Ensuring that all six adoption services are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations. The Primary Provider is responsible to ensure that all adoption services are provided and must verify the provision of such services. The Primary Provider is not required to provide supervision or to assume responsibility for services provided by the foreign country’s public government authority or competent authority. In countries that do not permit intermediaries, the foreign country’s public government authority or competent authority will (a) identify a child for adoption and arrange the adoption, (b) secure the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption, (c) perform and report on a background study on a child (as per foreign country practice), and (d) make non-judicial determinations regarding the best interest of the child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement.
- Provision of adoption services or supervision of the provision of adoption services that are not provided by the foreign country’s public government authority or competent authority. In all adoption cases, the Primary Provider will either conduct the home study investigation for the prospective adoptive family or supervise an Adoption Services Provider in the family’s state of residence to complete the home study investigation. In cases where the foreign country’s public government authority or competent authority releases or gives guardianship of a child (not a full and final adoption in the foreign country) to a family for adoption in the United States, the Primary Provider will also be responsible to monitor the case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption (typically accomplished by post-placement supervision visits/reports) and when necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. For example, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Jamaica do not provide a full and final adoption in the country of origin and require the child to be adopted in the United States.
- Provision of legal counsel to obtain evidence and/or to advise the prospective adoptive family regarding the compliance of the evidence regarding the child’s orphan status in relation to US Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements and the Universal Accreditation Act regulations. This service is not required of the Primary Provider by the Hague standards or U.S. government laws or regulations but may be provided to protect the integrity of the adoption process. Family Connections, Inc. requires these services in all Pakistan cases in which the adoptive family engages the agency’s Primary Provider services.
- Other services under the Hague accreditation standards, such as the training of prospective adoptive parents, monitoring post-adoption supervision reporting, and informing the Department of State and country of origin of any disrupted or dissolved adoption.
Family Connections, Inc. is an New York State authorized adoption agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. The agency is a Primary Provider for families wishing to adopt from Pakistan. Please contact Anita at 607-756-6574 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about adopting a childfrom Pakistan.