Brazil International Adoption Process and Cost


Brazil is a country with diverse geographic and ethnic cultures. If you’re planing for international adoption from Brazil, it’s important that you fully understand the country’s adoption process and costs to consider.

Brazil’s adoption is strictly governed by its autonomous states just as in the U.S.A. Its International adoption process is unique in some instances compared to many countries.

All the International adoption processes between the United States and Brazil must fulfill both the Convention Adoption Processes and the U.S.A laws. Brazilian laws must also be adhered to accordingly. Full and final adoption is only obtained under Brazilian law.

The timeline for international adoption from Brazil ranges between 3 months to 3 years.

You’ll be required to stay with a child of 2 years and above in Brazil for almost 30 days before taking him/her to your home. For children below 2 years, the maximum period is 15 days.

This period allows you as the adoptive parent to bond with the child and enables a Social Worker to compile and submit relevant reports.

The average cost of international adoption from Brazil is $ 20,000 to $ 40,000. Agency fee estimate is between $28, 429-$31, 429 dollars while travel costs can be as high as $12,910.

Who Qualifies As An Adoptive Parent?

Did you know that there’s no marriage requirement regarding adoption in Brazil?  If you’re married, single or same-sex couples, you are qualified to play in Brazil’s adoption team!

That’s not all! So long as you are over 21 years old and at least 16 years older than the child you want to adopt, you are free to dribble or juggle your adoption balls in Brazil! Just how welcoming can a country be!

International Adoption From Brazil-Available Children

Children in need of homes are mostly of school-going age ranging between 7-15 years. They include both healthy children as well as those with some not-so-major medical conditions.

If you are interested in adopting sibling groups, you’ll have a choice of providing a home for 2, 3 and even 4 siblings from Brazil!

International Adoption from Brazil: The Process

1.  Look out for a Registered Adoption Service Provider (ASP)

Search for and identify either approved or the U.S. accredited adoption service providers in Brazil.

Before applying for the adoption of a child, you’ll be required to first:

  • Forward the child’s details to the Brazilian Federal Central Authority (ACAF)
  • Get a copy of the child’s naturalization certificate from the ASP

2.   USCI Application- Adoption Application Form

Once you have settled on an ideal ASP, you should apply to be given the adoption rights by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

 USCI is mandated to assess your application and determine if you qualify to adopt a child from Brazil which is a Convention country.

If the USCIS finds you suitable to adopt, the ASP forwards your information to ACAF for further review under Brazilian law.

3.  Get Matched with a Child

Once you are found eligible to adopt, the U.S. and Brazilian government give you access to the adoptees’ database.  Alternatively, ACAF might refer you to the child (ren) available for inter-country adoption.

After you identify the right child for adoption, the ACAF carries out a follow up to find out whether you are in a position to provide basic needs for the child.

4.   Apply for the Child to Be Recognized Eligible for Adoption

After finding the right child to be matched with, you are supposed to write to the USCIS to get provisional approval. If the USCIS finds the child eligible to be adopted, it provides you with a temporary certificate indicating the same.

After the approval, the ASP submits a visa application form to the U.S. Consulate in Brazil. After investigating on the visa application form, the Consulate informs the ACAF if the child is eligible to immigrate to the U.S.

Prospective adoptive parents for Convention country adoptions may not be allowed to proceed with the process until the visa details are approved.

5.  Pay the Legal Fee

It is illegal to pay someone to adopt their child. Instead, ACAF provides advisory services to prospective adoptive parents. However, to get assistance from qualified attorneys about the adoption, you should pay for an ASP.

The ASP is responsible for interpreting legal terms, filing forms, and submitting them to the relevant bodies on your behalf.

There is no standard fee that is paid for legal fees because they vary from one individual to another. Experienced attorneys charge high fees. Similarly, if the attorney performs complex activities, they cost more.

6.  Adopt the Child

The adoption of a child is effortless in theory. However, you need to do consult a lawyer to get reliable information.

When you are planning to adopt a child in Brazil, you should understand the several roles of different bodies. These include:

  • ACAF: Autoridade Central Administrativa Federal (ACAF) is the only body allowed to make approvals of foreign adoptive parents.
  • It is illegal to adopt by proxy
  • A child cannot be allowed to leave Brazil for adoption until all the details of the adoption are met.
  • Adoption agencies: The prospective adoptive parents should register with an accredited adoption agency in the U.S. in order to avoid colliding with the law.
  • The prospective adoptive parents should get permission from ACAF before proceeding with the application process. The ACAF also issues them with the “Habilitation Approval Certificate” and access to the database of the prospective adoptees.
  • The U.S. Consulate in Brazil: The Consulate writes a letter to the ACAF, indicating that the prospective adoptee will be a U.S. citizen and receive equal treatment like other American citizens. The Consulate also writes to ACAF about the eligibility of the child(ren) to obtain a visa to the U.S.
Adoption fees:

ACAF does not charge prospective adoptive parents. However, they are required to compensate the attorneys for legal services. There is no constant amount for the attorneys since different states charge differently. Any fees incurred should be appropriately accounted for to inhibit the “selling” of children to prospective adoptive parents.

For the adoption application to go as per the expectations, the following documents must be availed:
  • Medical records of the prospective parents to show that they are of sound mind. The files can be obtained from a verified psychiatrist.
  • Proof of homeownership in the form of a certificate of residence or affidavit by the landlord. This might also include;
  • Pictures of the prospective adoptive family
  • Police records for the last one year
  • Photos showing inside and outside of the prospective parent’s(s’) residence
  • Notice of approval of 1-800A petition
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Copy of Petitioner’s U.S. passport(s), photo and signature page
  • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s)
  • Last filed Federal Income Tax return
  • A handwritten and signed statement from the prospective adoptive parent(s) which shows they understand that adoption in Brazil is free and irrevocable
  • A copy of the prospective parent(s) the current state of residence law on adoption. This includes a clause showing that the law is still in effect. The copy can be obtained from a lawyer, Senator’s office, or state’s Court House.
  • A statement by the prospective adoptive parent(s) showing that they understand it is illegal to make contacts with the child, the child’s parent(s) or guardian and any other body responsible for the child, before approval by the ACAF.

7.  Take the Child Home

Before getting permission to travel with the child back home, you are supposed to fill several documents on behalf of the child.

This not only gives you an easy time when traveling but also protects you from litigation by the governments of the U.S. and Brazil.

Before leaving for the U.S., you should have the following documents:

(a). Birth Certificate

You must apply for a U.S. birth certificate for the adopted child. During the application for the new birth certificate, your name is added to the child’s initials.

Alternatively, you can request the Brazilian Civil Registry Office to change the child’s surname and issue you with a new birth certificate.

Once you have received an original birth certificate, you can proceed to apply for a passport.

(b). Brazilian Passport

The acquisition of a birth certificate does not make the child a U.S. citizen yet. Instead, it allows the child to travel to the U.S. To apply for the passport.

You should visit the Brazilian passport office to apply for the travel documents.

During the passport application, you are supposed to use the details in the child’s new birth certificate.

(c). U.S. Immigrant Visa

After securing the passport for the child, you should also get a U.S. visa from the U.S office in Rio de Janeiro. The Consulate also reviews and approves the I-1800 child’s petition.

Besides, the Consulate helps you to obtain a visa for the child. If the Consulate supports the application, the child is issued with an American visa.

The consular officer must be issued with a medical report for the child. The child must pass the medical tests before they are issued with the visa. Please note that the U.S.

Consulate in the only office that is mandated with issuing all forms of immigration visas in Brazil.

Adoptive parents are required by the law to get into contact with the U.S. Consulate in Brazil to confirm if the I-1800 approval is in place before they proceed with the immigrant’s visa interview.

Depending on the number of interviews scheduled at the immigration department, the interviewees can spend even the whole day.

During the visa interview, the following documents are required:
  • Form DS-230, Parts I and II;
  • The Brazilian passport for the child
  • Form I-1800, which petitions in order to classify a convention adoptee as an immediate relative.
  • Original copy of the child’s birth certificate that they were using before adoption and the official translation (if applicable)
  • Copies of the adoptive parent(s) passport(s). If only one parent avails themselves to the interview, the spouse should come with their passport’s data page.
  • A certified and original copy of Adoption Decree with the official translation (if applicable)
  • Form I-134, which is an affidavit of support
  • Three (3) passport-sized photos of the child
  • Proof of income (may include a payslip or Federal Income Tax Return)
  • A medical report on the child from a certified physician. The immigration department recommends getting the child tested from one of the Immigrant Visa Unit Panel Physicians.
  • The Visa Application fee. The fees can either be in U.S. Dollars or Brazilian Real. Alternatively, the applicants can use credit cards, which are acceptable at the U.S. Consulate.
Please note: You should wait for at least 24 hours to receive feedback after taking the interview.

If the panel of interviewers approves the adoption process, the adoptive parents should wait for a few days to allow for the visa approval. You cannot be allowed to travel without a visa.

What’s The Cost For International Adoption From Brazil?

For Brazil International adoption cost, there is no definite amount since expenses vary. The average cost, like in most international adoptions, is between USD 20,000 to USD 40,000 based on your selected adoption program or service provider. Service Providers or agencies can charge between $28, 429-$31, 429 dollars. Travel expenses can go up to  $12,910.

 Table Below Shows Main International Adoption Expenses and Cost Estimates

Main Expenses Descriptions Cost Estimate ( USD)
1. Registration & Application Registration for your adoption program, and submitting all the relevant application documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These documents will ascertain if you are qualified for adoption. They will also ascertain if the child to be adopted fulfills all the conditions needed by the USA. The USA will evaluate these forms to begin your adoption process.   $1,000 to $2000
2. Your Selected International Adoption Progam Fee This caters for all the services that you’ll receive from your selected professional service provider. Costs involved can include the following: Helping you in dossier preparations acting as an intermediary between you and adoption authorities providing all required educational and counselling support facilitating the process of getting your match   $8,000 to $18,000  
3. Home Study & Training Programs Includes all costs for services provided by a Hague-accredited service provider who will ensure that all home schedules are completed and documented accordingly. This also covers all the necessary reports including post-placement assessments. During the process, you’ll also undertake relevant training programs to prepare you for the adoption. Training classes will, therefore, be mandatory to enable you to learn about the Hague Adoption Convention, and how well you need to prepare to receive your new family member   $1,500 to $5,000  
4. Compilation of Documents & Authentication Expenses Covers preparation of different documents both for you and your child. You may engage the services of your service provider to assist you in facilitating the process. These documents include Dossier Documents – Processing of required original copies as may be required. Processing fees will be required. Authentication Process – Before your documents can be taken for review in Brazil or any other country, they’ll have to be authenticated. Different documents will need different authentication processes which you’ll have to pay for accordingly. Translation Where Applicable – If some of your documents need to be translated, it will have to undergo a special process that you may need to pay for birth Certificate, Visa, & Passport Processing Costs – Towards the end of the adoption process, processing your child’s visa will be mandatory. His/her birth, as well as a passport, will have to be processed before he/she becomes a U.S citizen. These will be done at a fee. $1,000 to $4,000  
5. Legal Costs/Expenses During the adoption process, you’ll incur legal costs. After a successful adoption, you may also need legal services from your adoption attorney based on his or her recommendations.   $500 to $4,000  
6. Travel Costs During the adoption process, you may need to make several trips ranging from 6 days to 4 weeks each. For Brazil International Adoption, you’ll be required to make one trip lasting 45 days.  All the expenses linked to both your travel and stay in the target country will determine the total travel costs. This can include but not limited to Airfare costs, Accommodation expenses other transport expenses like taxis, food and Drinks, Total number of required trips and days   $5,000 to $15,000
7. Other Expenses / Miscellaneous Costs These include other expenses that you may encounter during the adoption process that you cannot estimate in advance. These include but not limited to Orphanage Fee that may be required by some agencies or government medical expenses for your child Communication expenses for receiving Home Study updates   Cannot be predicted

Summary-Brazil Adoption

International adoption from Brazil is indeed not very restrictive compared to some countries.

If you are married, single or a couple of same-sex, you can legally adopt a child from Brazil. It’s however mandatory that you need to spend at most 30 days in Brazil with the child you want to adopt.

Brazil’s International adoption processes are based on the Hague Adoption Convention.  It, therefore, relies on both the U.S and Brazil’s relevant laws and processes.

You will be required to engage only the services of Adoption Service Providers approved or accredited by the U.S.A

Brazil International Adoption costs vary based on the type of expenses at each adoption process. Total adoption costs can also vary based on your chosen service provider, and your selected adoption program.

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Meshack Sewe

Meshack, is a tech-savvy Creative Copywriter, Poet, & Entrepreneur who is very passionate about Adoption and Humanitarian activities. He has served as both Program Officer, and Program Manager with two Non-Governmental Organizations focusing on orphaned children and vulnerable girls

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