Kazakhstan International Adoption Process and Cost

According to the U.S statistics, a total of 6,421 Kazakhstani children have been adopted by U.S. families since 1999. As a prospective adoptive parent, it’s important that you know the process and cost of adopting from Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention country. Its inter-country adoption process must, therefore, follow the Convention’s requirements and the Kazakhstani adoption laws.

The adoption process after dossier submission takes about 9 to 12 months. Depending on the age of the child, the maximum duration can be between 18-24 months.

Before the final adoption process, as a prospective adoptive parent, you have to make a maximum of 2 or 3 trips to Kazakhstan. During the 1st trip, both parents must travel to bond with the child within Kazakhstan for a period of 4 weeks. For the 2nd trip that takes about 5 days, only one parent may travel to finally bring the child home.

The international adoption processes within Kazakhstan is regulated by the country’s Central Authority through the Ministry of Education and Science (MOES). For intra-country adoptions, priority is given to Kazakh citizens so as to ensure the child’s best interest.

The average total cost of international adoption from Kazakhstan is between $30,000 to $40,000The Adoption fee charged by Accredited/Approved U.S. based agencies ranges from $18,000-$ 25,000 per child.

The U.S. International Adoption From Kazakhstan

Currently, there is a suspension of international adoption between Kazakhstan and the United States. This has been linked to the delays in the submission of post-adoption reports (PARs) for some of the Kazakh children who had been adopted by U.S. families.

The United States will, therefore, continue to engage the country on the way forward and will be providing relevant updates through its website link travel.state.gov

Kazakhstan International Adoption- The Available Children

Most Kazakhstani children in need of international adoption are of Russian, Kazakh, Eurasian, and European heritage. The needy children who face problems live in orphanages and Child Welfare Homes.

Kazakhstan Adoption

The age range varies from 1 year to 15 years with the majority being boys. This age range includes toddlers, younger school-going children, and older children. Also available are special needs children.

Why They Need Homes

  • Most of the children stay in orphanages as social orphans with parents who cannot take care of them due to social and economic factors
  • Healthy children, who have lived in orphanages or Children’s Homes for long, develop health and emotional anomalies that can only be corrected or managed well through adoption.

Children Who Qualify for International Adoption From Kazahkstan

For the needy Kazakhstani children to qualify for adoption, the following conditions should be fulfilled:

  • Orphans duly registered by the Ministry of Education Committee of Guardianship care for a period of not less than 6 months?
  • Biological parents have relinquished their rights (consented to their adoption)
  • The court has terminated their parent’s rights due to specific circumstances
  • Due to the court’s order for those who may have been abandoned and their parents unknown

If you’re a foreigner planning to adopt two or more children that are not biologically related on a single trip, it’s important that you consult your agency accordingly.

Note: Currently, there are no Kazakhstani children in a “Waiting Program” for inter-country adoption

International Adoption From Kazakhstan-Who Can Adopt?

As a prospective adoptive parent, you’ll be required to fulfill the following conditions in order to adopt from Kazakhstan:

  • Married couples and single women
  • When you are financially capable of proving home and required care for the adopted child
  • A maximum of 2 divorces permitted for each adoptive parent
  • The adoptive family can have up to 3 children so long as their income level satisfactory
  • Prospective adoptive parents should not have any history of arrests or criminal activities.
  • The age of the prospective adoptive parent shouldn’t be 45 years more than the child.
  • The age difference between the child and the prospective adoptive parent should not be more than 16 years
  • Prospective adoptive must be in good physical, mental, moral, and spiritual health to effectively accomplish their parental roles.

Medical Conditions That May Disqualify You From Adopting a Kazakhstani Child

Kazakhstan, through its Ministry of Education and Science, does not automatically consider an application for International adoption for applicants with the following conditions or illnesses:

  • Serious skin condition such as scleroderma among others
  • Communicable illnesses or diseases such as HIV, Typhoid, Syphilis among others
  • Psychological illnesses or disorders such as schizophrenia among others
  • Physical or mental medical conditions or disabilities
  • Chronic diseases, illnesses or addictions such as TB, drug-addiction, and alcoholism among others
  • Other debilitating medical conditions or diseases such as Lupus among others
  • Past and recent cancer-related medical condition ( each case evaluated independently)

Kazakhstan International Adoption Process

Being a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the process of child adoption from Kazakhstan has to strictly follow the Convention’s requirements.

It’s only after the process is fully complied with by the prospective adoptive parents that their adopted children will be considered eligible for issuance of immigration visas for traveling and entering the United States.

 Compliance with both the Convention and Kazakhstan laws involves the following steps:

  • Choosing a U.S. Approved/Accredited Adoption Service Provider (ASP)
  • Submit your Application to USCIS to be approved as eligible to adopt
  • Apply  to be matched with a suitable child
  • Submit your application to USC is for your child to be found eligible for immigration to the U.S.
  • Adopt your child in Kazakhstan
  • Travel To Kazakhstan to bond with your adopted child for a period of 4-5 weeks
  • Process U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1.  Selecting a U.S. Approved/Accredited Agency/ Adoption Service Provider (ASP)

Your initial step for your successful adoption from Kazakhstan is researching and choosing Accredited Agency/ASP in the United States.

The role of your selected U.S-based Agencies will be to ensure that you fully comply with The Hague Adoption Convention as well as ensuring that you comply with the U.S. laws accordingly.

2. Submit your Application to USCIS to be approved as eligible to adopt

Following your selection of a suitable ASP, you now have to submit your application to the U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be found eligible to adopt.

You’ll be required to submit your eligibility application through Form I-800A. Before submitting your application, it’s recommended that you check the eligibility requirements.

After you’re found to be eligible or suitable to adopt, your ASP will have to forward your home study report and dossier documents to the Kazakhstan authority to assess if you’re eligible to be a prospective adoptive parent based on the country’s adoption laws.

3.  Apply to be matched with a suitable child

Having successfully been approved by both the United States and the Kazakhstan government authority will provide you with a referral which is a suitable match between you and a suitable child based on your dossier details, and in the child’s best interest.

The adoption authority in Kazakhstan will furnish you with the child’s background details to enable you to make a decision during the referral.  If you are in agreement with the match, your ASP will update Kazakhstan’s authority accordingly for the adoption process to continue.

4.  Submit your application to USCIS for your child to be found eligible for immigration to the U.S.

Having accepted a referral (a match with a suitable child), you’ll be required to submit an application to the USCIS to approve your child’s immigration to the United States. You’ll make this application through Form I-800

The USCIS will then determine if your child fulfills the requirements of your child as a Convention adoptee and therefore, eligible to enter and stay in the United States as an immigrant.

Upon the approval of your Form I-800 submission, either you or your ASP will be expected to submit an application for visa issuance to the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General responsible for the issuance of immigration visas to children in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Your application Form I-800 together with the Visa application will then be reviewed by a Consular Officer for any possible visa ineligibilities.  Where applicable, you’ll be advised accordingly for waiver options.

After approval, the Consular Officer will send a special letter referred to as an “Article 5 Letter” to Kazakhstan’s Central Adoption Authority dealing with international adoption.

The Letter will, therefore, notify the Authority that indeed the adoptive parents are suitable to adopt the child and that the child fulfills the eligibility requirements to migrate to the United States. It gives Kazakhstan’s Authority to continue with the adoption process.

Important Note: You are advised NOT to obtain a child’s legal custody in Kazakhstan before the Article 5 Letter is sent to Kazakhstan’s Central Authority by a U.S. Consular Officer.

5.  Adopting your child in Kazakhstan

Completion of the above 4 steps is mandatory before you gain legal custody (adopt) a Kazakhstani child.

According to the Kazakhstan adoption laws, you’ll be required to make at least 2 trips in the country to bond with the child for the duration of 4-5 weeks with the possibility of the 3rd trip.

Adoption Proces-Kazakhstan

Both the adoptive parents must attend the 1st trip while only one of the parents may return for the 2nd or third trip

It’s only after the completion of this requirement that the final part of the adoption which is granting you custody of the child can be completed.

The final adoption process will, therefore, entail the following:

The adoption will be finalized by the court in Kazakhstan following your application as the adoptive parent.

The country’s law demands your physical presence as the adoptive parents. Also required to appear are the child’s custodian representatives or guardianship, and those representing the General Prosecutor.

Individuals or government agencies who had been given custody of the child should all agree to the adoption.

After the court makes its decision which comes with a 15-day appeal period, it has to submit the adoption decree to the local registration office for the necessary civil documentation.

Required Documents For for Adoption in Kazakhstan:

  • An application to the Guardianship Authority or body where the child resides with full details of the child
  • A formal written commitment by the adoptive parents to allow post-adoption visitations of the child by the Kazakhstan authority.
  • Copies of the adoptive parent’s passports or other identification documents
  • Where applicable, adoptive parent’s marriage certificates
  • Documents detailing the financial abilities of the adoptive parents
  • Doctor’s Medical Examination Reports of the adoptive parents
  • Home Study Reports by the relevant authority from the prospective parent’s country of residence where the child will ultimately have a home
  • Family photographs
  • Approval from the parent’s country that the child will be allowed entry and permanent residence
  • For children that are 10 years or older, they’ve to submit a signed statement to the court or Kazakhstan’s Migration Police stating that she/he agrees to be adopted.

6.  Process  U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

Having successfully completed Kazakhstan International adoption process and obtained legal custody of your Kazakhstan child’s adoption in the United States, you’ll now need to apply for the following 3 documents to facilitate your child’s travel to the United States:

i.   Birth Certificate

 You’ll be required to first obtain your child’s birth certificated. This will later be required when applying for the passport.

As a U.S Citizen who has been granted the child’s legal custody, it’s likely that the child’s birth certificate may not include your name.

However, after 15 days when the court’s decision becomes effective, the court will forward their decision to the local registration office (ZAGS). From here, as the adoptive parents, you can request that the issued adoption certificate and birth certificate includes your name

The new name(s) of the child and those of the adoptive parents will have to be specified and included in the relevant court documents during the court hearing.

ii.  Kazakhstan Passport

Since your adopted child is not yet a U.S. citizen, he/she will need a Kazakhstan passport to facilitate his travel.

You’ll need to submit the child’s newly acquired birth certificate and adoption certificate to apply for the Kazakhstani passport. All major cities in the country have population service centers responsible for accepting passport applications.

The processing of the passport will take at least 7 days. Upon issuance, you’ll now be ready to apply for exit Visa from the country’s Migration police before your departure from the country.

iii. U.S. Immigrant Visa

With the child’s passport and new birth certificate, it’s time to apply for a U.S visa. The application is made from the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Having been granted the adoption custody, it’s now time to visit the U.s Consulate so that your adoption case can be finally reviewed for the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Declaration of Grant of Custody, approval of your child’s I-800 petition, and finally, issuance of your adopted child’s visa to allow him/her travel with you to the United States.

Before this process is finalized, the Consular Officer will require that you submit the “Panel Physician’s” medical examination report on your adopted child in case you had not done so during the provisional approval phase.

To be well informed, you can read more here about the Medical Examinations, and Child Citizenship Act of 2000

Kazakhstan Adoption-The Post-Adoption Reports/ Post-Placement Reports

It’s important to note as an adoptive parent, you’ll be required by the Kazakhistan government to submit Post-Placement or Post-Adoption reports (PARs) every 6 months for the first 3 years after successfully adopting a Kazakhstani child.

The reports, compiled through your service provider, will be submitted to a special Adoption Committee within the Ministry of Education and Science.

The Cost of Kazahstan International Adoption

The total cost for international adoption from Kazakhstan varies based on your adoption program, selected agency, and your lawyer’s fee among others.

The average total cost of international adoption from Kazakhstan ranges from $30,000-$40,000. Other costs to be considered included:

  • Home study
  • Airfare and hotel expenses
  • Childcare and meals expenses during adoption process visits
  • Other miscellaneous country expenses

Your Service Provider will furnish you with all cost details based on your selected adoption program.

The table below shows cost estimates to consider for Kazakhstan Adoption

Cost DescriptionEstimated Amount ($)Comment
Average Total Cost$30,000-$40,000No Fixed. Determined by several factors
Adoption Fee$18,000-$ 25,000Based on your selected service provider and program
Court Application$4  
Birth Certificate$17  
Passport$80 Normal Period: 1 month
Adoption Certificate$17  
Child Registration $84 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Other Expenses to Consider
Trave Expenses
Caring for the Child during the bonding period
Medical Examinations Expenses (for the child and adoptive parent0

Your Travel To Kazakhstan

As a prospective adoptive parent, it’s important that you are well prepared for your trips to Kazakhstan. The documents you’ll need are:

The U.S. Passport: Ensure that that you apply for your U.S. Passport in a good time. You can easily complete your passport application online using Passport Application Wizard which will help you in determining the passport you require, and the processing fee. If you already have a passport, ensure that it’s valid with at least 2 blank pages.

Visa Document: This is an official travel document issued by Kazakhstan allowing you to visit the country. It will be attached to your passport to allow you access to the country.

For more relevant details check Kazakhastan Consular in the United States

Staying Safe When Travelling to Kazakhstan

 Before traveling to Kazakhstan during your international adoption process, take time to learn more about the country in terms of its laws, culture and political system in general.  Check the U.S. State Department’s Specific Country Information for information and safety guidelines.

Register your trip with the Department of State to ensure that you can be easily contacted when you’ve got a family emergency within the U.S or in case of a crisis within Kazakhstan

Other Important Links

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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