Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Convention.
Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 82-169. There is an administrative and judicial phase. The Dominican authorities will not allow a child to exit the country until the adoption is complete under Dominican law.
The Dominican Central Authority (CONANI) is responsible for the administrative phase of an international adoption. The Dominican judiciary in the Court of Children and Adolescents completes the judicial phase.
Who Can Adopt
You must meet eligibility requirements in the United States as set by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as those of Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic country requirements include:
- Heterosexual married couples must be married for a minimum of 5 years. Unmarried couples and singles may not adopt. Married couples must apply jointly for the adoption of a child.
- Prospective Adoptive Parents must be 30-60 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted.
- Both prospective adoptive parents must meet a period of cohabitation, 60 days for a child under 12 years of age and 30 days for a child over 12 years of age.
- Adoptive parents must be in good physical, medical and mental health and free of criminal conviction, including that relating to moral character.
- Must meet US Poverty Guidelines.
- Demonstrated ability to provide a safe family environment and meet the needs of a child, including an understanding of risks, developmental delays, identified and potential medical needs, and the adjustment course for an internationally adopted child.
- Applicants must complete Adoptive Parent Training and Education, including awareness of how to maintain the child’s connection to culture and heritage.
- Agreement to complete all Country and US requirements, including a period of post- adoption reports required.
Children Awaiting Adoption
Every attempt is made to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition, the child must meet the US definition of an orphan.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider in the United States.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – USCIS Form I-800A.
Submit adoption application to CONANI. If approved by CONANI, the prospective family is put on a waiting list and waits the referral,of a child. If applying to adopt a known child, the adoption proceeds to,the next step of the process when a referral is made, medical and psychological records of the child are provided to the prospective parents and US ASP. If the prospective family accepts the referral, a written response is needed. Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period. The prospective adoptive family and CONANI sign an “Act of Consent” and CONANI issues a “Certificate of Suitability” for the administrative phase of the adoption. The case is then referred to the Court of Children and Adolescents territorial jurisdiction, beginning the judicial phase of the adoption process.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-800. Once the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved the PAPs (I-800 approval) they notify CONANI via the Article 5 letter, that child is eligible to immigrate. CONANI continues the process and starts the period of co-habitation between the PAPs and the candidate for adoption.
Role of the Dominican Court of Minors (the Court): Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 111-167. The Dominican Court of Minors receives the formal, legal application for adoption. If the application is approved, the Court issues a Final Order of Adoption.
Obtain child’s birth certificate and passport. The adoptive parents’ names will be added to the new birth certificate.
An adopted child will need a Passport from the Dominican Republic.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States. If IH3, which grants custody of the child to the prospective adoptive parent(s), the child becomes a Legal Permanent Resident upon entering the US.
Obtain a U.S. Immigrant Visa. With the new birth certificate, passport for their child and proof of the co-residency requirement, the adoptive parents contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo at [email protected] for a visa interview, including the medical review and report on the child. Once the visa approval is made, the officer approves the I-800 form, and sends the approval for the issuance of the Hague Adoption Certificate. The family will receive the Visa packet for the immigration professionals In the United States and the family can return to the US.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows the child to acquire American citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent resident.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when an adoption decree is issued by a US court. Failure to obtain citizenship, may put your child’s status in jeopardy.
There is a 5 year supervisory period. CONANI requires post adoption reports to be prepared by the ASP and submitted 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, 48 months and 60 months after the child entered the US. Reports are submitted to the closest Embassy or Consulate of the Dominican Republic to the residence of the child in the United States.
U.S. Embassy in Country and in U.S.
U.S. Embassy in Dominican Republic
U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic
IV Unit (Adoptions)
Unit 3470, Box 531
APO AA 34041-0531
The mailing address if you use a private delivery service is:
Embassy of the United States of America
César Nicolás Penson 85A esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic’s Central Authority
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Av. Máximo Gómez esq. República de Paraguay # 154
Ensanche La Fe (Frente a la Bomba Esso)
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Tel: 809-567-2233 (Office of Adoptions, ext. 1157)
Email: [email protected]
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
1715 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-6280
Fax: (202) 265-8057
Consulate of the Dominican Republic
1501 New Broadway Ave., Suite 410
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 768-2480
Fax: (212) 768-2677
Note: the Dominican Republic also has consulates in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Puerto Rico.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Email: [email protected]
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
For questions about the I-800A or I-800 petition process, call the National Benefits Center:
Toll free (877) 424-8374; Toll (816) 251-2770
E-mail: [email protected]