Poland is party to the Hague Convention.
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 Poland.
Poland country requirements include:
- Heterosexual married couples and female singles may adopt. Married couples must apply jointly for the adoption of a child. Married couples,must be married for a minimum of 3 years at the time of application for adoption.
- Prospective Adoptive Parents must be at least 25 years of age. There may be no more than a 40 year age difference between the child and the prospective mother and no more than a 45 year age difference between the child and the prospective father.
- Parents of Polish and Catholic background are preferred.
- Adoptive parents must be in good physical, medical and mental health. Adoptive parents must be 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.
Boys are girls are available and a family may indicate a gender preference. There are toddlers, older children, sibling groups and special need children. Sibling groups cannot be separated and unrelated children cannot be adopted at the same time.
The majority of children live in orphanages. Some live in foster homes.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider in the United States.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – USCIS Form I-800A. This process includes the filing of the Adoption Homestudy.
Submit adoption application to an authorized Polish adoption agency. There are three adoption centers in Poland authorized to qualify foreign prospective parents for adoption and match them with children available for intercountry adoption: the Mazowieckie Regional Adoption Center (formerly known as the Public Adoptive-Guardian Center), the National Adoptive-Guardian Center of the Children’s Friends Society, and the Catholic Adoptive-Guardian Center. Hague-accredited U.S. adoption service providers submit dossiers through these Centers.
Poland’s adoption authority reviews the adoption application to determine eligibility to adopt under Polish law. Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period, anywhere from 3-10 months. A child’s needs are forefront in locating an appropriate family and medical reports are provided to the prospective family. An independent medical review can be done during the first trip. There is a 2 week time period to accept the referral.
Two trips are needed, approximately 4 months apart. The first trip of 3-5 days is to accept the referral and visit with the child. If a couple, both must travel. The second trip includes the mandatory bonding period of 2-4 weeks. After the finalization of the adoption, at least one parent must then remain in country 2-3 weeks to obtain the child’s civil documents.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-800.
United States notifies adoption authority via the Article 5 letter that the child is eligible to immigrate.
The process of finalizing the adoption in Poland includes the following:
After review of the child, prospective adoptive parent documents and the Article 5 Letter from the US Embassy, the Central Authority (the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy) makes the final determination to adopt. The Central Authority issues the approval for the adoption to proceed to the court for finalization.
At the first hearing, the judge will grant permission for the prospective adoptive parents to visit with the child for the 2-4 week mandatory bonding period. The time together is evaluated by a local adoption center psychologist. At the final hearing, the judge decides whether to grant the adoption and full custody. There is then a 14-21 day appeal period, after which the court issues the final adoption decree and the Article 23 Hague Certificate.
Obtain child’s birth certificate and passport.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States.
If IH 3 which grants custody of the child to the prospective adoptive parent(s), the child becomes a Legal Permanent Resident upon entering 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 1 year supervisory period. Poland requires 3 Post Adoption Reports conducted at 2 weeks, 3 months and 1 year after the adoption is finalized.
U.S. Embassy in Country and in U.S.
U.S. Embassy in Poland
12 Piekna Street
00-540 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 (22) 625-1401 or +28 (22) 504-2106
Fax: +48 (22) 504-2039
Poland’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
Department of Family Policy
11 Nowogrodzka Street
00-513 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 (22) 529-0666 or 0665
Fax: +48 (22) 429-0661
Poland’s Authorized Adoption Centers
Mazowieckie Regional Adoption Center
ul. Nowogrodzka 75
Tel/fax: +48 (22) 622-0370, 0371, or 0372
National Adoptive-Guardian Center of the Children’s Friends Society
(Towarzystwo Przyjaciol Dzieci – TPD)
Ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 6
Tel: +48 (22) 425-4677 or 4688
Fax: +48 (22) 827-7813
Catholic Adoptive-Guardian Center (Katolicki Osrodek Adopcyjno-Opiekunczy)
Ul. Grochowska 194/196
Fax: (48)(22) 818-5430
Embassy of Poland
2224 Wyoming Av. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 499-1700
Poland also has consulates in: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)