USA recommends that American adoption services refrain from referring South African children

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According to the US Department of State, the adoption of a foreign-born child does not automatically guarantee the child's eligibility to immigrate to the United States.
According to the US Department of State, the adoption of a foreign-born child does not automatically guarantee the child's eligibility to immigrate to the United States.

In a statement released by the American Department of State's Office of Children’s Issues they have advised American prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers that "continued, lengthy delays and uncertainties may impact newly-adopted children’s ability to depart South Africa."

According to their release, the South African Department of Home Affairs has instituted "new procedures for issuing new, updated identity and travel documents for adopted children which have resulted in newly-adopted children being unable to receive the documentation necessary to depart South Africa." 

The Office of Children’s Issues says that families with completed adoptions have been "unable to obtain these documents for several months" and that they have not received information about timeframes for issuing these documents for families currently in South Africa, or "resolution of the issue for future adoptees."

The U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg and the Office of Children’s Issues are engaging with the South African government to encourage a speedy resolution, and urges all families in the process of an intercountry adoption in South Africa to work closely with their adoption service provider for new information, and guidance about their specific circumstances.  

Families currently in South Africa are advised to "keep their travel plans flexible while they wait for new birth certificates and passports."

In the meantime, the Department recommends that American adoption services refrain from referring South African children to US families for now.

For more information on this topic, the Office of Children’s Issues can be reached via mail at adoption@state.gov.

According to the US Department of State, the adoption of a foreign-born child does not automatically guarantee the child's eligibility to immigrate to the United States.

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