State Department Announces Increase in International Adoption Fees

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Infant Adoptions in NC | Adopt A Baby In North Carolina | Mills Adoption Law

WRAL recently reported on an announcement that international adoption agencies will be required to pay massive new fees.

Fees Increase

February 1, the U.S. Department of State sent a notice to adoption service providers of a substantial mandatory fee changes associated with obtaining and maintaining accreditation by the federal government.


Agencies received less than two weeks’ notice of the massive, mandatory fee increases. These fees will further increase the already high cost of inter-country adoption for families. Most commentators expect agency accreditation fees to double and that a new nonrefundable fee of $500 for prospective adoptions will be passed on to prospective adoptive parents.

New Accreditation Entity

The fees will all go to a new accreditation entity – Inter-country Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME), which was recently formed to replace the Council on Accreditation.

International Adoptions Decline

The number of foreign children adopted by US citizens has declined by 75% since 2004. The number of international adoption agencies in the US has also declined substantially leaving prospective adoptive parents with fewer options.


Join the adoption community in advocating for affordable inter-country adoptions by visiting the website for the National Council for Adoption and utilizing their resource list.


The paperwork, fees, and sheer effort required to adopt internationally often leave adoptive parents financially and emotionally exhausted. When an adoption is final in the foreign country, a child enters the United States with an IR-3 or equivalent visa. That means the child is automatically a United States citizen and nothing more is required.


Parents often forget, or just decide to put off, the re-adoption process. Re-adoption is worth the extra effort and expense because it results in an adoption decree in English that is readily available from a United States court. Re-adoption also triggers the creation of a Certificate of Foreign Birth which takes the place of a birth certificate.


If the adoption was not final in the foreign county, the child enters the United States as a ward under a guardianship or custody order with an IR-4 or equivalent visa. That means the child is not automatically a United States citizen and more legal work is required to finalize the adoption and make the child eligible for United States citizenship. The adoption must be completed in the United States before the child attains age 18.

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