Are you looking to adopt a child from Brazil? This complete guide to adoption from Brazil will give you all the information that you need to know in order to get the adoptee home and safe.
International adoption is possible in Brazil. If you have the necessary legal documents and have gone through the various checks, you can adopt a Brazilian child or even a group of families.
In Brazil, about 31% of the population is below the poverty line, which means that the children in this section suffer from malnutrition and severe conditions. Several shelters in Brazil offer care but also encourage adoption so that children can have better homes. You can also adopt an orphan child of relatives living in Brazil.
Adoption Rules in Brazil
There are specific rules in international adoption. To adopt in Brazil, prospective parents must follow these rules.
- One needs to be at least 18 years old if one wants to adopt.
- When adopting babies or adolescents, there needs to be a minimum of 16 years age gap between the prospective parents and the child.
- Babies or adolescents usually cannot be adopted by their siblings or grandparents.
- Even if divorced or widowed, single parents can adopt if they can prove to have stable socio-economic living conditions.
- Prospective parents must be of sound physical and mental health.
- If they have a previous criminal record, they need to show a clearance certificate when applying to adopt.
- The child needs to be adopted in Brazil and not be allowed to travel to a foreign country before adoption.
Adoption Rules Under the Hague Convention
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption was first drafted in 1993. The convention deals with international adoption and child trafficking and laundering to prevent corruption and exploitation and protect vulnerable children.
There are three main objectives of the Hague Convention.
- Establishment of specific safeguards that ensure that the adoption is in the best interests of the child and that the child’s fundamental rights are recognized and respected
- Co-operation from the Contracting States to ensure that the safeguards are maintained, thus preventing abduction, trafficking or sale of children
- Recognition and securing of adoptions in the Contracting States that have been done following the Hague Convention process
Apart from the objectives of the convention, there are a few rules. These are given below.
- A child can only be considered for international adoption when a suitable family has not been found in their home country.
- The home country needs to deem the child eligible for international adoption for the adoption process to continue.
- The Contracting States must have accredited adoption agencies that meet the convention guidelines and provide safe and transparent adoptions.
- Any child adopted from a Hague Convention country has to receive a Hague Adoption Certificate or a Hague Custody Certificate issued by the Embassy or Consulate.
- Following the implementation of the Hague Convention, the adoption service provider needs to send reports to the ACAF every half year. This has to continue for two years or less after the date of adoption or till the adoptee gets naturalized.
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The Two Adoption Programs That Brazil Offers
At the moment, there are two adoption programs that Brazil is offering. You can choose either of them.
- Adoption of a relative living in Brazil by a family
- Adoption of a child from an orphanage, or a “children’s shelter” as it is known in Brazil
These adoption programs in Brazil help to ensure secure futures for several children. If a child is left an orphan, eligible family members in another country can apply for adoption. This helps the child to find their family and receive some stability.
There are also numerous children’s shelters in Brazil, and while some children may already have families, many are orphans. The second scheme allows international parents to apply for the adoption of these children and offer them a safe and loving home.
Which Children Can Be Proposed for International Adoption?
If you are planning to adopt a child from Brazil, you will be allowed to look at profiles of schoolchildren up to the age of 15. Usually, schoolchildren proposed for international adoption are between 8 and 15.
You can also adopt a child less than eight years of age. Usually, children below eight years proposed for adoption have certain special needs. Prospective parents are investigated to ensure that they can provide for those needs before the adoption is allowed.
Groups of siblings are also often proposed for international adoption. They can be of different ages and in groups of two, three, four, or more. Usually, siblings are inseparable and require the stability of a home. International families that can care for a group can apply to adopt siblings.
In Brazil, apart from very small children with special needs, most children proposed for international adoption are healthy. This is usually something that many prospective parents look for.
Who Can Adopt From Brazil?
You can adopt from Brazil if you are a resident or a foreigner. You also need to be 18 or above to apply.
You can adopt from Brazil if you are:
- A married couple without children
- A married couple with children
- A same-sex couple
- A single parent
Suppose two people can show proof of a stable union contract (which can be a legal marriage certificate). In that case, they will be allowed to adopt.
International prospective parents considering adoption need to travel to Brazil and live there for 30 days with the child. After this period, they will be allowed to adopt.
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Process of Adoption
Since Brazil is part of the Hague Convention, there is a specific adoption process that one must follow. If you want to adopt from Brazil, you must take the following steps.
(Please note that these steps are for those in the United States, and they may vary for other countries).
Step 1: Find a Reliable Adoption Agency
You need to select an accredited adoption agency with the license to facilitate the adoption process between the US and Brazil. The agency will also help you contact an attorney specializing in adoptions from Brazil.
Step 2: Apply for Adoption
You will need to apply to be found eligible for adoption at this stage. Once the US government finds you eligible, the adoption agency will forward your application to the Central Authority in Brazil. This is when ACAF will review your application, and if found eligible, you will be issued a Habilitation Approval Certificate.
Step 3: Get Matched with a Child Proposed for Adoption
Once the authorities, both in the US and Brazil, find you to be a suitable prospective parent, you can get matched with a child. This will only be possible if a child has been proposed for adoption. Then ACAF will be able to send you a referral. The prospective family needs to decide if they will be able to care for the child and meet the child’s needs.
Step 4: Apply to Prove the Child Eligible for Adoption
After being matched with a child, you will need to apply to USCIS. The USCIS needs to grant you provisional approval, and this will only happen after a rigorous investigation. The authorities will investigate if the child is eligible to be adopted in the United States under the US immigration law.
Once the child is found eligible for international adoption, the adoption agency will assist you with filing a visa application. This must be submitted to the Consular Officer at the US Consulate, Rio de Janeiro. The Consular Officer will determine if the child is eligible for a visa and can immigrate to the US. According to the Hague Convention, the adoption process cannot continue until the child is deemed eligible.
Step 5: Travel to Brazil and Adopt
Before you travel, the US Consulate which is located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will have to send a letter to the ACAF. This letter should state that the adoption will adhere to the rules of the Hague Adoption Convention.
You need to have a valid passport and get your visa to travel to Brazil. It is also advised that you stay safe and learn as much as you can about the landscape and the cultures of the place you are travelling to. You should also register with the Department of State before travel. This will allow the Consulate or the Embassy to reach out quickly in any crisis.
There will be a study or inspection of your home before you can travel. This will include psychological and medical evaluation, as well.
You will also need to have the following documents:
- Approval of your I-800A petition
- A copy of the US passport(s) belonging to the petitioner(s)
- Complete police records (obtained within a year)
- The latest Tax return that was filed
- Proof of birth of the prospective parent(s)
- The certificate of marriage (when applicable)
- A proof of divorce (in the case of single, divorced parent)
- A proof of residence (current)
- Photographs of the prospective parent’s(s’) residence (both of the interiors and the exteriors)
- Photographs of prospective family and grandparents
- A copy of the law that is applicable on adoptions in the state where the applicant currently resides. (This should include a statement affirming that this is a valid law in that state)
- A statement from the prospective parent(s) declaring that they will not try to contact the birth parents (or the guardian, if any) before ACAF authorization.
- A handwritten statement that is signed by the prospective parent(s). It should specify that they know that adoption in and from the country of Brazil is irrevocable and free
You will need to get the documents accurately translated from English (or any other language that they are in) to Portuguese. The US Consulate and the Embassy of Brazil will then have to authenticate them.
Once the documents are processed, you can travel to Brazil to meet the child and stay for 30 days.
Step 6: Travel Back Home With Your Child After Adoption
Once you adopt, your child will need certain documents before they are allowed to travel back to the US. These include:
- Birth certificate
- Brazilian Passport
- US immigrant visa
To be able to take your child home, you need to provide:
- Form I-800 (If the child is a relative)
- Parts I and II of Form DS-260
- Form I-864W, Affidavit of Support
- Proof of income
- The child’s Brazilian passport
- Both original as well as the certified copy of the child’s proof of birth, obtained before adoption (translated, if necessary)
- Three frontal face photographs of the child
- Medical report of the child, given by the Panel Physician.
- Copies of adoptive parent’s(s’) passport(s). If there are two parents and one is absent during the interview, they must submit a notarized copy of their passport
- Both original and certified copies of the Adoption Decree (translated, if necessary)
These documents will be verified, and you will have paid the immigrant visa application fee. Once you get the visa for your child, you can make arrangements to travel back to the US.
There will be certain post-adoption procedures and reports when you bring your child home. You can also find supportive resources to help your child settle in.
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Where to File an Adoption Petition
To file an adoption petition, you need to submit Form I-800A. This form is meant to determine if you are suitable to adopt under the Hague convention’s provisions.
You will have to file this petition to the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the USCIS determines you to be eligible, you can proceed with the adoption.
Child Citizenship Act
The CCA is an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It is a United States federal law which states that biological or adopted children of US citizens, who are foreign-born, are eligible for US citizenship if they fulfil the following requirements.
- One parent who is a US citizen either by birth or by naturalization
- If the child is adopted by parents who are US citizens and all legal procedures have been completed
- If the child is an immigrant and has been admitted for permanent lawful residence
- Is residing in the US after immigration and is in the legal and physical custody of a parent who is a US citizen
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to adopt a baby from Brazil?
The cost involved depends on the agency, processes and documents obtained.
There is an Immigrant Visa Application fee of $400. Apart from this, no government fees are charged when one has to open a dossier with the ACAF. The Brazilian National Adoption Law discourages fees paid as donations to expedite the adoption process.
If there are certain expected expenses, these will be mentioned in the adoption services contract.
What country is easiest to adopt from?
International adoption involves complex legal procedures that need to be followed to ensure the safety of the child and the prospective parents. Therefore, it is unlikely to be easy no matter what country you choose. However, if you follow the rules, it is advised that you adopt from Hague Convention countries.
Is adoption free in Brazil?
The government determines no adoption fees in Brazil. Donations are prohibited by law as they are equivalent to “buying” children and put the process at risk.
Brazil has a thorough adoption process in place. You can choose any of the programs and apply to adopt. We hope this guide helps you with the process. Thank you for reading, and we hope you find this information useful.