IMPORTANT: Adoption Notice-Update on Convention Entry into Force for Ghana

Dear family,

The Department of State has issued an adoption notice regarding adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017.  The short of the notice is as follows:

1. Though the country of Ghana has signed the Hague Convention treaty, the government has not yet passed the Children’s Bill of 2016, nor have they installed a Central Authority.  Both of these must be in place before adoptions can proceed after January 1, 2017

2. Families that file an I-800A or I-800 before the Children’s Bill of 2016 and the Central Authority has been installed, will be denied. 

3. Families that have already filed a I-600A or I-600 do not yet have a clear path to be Grandfathered at this time.  The Department of State is seeking clarification from the Ghanaian government if they will permit I-600A and I-600 petitions filed prior to January 1, 2017 to proceed under the non-Hague process.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Bill of 2016 and installation of the Central Authority.  Until then, all cases are in a holding pattern as of today, per the Department of State’s notice to Adoption Service Providers and families.   

With encouragement,
Your Hopscotch Team   

Adoption Notice: Adoption Notice: Adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017

January 3, 2016

ghana-flagOn January 1, 2017 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) will enter into force for Ghana.  However, please be advised that the Department of State has determined that it will not be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana that are initiated on or after January 1, 2017 under the Convention because Ghana’s implementing legislation, the Children’s Bill of 2016, has not yet been signed into law, and a Central Authority has not been established.  As a result, consular officers will be unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates.  Without this certification, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve Form I-800 Petitions to Classify Convention Adoptees as an Immediate Relative.

Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, the United States will be able to partner with Ghana as a Convention country.  However, until that time, families interested in adopting from Ghana should not file the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative for a child from GhanaIf a Form I-800 petition is filed on behalf of a child from Ghana, USCIS will have to reject the petition.  Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, families will be able to file Form I-800 petitions.  The Department of State will notify USCIS and the public immediately once the bill is signed into law, and the Department is able to confirm that it will be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for  adoptions from Ghana.

In the meantime, we are confirming with Ghanaian officials whether Ghana will permit cases in which a U.S. citizen filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, or a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an immediate relative, prior to January 1 to continue under the non-Hague adoption process.  Once we are able to confirm this information, we will post an updated notice on adoption.state.gov.  As of January 1, 2017, families initiating an adoption in Ghana should not file, and USCIS will not accept, a Form I-600A or Form I-600 for a child from Ghana.  Please contact adoption@state.gov with the details of the case if this situation applies to you. 

We are in the process of updating our Country Information Sheet for Ghana.  Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov.  You may also reach us at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  

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