Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news


“Adoption in Brazil can be a complicated process, sometimes involving long waits.  Brazilian adoption law gives preference to Brazilian citizens and citizens of countries that have implemented the 1993 Hague Convention on International Adoption.  As of March 2006, the United States has not yet ratified and implemented the Convention.  Please be aware that without Brazilian citizenship, it is unlikely that a U.S. citizen will be able to adopt a healthy, single child under the age of 5 years.  The following types of children are most commonly available to U.S. citizens without Brazilian citizenship:”

  1. Single, healthy children, age 5+
  2. Sibling groups of any number and of all ages
  3. Special needs children of all ages

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: The Government of Brazil requires that prospective adoptive parents meet the following conditions:

  • Persons over the age of 21 may adopt, regardless of marital status;
  • The adopting party must be at least 16 years older than the potential adoptee;

 RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS:  Brazilian law requires prospective parents to live in Brazil with the child for a cohabitation period of at least 15 days for children under two years of age and at least 30 days for older children.

TIME FRAME: The average time to complete an intercountry adoption in Brazil varies from three months to one year.

(Information taken from the U.S Department of State website)

Brazil does not allow same-sex couples to adopt.

“Brazil’s lower house of Congress has rejected part of a pending adoption law that would have allowed gay couples to adopt children. 

A Wednesday statement from the Chamber of Deputies says a measure giving gay couples the right to adopt was withdrawn because federal law doesn’t recognize same-sex civil unions.

A proposal granting same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexuals has stalled in Brazil’s Congress for more than 10 years, prompting some states to take their own actions.

Southern Rio Grande do Sul state has permitted same-sex civil unions since 2004, and a Sao Paulo state court allowed a gay couple to adopt a 5-year-old girl in late 2006.”

February 13, 2009


We are working very closely with the Brazilian government to establish how the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, which entered into force for the U.S. in 2008, will affect future adoptions in Brazil.  At the moment, parents should expect a lengthy process because there is currently no U.S. Hague-accredited adoption service provider working in Brazil.  If you are not an immediate relative qualified to adopt via the Brazilian national adoption system, it is unlikely you will be permitted to adopt in Brazil for the foreseeable future.  The Brazilian government has not yet passed adoption-related legislation, which may change the criteria by which U.S. adoption service providers are evaluated.  Nor has Brazil re-opened the accreditation process for foreign service providers which would allow U.S. agencies to operate in Brazil.  They are currently undertaking a review of all foreign service providers working in Brazil which may affect future evaluation criteria as well.  These steps will likely take a year or more to be resolved.  Prospective adoptive parents should also be aware that children available for international adoption in Brazil are generally over 5 years of age, sibling pairs, or have special needs. 

1 Comment »

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