Latvia is an environmentally beautiful country, with 44% of the country being forested.
LATVIA ADOPTION PROGRAM
All Blessings International is now working with the country of Latvia to process adoptions. Latvia, which borders Russia and the Baltic Sea, is a beautiful country, rich with history and traditions. This is a pilot program for ABI and those families looking to adopt from Latvia must be flexible and have a positive attitude when unexpected changes and difficulties occur, as this is a new endeavor, and the ABI staff will be learning the timing and process. Latvia is a signatory to the Hague Treaty for Inter-country Adoptions, meaning that a very high standard of ethics and supervision is applied to all adoptions. Please contact ABI before choosing a home study agency.
Adoptive Parent Qualifications
Latvian law allows families meeting the following criteria to adopt:
- Married couples and single women are accepted
- Single women are accepted on a limited basis
- All prospective adoptive parents must be at least 18 years older than the child they are seeking to adopt
Timeline and Travel
Families are expected to travel three times. Both prospective adoptive parents must travel on the first trip. Only one prospective adoptive parent is required to travel on the second trip. Both prospective adoptive parents must travel on the third trip, which is when the adoption will be finalized. Because Latvia is a member of the European Union, the prospective adoptive child can typically travel to the United States with the prospective adoptive family after the first trip on a visitor’s visa. The child will return to Latvia with the family on the third trip, at which time the adoption will be finalized, and a Hague adoption visa will be issued for the child. The Latvian adoption program is a unique program in terms of it’s procedures, and it provides a unique opportunity for adoptive families.
Referral and Adoption Process
The adoption process from Latvia can appear overwhelming initially. However, it is a step-by-step process, and ABI will guide you. The first step in adopting from Latvia is to have a home study conducted by an agency licensed in your state of residence. If you are located in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, or Tennessee, ABI is able to facilitate your home study. Latvia is a part of the Hague Convention; please contact ABI before choosing a Home Study agency and note that ABI may require that the local service provider also be Hague accredited. The second step is to file your Immigration and Naturalization Paperwork: the I-800A. Then, you will work with our staff to prepare your Dossier. The Dossier is a compilation of documents that require various seals at different levels of government. Once your Dossier is ready to submit, your documents will be reviewed and prepared to enter the system.
Reports following a child’s placement for adoption are required to be completed by a licensed adoption agency (typically the same one that conducted the home study) at 1, 12, and 24 months following placement. These are sent by ABI to Latvia. Families who choose to have the child come to the United States prior to adoption finalization (the third trip) must submit to routine monitoring visits as requested by the Latvian government. Six photos are to be included with each report. These monitoring reports are due every 4-5 weeks until adoption finalization (the third trip).
Children in need of families are typically older children age 9 to 15. Sibling groups are also available. To see a complete listing of waiting children, please visit the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia’s website.