A Consular Officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate must determine that the adoptive child qualifies for a visa before a U.S. citizen may adopt or obtain legal custody of the child. U.S. citizens should not adopt or obtain custody of the child until the Consular Officer issues an Article 5 Letter.
Canada and the United States are parties to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all adoptions between Canada and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law and regulations implementing the Convention.
NOTE: Special provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. For more detailed information, please consult the State Department website.
The State Department website also provides general information on the intercountry adoption process, the process of obtaining immigrant visas for adopted children, and detailed information on the adoption process in Canada.