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Offline sithari

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International Adoption Sri Lanka
« on: August 09, 2006, 11:04:28 PM »
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International Adoption Sri Lanka

DISCLAIMER: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

PLEASE NOTE: Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S. based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and licensing office of the Department of Health and Family Services in the state where the agency is located

GENERAL: The following is a guide for U.S. citizens who are interested in adopting a child in Sri Lanka and applying for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. This process involves complex foreign and U.S. legal requirements. U.S. requirements for the issuance of an immigrant visa for the adopted child are covered in other State Department and Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) pamphlets and information sheets which are described below in the section entitled Additional Information. U.S. Consular Officers give each petition careful consideration on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the legal requirements of both countries have been met, for the protection of the prospective adoptive parent(s), the biological parents(s) and the child. Interested U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to contact U.S. consular officials in Sri Lanka before formalizing an adoption agreement to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed which will make it possible for the Embassy to issue a U.S. immigrant visa for the child.

The Sri Lankan Department of Probation and Sri Lankan Child Care Services may, as the need arises, amend the adoption procedures. Specific questions regarding adoptions in Sri Lanka should be addressed to either directly to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington, or to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.

You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Room 4911 Main State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520 4818, telephone (202)-647-2688 with general adoption questions. Recorded information concerning significant changes in adoption procedures is available 24 hours a day at 202-736-7000 or by automated fax (calling from the telephone on your fax machine) at 202-647-3000. If Sri Lanka is not listed, procedures have not significantly changed.

AVAILABILITY OF CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans: [For countries with significant numbers of cases.]

FY-1997 IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Sri Lankan orphans adopted abroad - 1
IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Sri Lankan orphans adopted in the U.S. - 4
FY-1997: IR-3 Visas - 1, IR-4 Visas - 1
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas - 3, IR-4 Visas - 2
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas - 5, IR-4 Visas - 0
FY-2001: IR-3 Visas - 4, IR-4 Visas - 0

SRI LANKAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The government office responsible for adoptions in Sri Lanka is the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, 95 Sir Chittampalam Gardiner Mawtha, P O Box 546, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka. Telephone No. 94-1-327600 or 94-1-448577, Fax No. 94-1-327600. The Department's hours of operation are from 8.30 a.m. to 4.15 p.m.

Every application for adoption must be in conformity with the provisions of the Adoption of Children's Ordinance (Chapter 61) as amended as it relates to restricts in making of adoption orders, terms and conditions of adoption orders and court requirements.

SRI LANKAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES: The District Court of Colombo and the District Court of Colombo South that have the appropriate jurisdiction, are empowered to make orders of adoption of Sri Lankan children by persons not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka. Foreign applicants cannot find children for adoption privately. Allocation of children can only be made from the Sri Lankan State Receiving Homes and Voluntary Children's Homes that are registered by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services for over five years and only by specific authorization of the Commissioner of Probation.

1. Have a home study prepared in the U.S. Applications should be accompanied by the home study report (in duplicate) from a recognized institution in the U.S. A home study report means a report on the mental health of the applicants, their social, religious and financial background and their suitability to adopt a child. Overseas social welfare agencies/departments must include information covering these specific points in the home study reports prepared about proposed adoptive parents.

2. Gather together all your supporting documents. In addition to the home study, required documents include certified copies of the birth certificates of both prospective parents, the marriage and health certificates as well as employment records. Police reports on the conduct and activities of the applicants must also be submitted. Attach passport-sized photographs of both prospective parents. All documents must be submitted in duplicate.

3. Send your formal application and all the supporting documents to the Sri Lankan Embassy for authentication and transmission to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services in Sri Lanka. Contact the Sri Lankan Embassy first to verify procedures for the application and for authenticating all the supporting documents. The Sri Lankan Embassy in the US is located at 2148 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008, the telephone number is 202-483-4025, and the fax number is 202-232-7181.

The formal application should be in the form of a letter, in duplicate, addressed to the Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services. The letter should request a child for adoption and include any preferences, if any. Attach passport-sized photographs of both prospective parents to the letter.

Every page of the formal application must be authenticated by the Sri Lankan Embassy and bear its official stamp. The Sri Lankan Embassy must also authenticate all of the supporting documents.

Once a case is transferred from the Sri Lankan Embassy to the Dept. of Probation and Child Care Services it has to be registered with the Department for at least one year for a child to be allocated by the Commissioner.

Note that this is also the appropriate time to file your petition with the INS, in accordance with instructions found in other State Department and INS publications.

4. Wait for the letter of allocation from the Sri Lankan adoption agency. The Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services receives the application. If the home study report is satisfactory and the Commissioner finds that a suitable child is available for adoption, a letter of allocation will be sent to the Sri Lankan adoption agency who will in turn advise the prospective parents of the Commissioner's decision.

Children below 3 months will not be permitted to be adopted by foreign nationals. Also the Sri Lankan law does not permit a single parent to adopt a child.

5. Upon receipt of the Commissioner's letter, the prospective parents should make arrangements to travel to Sri Lanka. Expect to stay at least 4 to 5 weeks since court action for an adoption must take place in Sri Lanka. Make contact with the US Embassy in Sri Lanka soon after your arrival to make sure that everything is in order for the processing of an immigrant visa and to obtain additional information on adoption procedures.

6. On arrival in Sri Lanka, contact the social worker assigned to the case by the Commissioner of Probation & Child Care Services to schedule an interview at the Department of Probation and Child Care Services. Present yourself for interview at the Department of Probation and Child Care Services with your passport and letter of allocation.

7. After the interview, the prospective parents will be issued a letter from the Commissioner authorizing them to see the child at the specified children's home. However, the applicants will not be allowed to take the child out of the custody of the person in charge for any purpose without the prior approval of the Commissioner. Authority can be given to the applicants for the purpose of medical examination of the child.

8. Engage a Sri Lankan attorney to represent you at the legal proceedings. The attorney will petition for the adoption. The Commissioner furnishes a report on the social and psychological aspects of the adoption for consideration of the Court. The period fixed by the Court for the submission of the Commissioner's report shall be not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days from the date on which the Court calls for the report. The Commissioner is required to annex his or her report to the authenticated home study report. If all is in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations, the court issues an order of adoption.

9. Obtain the Certificate of Adoption using the adoption order from the courts by registering it with the Registrar General. After the court's adoption order is made, copies may be obtained by making an application to the court. The adoption is considered complete after registration and a copy of the Certificate of Adoption has been obtained from the Registrar-General, located at R.A. de Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.

10. Obtain a Sri Lankan passport for the adopted child. Return to the Commissioner with a copy of the Certificate of Adoption and ask for a letter requesting issuance of a passport. With the Certificate of Adoption, the letter from the Commissioner, and the original birth certificate of the child, apply for the Sri Lankan passport. Applications for Sri Lankan passports should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration (Passport Section), Station Road, Colombo 4, Sri Lanka.

Present the Sri Lankan passport, the certificate of adoption and all the other documents required for the US immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy.

Adoptive parents should furnish the Department of Probation and Child Care Services quarter yearly Progress Reports on the child prepared by a recognized Adoption Agency until the adoption is legally confirmed in their country of domicile, half-yearly reports on the child (together with photographs) for the first three years, and yearly reports thereafter until the child reaches the age of 10 years. (Please see Annexure I for Format of a Progress Report)

The applicants should abstain from making any payment or giving any reward to any person in consideration of the adoption except such as the Court may sanction. Legal action would be taken against those who commit this offence.

AGE AND CIVIL STATUS REQUIREMENTS: Under Sri Lankan law adoption by single persons is not permitted. An application for adoption to the courts must be made jointly by husband and wife. Each of the applicants must be over the age of 25 years and not less than 21 years older than the child for whom the application is made. Both husband and wife must be present during the court proceedings unless the court waives personal appearances on the grounds of ill health supported by a medical practitioner recognized by the US Government. In such cases a power of attorney will also be necessary.

RESIDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS: The adoptive parents should be prepared to stay for a period of about 4 weeks for the court procedures to be finalized. Once an IV is issued the child could leave the country the very next day.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILD CARE SERVICES AND PROBATION IN COLOMBO HAS ADVISED THE U.S. EMBASSY THAT, UNDER SRI LANKAN LAW, WHILE FOREIGN NATIONALS ARE RESIDING IN SRI LANKA THEY CANNOT ADOPT A CHILD FROM THAT COUNTRY.

ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS: Foreign applicants cannot find children for adoption privately. Allocation of children can only be made from the Sri Lankan State Receiving Homes and Voluntary Children's Homes that are registered by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services for over five years and only by specific authorization of the Commissioner of Probation.

DOCTORS: The U.S. Embassy maintains current lists of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your child experience health problems while in Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKAN DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS:
Final Adoption Decree issued by the District Court, birth certificate issued to the biological parents or hospital records and medical reports issued by the Embassy panel physician.

AUTHENTICATION PROCESS:
All documents above must be authenticated. Generally, U.S. civil records, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates must bear the seal of the issuing office. Then it must be authenticated by the state's Secretary of State in your state capital, then by the U.S. Department of State Authentication's office and then by the Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate in the United States. Check with the Sri Lanka Embassy or Consulate in the U.S. with jurisdiction over your state to see what seals and signatures the Consulate can authenticate. It may be possible to eliminate some of the steps if the Consulate has the seal of the local issuing authority on file.

Tax returns, medical reports and police clearances should likewise be authenticated, beginning with the seal of notary public in the United States or some appropriate issuing office. The county clerk where the notary is licensed or some similar authority should authenticate the notary's seal. The document should then be authenticated by the state Secretary of State; (in your state capital) the U.S. Department of State Authentication's Office, and the Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate.

Advance Processing
Approved Form I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition),
Fingerprints of each prospective adoptive parent on Form FD-258,
Proof of the prospective petitioner's United States citizenship,
Proof of the marriage of the prospective petitioner and spouse, if applicable,
Proof of termination of any prior marriages of the prospective petitioner and spouse or unmarried prospective petitioner, if applicable,
A "home study" completed by the appropriate State organization with a favorable
recommendation
Filing fee of U.S. $460.

Orphan Petition
Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative,
Proof of the orphan's age,
Death certificate(s) of the orphan's parent(s), if applicable,
Proof that the orphan's sole or surviving parent cannot give the orphan proper care and has, in writing, forever or irrevocably released the orphan for emigration and adoption, if the orphan only has one parent,
A final decree of adoption, if the orphan has been adopted abroad,
Proof that the orphan has been unconditionally abandoned to an orphanage, if the orphan is in an orphanage,
Proof that the pre-adoption requirements, if any, of the state of the orphan's proposed residence have been met, if the orphan is to be adopted in the United States.

 
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Offline sithari

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Re: International Adoption Sri Lanka
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 11:05:14 PM »
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS

A Sri Lankan child adopted by an U.S. citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. There are two distinct categories of immigrant visas available to children adopted by U.S. citizens.

A Previously Adopted Child. Section 101(b)(1)(E) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act defines an "adopted child" as one who was adopted under the age of 16 and who has already resided with, and in the legal custody of, the adoptive parent for at least two years. Parents who can demonstrate that their adopted child meets this requirement may file an I-130 petition with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) having jurisdiction over their place of residence in the United States. Upon approval of the I-130 petition, the parents may apply for an immigrant visa for the child at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka. U.S. citizens who believe this category may apply to their adopted child should contact the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka for more information.

An Orphan. If an adopted child has not resided with the adoptive parent for two years (or if the child has not yet even been adopted) the child must qualify under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act in order to apply for an immigrant visa. The main requirements of this section are as follows:

The adoptive or prospective adoptive parent must be an U.S. citizen;

The child must be under the age of 16 at the time an I-600 Petition is filed with the INS on his or her behalf;

If the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent is married, his or her spouse must also be a party to the adoption;

If the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent is single, he or she must be at least 25 years of age;

The child must be an orphan, as defined by U.S. regulations. Although the definition of an orphan found in many dictionaries is "A child whose parents are dead," U.S. immigration law and regulations provide for a somewhat broader definition. Children who do not qualify under this definition, however, may not immigrate to the U.S. as an orphan even if legally adopted by an U.S. Citizen. The Department of State encourages U.S. to consider if a particular child is an orphan according to U.S. immigration law and regulations before proceeding with an adoption. A detailed description of the orphan definition used by INS can be found on INS's web site at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

U.S. IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES FOR ORPHANS

I. The Petition.

Adoptive and prospective adoptive parents must obtain approval of a Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Form I-600) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) before they can apply for an immigrant visa on behalf of an orphan. The adjudication of such petitions can be very time-consuming and parents are encouraged to begin the process well in advance.

A prospective adoptive parent may file Form I-600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office having jurisdiction over their place of residence. This form allows the most time-consuming part of the process to be completed in advance, even before the parent has located a child to adopt. In addition, a parent who has an approved I-600A may file an I-600 in person at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka .

Detailed information about filing these forms can be found on INS's web site at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov. U.S. who have adopted or hope to adopt a child from Sri Lanka should request, at the time they file these forms, that INS notify the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka as soon as the form is approved. Upon receipt of such notification, the Embassy will contact the parents and provide additional instructions on the immigration process. U.S. consular officers may not begin processing an orphan adoption case until they have received formal notification of approval from an INS office in the US.

II. The Orphan Investigation

One part of the petition process that INS cannot complete in advance is the "orphan investigation". An orphan investigation Form I-604 Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation) is required in all orphan adoption cases - even if an I-600 has already been approved - and serves to verify that the child is an orphan as defined by US immigration law. A consular officer performs this investigation at the time of the child's immigrant visa interview.

SRI LANKA EMBASSY IN THE UNITED STATES:

Embassy of Sri Lanka
2148 Wyoming Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: 202-483-4026 to 28
Fax: 202-232-7181
Email address: [email protected]

U.S. EMBASSY IN SRI LANKA:

U.S. Embassy
210, Galle Road
Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Tel: 94-1-448007
Fax: 94-1-437345, 436943
Home page: http://www.usia.gov/posts/sri-lanka or www.travel.state.gov

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult INS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult Immigration and Naturalization Service Publication M-249, the Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State Publication, "International Adoptions".

Information on immigrant Visas is available from the State Department's Visa Office, at 202-663-1225. This 24-hour automated system includes options to speak with consular officers during business hours for questions not answered in the recorded material. Application forms and petitions for immigrant visas are available from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the nearest office of which is listed in the federal pages of your telephone book, under U.S. Department of Justice.

In addition, the State Department publishes Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings, as appropriate. The Consular Information Sheets are available for every country in the world, providing information such as the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situation etc. Both Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings may be heard 24 hours a day by calling the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 202 647-5225 from a touch-tone telephone. The recording is updated as new information becomes available. In addition, this information is accessible through the automated fax machine, as above, and is also available at any of the 13 regional passport agencies, field offices of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. Furthermore, you may write requesting information, sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Overseas Citizens Services, Room 4811 Main State, 2201 C ST. NW U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818. For complete information on accessing consular information via computer, please request document 1016, entitled "Consular Information Program," from the automated fax system, which is described in the preceding paragraph.

You may visit the Consular Affairs homepage at or the US Embassy in Colombo's homepage at: http://www.usia.gov/posts/sri-lanka.

QUESTIONS: Specific questions regarding adoption in Sri Lanka may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo. You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Room L-127, SA-1, 2401 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20522, Tel: (202) 736-7000 with specific questions.

Information is also available 24 hours a day from several sources:

Telephone - Office of Children's Issues - recorded information regarding changes in adoption procedures and general information, (202) 736-7000.- State Department Visa Office - recorded information concerning immigrant visas for adoptive children, (202) 663-1225.- Immigration and Naturalization Service - recorded information for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM (3676).

Automated fax - contains the full text of the office's international adoption information flyers and general information brochure, International Adoptions. From the telephone on your fax machine, call (202) 647-3000.

Internet - the Consular Affairs web site, at: http://travel.state.gov contains international adoption information flyers and the International Adoptions brochure.

INS web site - http://www.ins.usdoj.gov

Other information:

Consular Information Sheets - published by the State Department and available for every country in the world, providing information such as the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. The information is available 24 hours a day by calling the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. The recordings are updated as new information becomes available, and are also accessible through the automated fax machine and the Internet web site, as above.
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