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Kazakhstan Adoptive Families

Kazakhstan adoption lawyer


Hi everyone.

We’d like to know if you know any lawyer/attorney in Kazakhstan that could help us adopting.

The process would need to be an independent international adoption, due to us being from Brazil and be living in UAE.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Replies

Sorry, anything wrong with the post?

Posted by Israel on Nov 15, 2015 at 3:38am

Do remember that international adoption has two major components, adoption and immigration. 

From the adoption perspective, remember that Kazakhstan has ratified the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption, and so has Brazil.  As a result, it is very unlikely that you will be allowed to do an independent adoption.  You will generally have to use a licensed, nonprofit agency in your country of citizenship, Brazil, that is Hague-accredited and has been authorized by the Kazakhstan government to place children with foreign families.  It doesn’t matter, from an adoption perspective, where you live now. 

From an immigration perspective, however, where you live can pose a big issue.  Before you finalize any adoption, you need to be sure that you will need to be able to bring the child to the place you are currently living.  It’s not always automatic.  As an example, the U.S. allows immigration of newly adopted children only under certain circumstances.  Because UAE is a Muslim country, its legal system has an entirely different view of adoption from that of the Western world; as an example, the rights of the birthparents are not terminated, and the adoptive parents are treated as guardians or foster parents; this can affect the country’s willingness to admit a child who went through a Western style adoption, in some cases.  It would also be a good idea to verify that you will be able to bring the child home to Brazil, if and when you decide to return there. 

In addition to adoption and immigration, you also should be aware of the citizenship requirements of Brazil.  In many countries, the citizenship of the adoptive parents is not automatically transferred to the adopted children.  If you want your child to be a citizen of Brazil, you will have to understand how to proceed to make him/her one. 

Sharon

Posted by sak9645 on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:07pm

Thanks for your information.

Yes we contacted Brazilian authorities and the only way for us to adopt to Brazil via Hague is by actually living in Brazil.

The alternative is to adopt independently and yes, the recognition of adoption in a foreign country and the subsequent Brazilian nationality is quite straight forward.

We realized that Kazakhstan is now part of Hague and we are considering alternatives.

I’ve heard that Ukraine still accepts independent adoption, but that children are quite old.

Would appreciate if you had more insights on this.

Thank you very much.

Posted by Israel on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:13pm

I’m surprised that Brazil allows independent adoptions for citizens who live abroad, given that there are two countries that have ratified the Hague involved. 

In the U.S., ALL adoptions from Hague countries, regardless of where the U.S. citizen prospective parents are currently living, must involve a licensed, non-profit, American agency that is Hague-accredited and approved by the country from which the child will be coming.  Even when there’s a relative adoption, the paperwork must be approved by a Hague-accredited agency.  And, recently, a law was enacted that requires Americans adopting independently from a non-Hague country to use an agency to review everything and ensure that all adoption services, wherever provided, meet with basic U.S. and Hague standards of legality and ethics.

But I’m happy that you will be able to adopt independently from certain non-Hague countries.  Ukraine is a non-Hague country that considers all adoptions independent and limits the role that agencies can play in helping prospective parents.  Ukraine has advised the U.S. State Department that there are no healthy children or children with minor health issues under three years of age available for adoption, and that there are very few such children under age six available for adoption.  If you submit an approved dossier to Ukraine, indicating that you are looking for a young child in relatively good health, it will most likely not be accepted and registered.

Although you are Brazilian, you may want to go to the website of the U.S. State Department, at adoption.state.gov, and click on the drop-down list of countries.  If you click on a specific country, you will be taken to a page that shows whether it is Hague or non-Hague, whether is allows independent adoption, what sorts of children (age, health status) are available, and what criteria prospective parents must meet (age, length of marriage, health status, criminal history, etc.)

A couple of non-Hague countries that you may want to consider, if they permit independent adoption and Brazil has an adoption agreement with them:

Honduras (process in flux)
Marshall Islands (may meet the birthmother)
Ethiopia (process in flux)
Nicaragua (process considered difficult)
Russia (closed to Americans but open to others)
Samoa
Taiwan
Uganda

Sharon
Mom to Becca
born 10/18/1995
adopted 5/5/1997, Xiamen (Fujian province), China

Posted by sak9645 on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:31am

Hi again Sharon,

Yes, it’s a bit weird but we have triple checked with Brazilians authorities, apparently they consider it a “domestic adoption” since, they are not processing the adoption in Brazil, they are just recognizing the adoption made overseas to attest that the Brazilian adoptive parents are truly the adoptive parents of the child.

Thank for the list and we are familiar with adoption.state.gov but you gave me an idea to go through each one on the drop down list to find out which aren’t Hague.

Taiwan requires accredited agency in the country of residency (there are no adoption agencies here in UAE).

Other countries you cited are a bit far but I’ll check them.

Thank you for your time again!

Posted by Israel on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:45am

I am impressed by how much research you have done.  You are going to be one prepared parent!

You said that the countries I mentioned were “a bit far”.  Frankly, that’s one of the challenges of international adoption.  I live on the East Coast of the U.S., and adopted from China.  Now THAT is quite a trip, even without a new child who may be sick or grieving, doesn’t speak English, has never been on an airplane, and so on.  When you get home after adopting, you and the child will be horribly jet lagged for days, or even weeks in some cases.  But you WILL survive.  Just don’t plan any activities for the first two weeks or so after arriving home, so that you and your child can adjust to the time zone, get over any minor bugs you pick up there, and do some serious bonding.

Many people I know have flown Emirates Air and spoken highly of it.  As you are living in the UAE, you may be using it for your adoption travel.  When I mentioned Taiwan, I checked Emirates to see if it flew from Abu Dhabi to Taipei, and it does!  Apparently it takes about nine hours.  I’m sure that Emirates flies to other countries you may consider, as well, and of course, there are lots of other airlines out there.  I used Korean Air for going to and from China, and it was truly outstanding.

The flight home with your child will seem endless, no matter how long or short it is, but you will survive.  I flew in coach with a “lap ticket” for my daughter, meaning that there was no guarantee I’d have a separate seat for her.  A lap ticket can be issued on overseas flights if the child has not yet reached his/her second birthday, and it costs about 10% of an adult ticket’s price; the only drawback is that, if the plane is full, you’ll be holding a child on your lap for the entire flight.  It’s probably the worst way to do the trip, but if you have friendly and helpful flight attendants, it can work pretty well.

Keep me informed as you choose your country and begin the adoption process.

Sharon

Posted by sak9645 on Nov 17, 2015 at 7:54pm

Hi Sharon, thanks for the suggestion, we’ll consider other countries, one other factor is that usually independent adoptions seem to be (or are usually more recommended) to have 2 trips to the country. One to sometimes check the children available or to apply with the paperwork, etc. And another to bring the child home. Also, I’d prefer to bring the child to UAE only after I actually recognize the adoption in Brazil to avoid surprises. Also, the kid might be older, which makes = 2 adults * 2 trips + 1 kid*1 ticket. And that on an expensive Emirates flight to a far away country can break the bank! smile

Posted by Israel on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:44am

I made a list of non-Hague countries that might accept independent adoptions.

We are revising the ones in Europe and Asia first.
Let me know if you have any info for countries in that area you might want to share.

http://www.mapcustomizer.com/map/non-hague2

Posted by Israel on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:47am

While you’ve done a lot of work on this, most of the non-Hague countries on your list do not allow international adoptions, either independent or agency-assisted, except in the case of adoptions by a close relative.  If you look at the number of adoptions from a country in the past several years, and see numbers such as ten or fewer, you can forget those countries, as they are generally ones granting humanitarian exceptions so a child can join a close relative living abroad.

Another way to look at the issue is to read agency websites and determine what programs in non-Hague countries they have.  Agencies are hurting, these days, because so many countries that were once popular have either closed to international adoption or tightened their requirements.  As a result, they are scrambling to find new countries with which they can work, or they will have to go out of business.  Believe me, if a country has a reasonably organized and ethical adoption system, agencies would be placing children from there. 

So if you see a country that is non-Hague and doesn’t appear on any agency lists, it generally means that you won’t be able to adopt there, either because the country does not allow international adoption, or because there are no young children available, or because the process is so complicated and convoluted that it’s almost impossible to guarantee that an adoption can be done in anything like a reasonable time frame, or because there’s so much corruption that you will be unable to get your home country, Brazil, to recognize the adoption as valid.

Also, be aware of two specific situations in which adoption from a country will generally not occur.  The first is adoption from a country that is currently facing, or has recently faced, a natural or manmade disaster.  I’m referring to things like earthquakes, epidemics, and civil insurrections.  In such settings, the government is not likely to be working well, as its first priority is restoring order, burying the dead, taking care of the injured, and restoring basics like safe drinking water, electric power, and so on.  Because adoption is a complex legal process, you simply won’t be able to finalize an adoption and get the paperwork to validate it.  Also, in settings where there’s so much chaos that people don’t know for sure whether relatives are alive or dead, and where family or community members would normally take in a child, but need to rebuild their lives and businesses first,  it would be criminal to adopt a child until everyone is sure that the parents are deceased and that no one from the country will be able or willing to adopt; that can take several years.

The second scenario involves adoption from a country whose laws and customs are based on Shaaria—Islamic law, or where the population is heavily Muslim.  In the West, adoption requires two things: first, the termination of birthparents’ parental rights, and second, the creation of a relationship between a child and a new family that has the same legal and moral status as a relationship between a child and the people to whom he/she was born.

Islam views adoption differently from the way it is viewed in the West.  Basically, the rights of the birthparents are not terminated.  A child may be placed with a new family, but does not take the parents’ name, does not acquire inheritance rights, and so on.  Where at all possible, the new family must consult with the birth family on matters such as the religious education of the child.  And if the time comes when it is in the best interests of the child to return him/her to his/her birth family, that must be done.  In short, it is more like guardianship or foster care.

While there is something to be said for this concept of adoption—for example, because it does not cause the birthparents to grieve a loss, and because it does not lead to painful searches by the birthparents or children—it causes all sorts of problems when foreigners attempt to adopt and immigrate a child.  Most of the Western world will not grant an immigrant visa to a child whose new guardian is just a temporary one.  If the courts in the child’s country of citizenship will not issue a final adoption decree or send a child out of the country under a decree of permanent guardianship, the child will not be able to be brought into a country such as the U.S.  As a result, it is often very difficult even for Muslims to adopt a child from a Muslim country However, some Muslim countries, such as Pakistan and Morocco, are liberal enough that the wording of the guardianship decree “may” meet the requirements of the adoptive parents’ country of citizenship, if those parents are Muslim.  Non-Muslims “may” be able to adopt and immigrate a child who is known to have Christian birthparents, but it depends on the Muslim country involved.  Adoption of a Muslim Child by a non-Muslim is generally prohibited.

All in all, please understand that:

1.  Many countries have more than enough domestic families willing to adopt reasonably healthy infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  If they allow international adoption at all, it will be to find homes for children with significant mental or physical disabilities, teenagers, or school aged boys.  (Most adoptive families seek to adopt girls.)  In general, the more prosperous the country is, the less it needs international adoption, except in the case of the hardest to place children.

2.  Many countries have had serious corruption problems related to international adoption, and have begun tightening up their laws to prevent child trafficking and other abuses.  Almost all of these countries have discovered that the most serious abuses have occurred when independent adoption by foreigners is allowed.  As a result, many countries that used to allow independent adoption no longer do.  As an example, China allowed independent adoption up until about 1992, when it created and began to enforce a strict new adoption law that limited adoptions to children in government run orphanages or foster homes, and had central regulation of adoptions.

3. The Hague Convention on international adoption (#33), while not perfect, has become the gold standard for international adoption.  At present, 95 countries have ratified or acceded to this treaty, and more are working to become Hague-compliant.  Once the Hague is in place, independent adoption is generally prohibited.  Your situation, of being Brazilian citizens living in UAE, is somewhat unusual, in that Brazil enforces the Hague only when Brazilians seeking to adopt overseas live in their home country, and REQUIRES Brazilians living abroad to adopt independently.  You may encounter some non-Hague countries that will not allow you to adopt because they know that Brazil is Hague compliant and will not accept the fact that your situation is unique.

4.  Independent international adoption is not for the faint of heart.  The people who have the most success speak the language of the foreign country and are very conversant with its laws and customs; familiarity with the foreign medical system is also desirable, as medical records may underestimate or overestimate the extent of problems that a child may have.  It is also important that the prospective parents have familiarity with the legal system of their home country and any country in which they currently reside, to be sure that their child will be allowed to immigrate and have their adoption recognized as legal.  Many people in Brazil speak Spanish, as well as their native Portuguese, as I have discovered through visiting Brazil and some other South American countries, so you “may” find it easier to adopt from a non-Hague country in Central or South America.  If you use a lawyer a child’s country of citizenship, always remember that he/she probably does NOT know your country’s adoption and immigration laws, and you may need an attorney in both Brazil and the UAE to assist you with these matters.

5.  Even independent adoptions require a homestudy.  You will need to find a provider that is approved by the Brazilian government and that works in UAE or is willing to travel to UAE.  The Brazilian Embassy in UAE may be a place to start looking for one.  While you are going to work without a placement agency, you may want to contact LIMIAR in Brazil to see if they are willing to recommend a homestudy provider in UAE. 

6.  As a result of experiences with disrupted and dissolved adoptions, many countries now require either multiple trips or one very long stay, as part of your adoption process.  This requirement is intended to let you get to know the child you are adopting and reduce the likelihood that you will not be able to meet his/her needs once you get home, but it CAN increase your costs significantly, as travel costs account for the largest component of adoption fees.  Unfortunately, the countries with very short stays are often agency-only—for example, South Korea, where you may be able to complete in-country activities in less than a week, stay in a guest house run by the social welfare organization that runs your child’s orphanage, to save money, etc.

6.  You mentioned costs in your last post.  Be aware that independent adoptions are not necessarily less costly than agency assisted ones.  Many people who have tried to adopt independently have lost a lot of money by using the wrong facilitators, lawyers, etc. abroad, and have been unable to bring home children.  So be very careful. 

Also, some adoption agencies have good contacts with airlines, hotels, and so on in the country you choose, and can help people find options that suit your budget.  When I adopted from China, I used an agency whose Korean-born director was extremely well connected in the Korean community and elsewhere in Asia.  He recommended a Korean travel agency that saved me hundreds of dollars on airfare (traveled on Korean Air), and also found some amazing discounts at a luxury hotel in pricey Hong Kong, since several families in our travel group wanted to spend some time resting up from jet lag there, before going in to adopt on the mainland.  In addition, the agency contracted with an excellent travel service in China that made all of our in-country arrangements and handled everything superbly.  One you choose a country, contact other families who’ve adopted from that country, for tips on where to stay, reliable guide/translators, ethical facilitators/attorneys, and so on.

It sounds as if you are an experienced traveler, who can handle getting everything done in a foreign country, but the one piece of advice I have is don’t try to “rough it” in country.  Parenting a new child in a hotel is not easy, and you will find that staying somewhere that has a lot of amenities and staff who speak your language will help, even if it costs more.  And if you need to make long flights with a young child, many families will tell you that business class is best,  Interestingly, my agency’s head suggested NOT using business class, even if a family has the means, because business class passengers, who need to work or sleep, are more likely to be grumpy if a child cries or plays with a toy that makes a noise.  Still, let’s face it, business class means better leg room, easier access to toilets, more food choices, and so on, which can be helpful when traveling with a child.  But as I said earlier, I flew coach and my daughter was on a lap ticket, and we survived.

Best wishes to you.  Keep all of us informed as you choose a country and go through the adoption process.


Sharon

Posted by sak9645 on Nov 18, 2015 at 7:22pm

Thanks for your very helpful comments, I wish I had them earlier smile

Yes, for the reasons you mentioned, most countries in the East will not be an option, we are checking one by one and almost all of them are already off the list.

Central/South America is too far right now, we may need to way till we go back to Brazil one day…

Posted by Israel on Nov 19, 2015 at 2:20am

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