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International Adoption KAZAKHSTAN

September 2006

Recent press reports in Kazakhstan indicate that as many as 52 children in the Shymkent region (southern Kazakhstan) have tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Kazakhstani government officials have confirmed that the children were infected by contaminated blood transfusions and reusing medical equipment, such as needles for vaccinations or catheters. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of the situation and is working with the Government of Kazakhstan to investigate the scope of this unfortunate failure of proper medical procedures. While the CDC and the Department of State do not have reason to believe that this situation affects anyone outside of southern Kazakhstan, we felt it was important to notify all parents who have adopted or are planning to adopt children from Kazakhstan.

While a medical examination is conducted by the panel physician in Kazakhstan as part of the immigrant visa process, it is not designed to provide a complete assessment of an adoptive child’s health and does not usually include HIV testing for children under age 15 if there is no reason to believe that a particular child may be HIV-positive. Because of the recent situation in southern Kazakhstan, the Embassy, in consultation with the CDC, has instructed the panel physicians to institute mandatory HIV testing for all Kazakhstani children adopted by Americans as of September 15, 2006. We strongly encourage adopting parents, upon their return to the United States, as a cautionary measure and to ensure proper care for their child, to inform their child’s physician of this information as soon as possible and determine whether or not their child should be tested for HIV.

DISCLAIMER: The following is a guide for U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child in Kazakhstan and to apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. International adoptions involve two sets of laws: 1) the laws of Kazakhstan which governs the adoption of the child, and 2) the U.S. federal law which governs the immigration of the child to the United States. The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of Kazakhstan is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of Kazakhstani laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

PLEASE NOTE: Immigrant visas for residents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, including adoptive children, are administered at the U.S. Embassy in Almaty.

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED KAZAKHSTANI ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans: (IR-3 and IR-4 visas combined) * :

      FY2005....761
      FY2004....843
      FY2003....825
      FY2002....819
      FY2001....757
      FY2000....398
      FY1999....113

* Immediate Relative (IR-3) visas are issued to orphans adopted in Kazakhstan. IR-4 visas are issued to orphans to be adopted or re-adopted in the United States.

VERY IMPORTANT: Kazakhstan has a requirement that all adopted children must have a Post Placement Report (PPR) filed for them each year until the adopted child turns 18. It is important to adhere to the exact requirements of the PPR as failure to do so could jeopardize future adoption processing in Kazakhstan. The PPR should be done in the state where the child and family reside, preferably by a licensed social worker, and include up to 5 photos of the child. The PPR should be translated into Russian or Kazakh and addressed to the Department of Education of the city or region from where the child was adopted in care of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington, D.C.


KAZAKHSTAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES

The adoption process in Kazakhstan includes the following stages:

  1. Filing an I-600A petition with the USCIS for inter-country adoption. If prospective adoptive parents reside in the U.S., they need to apply to the nearest USCIS office. If prospective adoptive parents reside outside of the U.S., they can file an I-600A petition with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas. The petition with the supporting documents will be transferred to the regional DHS office in Moscow.
  2. Submission of the dossier to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington, D.C. or the Consulate of Kazakhstan in New York, N.Y.
  3. Completion of the adoption in Kazakhstan
  4. Application for U.S. Immigrant Visa at the U.S. Embassy in Almaty
  5. Acquisition of U.S. citizenship by adopted children

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Specific questions about adoption in Kazakhstan may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan. General questions regarding international adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747. Useful information is also available from several other sources:

Telephone:

  • Call Center -Toll Free Hotline : Overseas Citizens Services toll-free hotline in the Bureau of Consular Affairs is 1-888-407-4747. The OCS hotline can answer general inquiries regarding international adoption and forwards calls to the appropriate Country Officer. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
  • U.S. Department of State Visa Office - recorded information concerning immigrant visas for adopting children, 202-663-1225.
  • DHS Citizenship and Immigration Services - recorded information for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM (3676).

Internet : http://travel.state.gov

  • Adoption Information Flyers: contains international country adoption information flyers like this one and the International Adoptions brochure.
  • Consular Information Sheets: The State Department has general information about hiring a foreign attorney and authenticating documents that may supplement the country-specific information provided in this flyer. In addition, the State Department publishes Consular Information Sheets (CISes) for every country in the world, providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. If the situation in a country poses a specific threat to the safety and security of American citizens that is not addressed in the CIS for that country, the State Department may issue a Public Announcement alerting U.S. citizens to local security situations. If conditions in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department may issue a Travel Warning recommending that U.S. citizens avoid traveling to that country. These documents are available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov or by calling the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizen 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.
  • USCIS web site - http://www.uscis.gov

— Important Notes —

In June, 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan will begin processing immigrant visas for residents of Uzbekistan. After June, 2006, all Uzbekistani cases received by the Embassy in Almaty will be transferred to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.


— Related Links —
Adoption
Fiancee or K1(K2) Visa
How to Get Married in Kazakhstan
Spouse of U.S. citizen or K3(K4) Visa

— USCIS Links —
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS-Immigrant Classifications
Filing a petition with USCIS
Searching for the status of a petition filed with USCIS
A Guide for New Immigrants

— Useful Links —
Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs
U.S. Department of State


Embassy of the United States