Latvia is located in Europe and is situated between Lithuania and Estonia. The country borders the Baltic Sea and is notable for its wide sandy beaches, dense sprawling forests, and thousands of lakes and rivers. Aside from the country’s natural beauty, a popular destination spot for tourist is Riga, which is the capitol of Latvia. The city houses over one third of Latvia’s population and has plenty of interesting sites and attractions, including theaters, museums, and outdoor markets. Most local businesses cater to tourist and many of the people speak English. Latvia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all intercountry adoptions between Albania and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
Latvian adoptions are conducted through a collaborative effort of a Hague accredited adoption agency in the US and by the Latvian Central Adoption Authority (Ministry of Welfare).
• Both boys and girls are available
• Children over age 9 and up to age 15 are available
• Sibling groups of 3 or more children
• Children with severe health problems are available for adoption.
• Latvian children, in general, have fair skin and blond or brown hair.
ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT
The parents must be at least 25 years old, at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting and there are no upper age restrictions, although Nightlight in general considers it best that there be no more than 45 years between you, the parents, and your child. For older children, exceptions can be made. Married heterosexual couples and single women are accepted into the program.
- Make application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
- Begin your adoption home study and submit form I-800A to CIS.
- Begin to assemble your dossier. We will give you detailed instructions.
- Once USCIS has approved your adoption home study, you will receive your I-800A adoption approval.
- Once your USCIS approval has been received your dossier is complete, you will be registered to adopt in Latvia.
- The Latvian Central Authority will add you to a list of waiting families and it can take 6 to 24 months to receive a referral.
- Once your referral is received, you will travel to Latvia for about four weeks to meet your child and then be approved to take the child into your care
- At the end of the 4 weeks stay, you will travel home with your child and continue the bonding period in the US
- File I-800 form with USCIS
- After the Article 5 is issued by the US Embassy in Riga, the adoption court hearing will be required to travel back to Latvia to attend the hearing. Children over ages 12 and older, are also required to travel and attend the hearing
- No less than 40 days after the court hearing, at least one parent and the child(ren) will travel back to Latvia for the third and final time to obtain an immigration visa for their child.
3 trips are required for adoption from Latvia. The first trip being the longest; about 4 weeks in duration. The second and third trips are about 3 days each. On your first trip you will meet the child you were referred and begin the required bonding period with them. You will be visited by a social worker from Orphans Court who will observe you binding and interactions with the child and then the social worker will make a recommendation to the court about continuing the adoption process. Then you and your child will return to the U.S. to continue the bonding period. One visit by your home study social worker will also be required at that time and the report they prepare will be submitted to the Latvian court. Once the finalization court hearing is scheduled only one parent may go on the second trip to attend the hearing. Children will be required to attend the hearing if they are ages 12 and over. Roughly 6-8 weeks later you and your adopted child will return to Latvia to file the child’s adoption paperwork at the US Embassy and obtain the child’s US Immigrant visa.
Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to preparing families for the adoption of a child with special needs. We provide pre- and post-adoption education and information regarding medical resources.
Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your home study provider. Your home study provider will prepare post-adoption reports and submit them to Nightlight at 12 and 24 months after the adoption is finalized. These reports include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing the Latvian Adoption Committee and birth families that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. Compliance with post adoption reports is also required by the Hague Convention. Therefore, Nightlight charges a fee to monitor and process these post adoption reports and also requires families to pay for the cost of the post placement report in advance.
The program fee for a Latvian adoption is $17,000. Additional estimated expenses of $13,420 – $15,640 will bring the total cost to approximately $30,420 – $32,640. In addition, your out-of-pocket expenses may be reduced if you receive scholarships or other employer-provided adoption benefits. For additional fee information, please see Exhibit A.
Please contact Liana Stoddart, Liana@Nightlight.org
(970) 663-6799, with any questions.