Independant International Adoptions

In 2012, the United States passed the Universal Accreditation Act, (UAA) which went into effect on July 14, 2014. The main purpose of the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) is to apply the same safeguards that are in place for Convention adoptions to non-Convention adoptions. The way the UAA furthers this purpose is two-fold. First, the UAA requires all Hague accredited or approved Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) to provide services in the same manner for non-Convention countries as they would for Convention countries. Second, all US parents looking to adopt internationally must use a Hague accredited or approved ASP to ensure the same ethical standards are applied to all international adoption cases.
If you wish to adopt internationally without the use of a Hague accredited or approved ASP, you will not be able to do so under the UAA now in effect.  Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAP) now must designate a “Primary Provider;” and such provider for all intents and purposes is now held responsible for the adoption under the UAA.  In all cases parents must have a home study and must select a Primary Provider. PAPs may think that, if they can complete a home study only with a Hague ASP, they should be able to complete the remainder of the adoption independently.  That is no longer the case. The home study agency may also serve as the Primary Provider in the absence of another agency with a program in that country. Under the UAA, however, there are significant responsibilities associated with being a Primary Provider above and beyond just completing the home study which makes many ASP completing the home study less likely or less experienced to take these cases.  The Primary Provider is required to ensure that the adoption is Hague compliant and would likely be responsible for the actions of any attorney or facilitator working on behalf of the parents in country.

Due to the potential for increased responsibility and liability for ASPs completing home study only services, agencies which can conduct the home study will not be able to serve as the Primary Provider.  . Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt independently, must now expect three contracts for adoption services:
  1. A Feasibility/Background Study done by the ASP which is willing to consider being the Primary Provider.  This study is a separate study done by the ASP in the other country in order for the Agency to decide on the validity of the case and whether the Agency will accept to proceed as Primary Provider. The Primary Provider should be confirmed before the home study is started.
  2. The contract for the home study and post-placement/post-adoption supervisory reports.
  3. The contract from the Primary Provider for the Adoptions Services for the case.
 Although the UAA ensures a safer, more regulated adoption process for the parents and the child, it comes at a cost i.e. increased services mean increased costs to the adoptive family.  Many people who are seeking to do Relative Adoptions do not realize that these adoptions must also follow these same intercountry regulations as for independent adoptions.  Relative Adoptions in Hague countries must be processed under the Hague regulations in the same procedures as non-relative adoptions. You may contact Illien Adoptions by entering your information on our website at How to Get Started and give us as much information as possible, and/or write to us at You may also call 404-815-1599 Ext. Relative Adoptions.