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Intercountry Adoption – Mongolia

Who Can Adopt

June 2011
Statistic: Adoption from Mongolia to U.S (State Department)

Statistic: Adoption from Mongolia to U.S

Intercountry adoptions between the United States and Mongolia are governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.  Therefore to adopt from Mongolia, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Mongolia also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS:  There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents who apply through agencies authorized by the Mongolian Government.

AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Prospective adoptive parents may be no more than 60 years of age.

MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS:  There are no marriage requirements for intercountry adoptions.

INCOME REQUIREMENTS:  A certification on the living and financial ability of the applicant by the relevant authority of a respective state

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:  Additional requirements include:

  • A medical certification regarding whether adopter has tuberculoses, AIDS, or mental disease
  • A certification regarding the place of permanent residence of the applicant by the relevant authority/ including the certification by a police authority
  • Anyone who meets the criteria below is prohibited from adopting in Mongolia
  • Individuals who have had their parental rights restricted, curtailed are prohibited from adopting in Mongolia.
  • Anyone who has returned an adopted child because his/her own fault
  • Anyone who has been declared by a court decision as not having a full civil law capacity or has a restricted capacity,
  • Anyone who has tuberculoses or mental disease
  • Anyone who habitually consumes alcoholic drinks or narcotic substances
  • Anyone who has several criminal records or is currently imprisoned.

The Mongolian embassy in Washington, D.C., has a web page devoted to the eligibility requirements for adopting Mongolian children. American citizens considering adopting from Mongolia should visit the Embassy of Mongolia website

Who Can be Adopted

Because Mongolia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Mongolia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption by U.S. prospective adoptive parents. For example, the Convention requires that Mongolia attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for inter-country adoption.  In addition to Mongolia’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

Relinquishment Requirements: The consent of parents to give their child for adoption must be in writing and certified by a notary public.  A child whose parents have given up parents rights may be eligible for adoption after six months from the date when the relinquishment was recognized by the courts. 

Additional Requirements: Children 7 years of age and older must consent to the adoption; Adoption must be deemed in the best interests of the child.

How to Adopt

  • Mongolia’s Adoption Authority
  • Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection

Central Agency for International Adoption: Please note that adoptions in Mongolia require the consent of two separate agencies.  The Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection (MPDSP) has primary responsibility for placement and approval of adoptions generally.  The Immigration Agency assists with all cases of international adoptions.  Approval of both agencies is required before the adopted child can immigrate to the United States.

Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection    
Address: 15160 Ulaanbaatar, Chingeltei district, United Nations Street 5  Tel: 976-11-261553;  Fax: 976-11-328634; Email: mpdsp@mongolnet.mn; Website: www.mpdsp.gov.mn

Immigration Agency of Mongolia
Address: Khan Uul District, 10th khoroo
Buyant Ukhaa, Ulaanbaatar
Tel: 1882 (Inquiry); 976-9314-1002/1010; Fax: 976-7013-3459; Website: http://www.immigration.gov.mn/  

The Process

Because Mongolia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Mongolia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE:  If you filed your I-600a with Mongolia before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.

  • Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  • Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  • Be Matched with a Child
  • Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the U.S
  • Adopt the Child in Mongolia
  • Bring your Child Home

Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider: In general, the first step in adopting a child is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited.  Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Mongolia.  Learn more.

Please note: In addition to using a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider, prospective adoptive parents are required to work with an adoption agency that has also been approved by the Mongolian Government.  Adoptive parents must use the Mongolian Government-approved adoption agency listed here:

Small World
401 Bonnaspring Drive
Hermitage, TN 37076
Phone:  615.883.4372
Fax: 615.885.7582
Email: jsavley@swa.net                     Website: http://www.swa.net
Small World in Mongolia
Chingeltei district
2-r 40 myangat, 3-r khoroo
Bldg#12-18
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Tel: 976-99113152
Email:ariuunaa@gmail.com     
Contact person: Ariunaa Nasanochir
HoltInternational
1195 City View
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone:  541.687.2202
Fax: 541.683.6175
Email: paulk@holtinternational.org
Website: http://www.holtinternational.org/

HoltInternational in Mongolia
Peace Ave, Apt#19 Bldg#42, 1st 40000, Sukhbaatar district, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Office Tel/Fax: 976-11-325462 Website:
http://www.holtintl.org/

Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt  

After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

The first step for  prospective adoptive parents is to apply to one of the Mongolian Government-approved U.S. adoption agencies for a home study.  Once the U.S. Government determines that you are “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt your adoption service provider will gather all necessary documents and present them to the MPDSP. 

Be Matched with a Child 

If both the United States and Mongolia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for inter-country adoption, the central adoption authority in Mongolia may provide you with a referral for a child.

Based on the home study, the MPDSP will propose a child with whom to match the prospective parents. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption 

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how. 

After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Mongolia’s adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.

Remember:  The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Mongolia

Remember:  Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Mongolia, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Mongolia. In order to finalize the adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to Mongolia to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Mongolian authorities. The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Mongolia generally includes the following:

ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The MPDSP reviews the home study and matches a child with the prospective adoptive parents. 

ROLE OF THE COURT:  The Immigration Agency grants the final approval for the adoption. 

ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: The adoption agency gathers documents from prospective parents and presents them to the MPDSP. After a match has been made, the adoption agency then presents the documentation to the Immigration Agency for final approval. This process normally takes approximately one month.

TIME FRAME:  It is hard to predict how much time is required to complete an adoption in Mongolia. The time frames provided here are intended as guidelines only, and the specific circumstances of each case can significantly impact the length of the process.

As of March 2007, adoption procedures take approximately twelve to eighteen months from the time all of the necessary paperwork is submitted to MPDSP to the time the MPDSP delivers it for final approval to the Immigration Agency.

ADOPTION APPLICATION:  The adoption agency submits the adoption application to the MPDSP.

ADOPTION FEES:  In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency should itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.  Fees will vary.

There are no Mongolian Government fees for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents can expect to pay notary fees and/or fees for translation of documents.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  The following documents are required by the government of Mongolia:

  • Cover letter
  • Adoption application form
  • Identification documents
  • Passport copy- father, mother
  • Drivers license copy– father, mother
  • Marriage certificate copy
  • Copy of highest diploma – father, mother
  • Financial statement from Bank & Taxation office (received not later than 2 month before submission of application)
  • Medical documents
  • Medical report – father, mother (received not later than 2 month before application)
  • Medical analysis on HIV/AIDS
  • Police clearance document
  • I-800 approval notification
  • Police clearance (received not later than 2 month before submission application)
  • Court decision on permission to adopt (if any)
  • Home study document
  • Home study 6-8 pages (as much as possible specific)
  • Home study Agency or Social worker License
  • Legal and parent commitment document   
  • Letter from Adoption agency to the MSWL
  • Copy of Accreditation from Central authority or State to work in Mongolia
  • MOU with the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection (if any)
  • License of Adoption Agency (valid)
  • Letter from Parents to the Agency Requesting Authorization to adopt
  • Photos of family & home

Please visit the Embassy of Mongolia website for the required documents are detailed in Article 58.3 of the Mongolian family law.

NOTE:  Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how

Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:


Birth Certificate

You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Parents who have adopted a child  must register their adoption to the State and Civil Registration and Information Center (SCRIC), which then issues a birth certificate and adoption decree. The parent must be present at the registration. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate. 

Mongolian Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a Passport from Mongolia.  

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for a U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child’s I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.  

The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, does process U.S. immigrant visas.  Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad:  The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents. 

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. 

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.  


Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Mongolia. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place. Obtaining Your Visa

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Mongolia, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability. 

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Mongolia, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you. Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What does Mongolia require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

A report and information on the child’s development (pictures, videos, etc.) made by the social worker appointed by the relevant authority shall be submitted:

  • For children 1 month to 3 years old – once every half year;
  • For children 4 to 8 years old – once every year;
  • For children 8 to 16 years old – once every two years.

The adoption agency is responsible for translation of the reports into Mongolian and their delivery to the Immigration Agency. In necessary cases the Immigration Agency shall visit the adopted children at the expense of adopted parents and adoption agency in order to meet with the child and examine his/her conditions.

According to Mongolian regulations, adoptive parents have a responsibility to introduce the child to Mongolian culture.  

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Mongolia and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents. 

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Mongolia
11 Micro District
Big Ring Road, P.O.Box 341
Ulaanbaatar-14192, Mongolia
Tel: (976) 7007-6001 

Mongolia’s Adoption Authority

Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection (MPDSP)   
15160 Ulaanbaatar, Chingeltei district, United Nations Street 5            Tel: 976-11-261553; Fax: 976-11-328634; Email: mpdsp@mongolnet.mnWebsite: www.mpdsp.gov.mn

Immigration Agency of Mongolia
Khan Uul District, 10th khoroo Buyant Ukhaa, Ulaanbaatar
Tel: 1882 (Inquiry); 976-9314-1002/1010; Fax: 976-7013-3459; Website: http://www.immigration.gov.mn/

Embassy of Mongolia
2833 M Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20007
Email: esyam@mongolianembassy.us
Website: http://www.mongolianembassy.us/

Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations in New York
6 East 77th Street,
New York, N.Y. 10021
Email: mongolia@un.int
Website: http://www.un.int./mongolia

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
SA-29
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Website: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).