Serbia Adoption Information
Our adoption program from Serbia is currently CLOSED.
See our CURRENT PROGRAMS page for open active programs.
Process of Adopting from Serbia
As with all of our adoption programs, you must first participate in a general information meeting prior to contracting with the agency. This can be done via telephone for families who reside outside of Texas. Once this meeting has taken place, and you have signed the contracts and paid the initial agency fees, we immediately begin working on your home study, foreign dossier, and USCIS approval. Our agency strives to offer the fullest level of support and services possible – even sending for apostilles and document authentications on your behalf in order to complete your adoption dossier in the quickest manner possible. While there are many aspects outside of our control with adoption and foreign adoptions in particular, we have found during our years of experience that our hard work on things we can control – paperwork, preparing and authenticating dossiers, etc. – usually quickens your overall adoption process.
After your home study has been completed and approved and you have received USCIS approval, we begin work on your dossier. Once your dossier has been completed, we will forward it to our foreign coordinator who will work on translating the dossier and then submit it to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy in Serbia. At this point you are ready to be matched with a referral. Each municipality in Serbia has its own authority called the Center for Social Work. These center attempt to match registered children awaiting adoption with registered adoptive parents. You will receive any referral information made available to us (usually a picture and an excerpt from the child’s medical charts). We will strongly encourage you to have the information evaluated by a doctor skilled in evaluating international adoption referrals.
Once your doctor has given his or her approval and you are comfortable proceeding, you will travel as soon as possible for the first trip. Hope International will assist you with travel arrangements (if needed) and with preparing for your trip to Serbia. The first trip, including travel time, is approximately 5 to 6 days. Of those, 2 to 3 days will be spent visiting your child in his or her region. During this trip, you will meet with a local social worker who will evaluate your ability to parent the child. If you are approved and you decide to adopt the child you will complete documentation stating that you wish to adopt the child you are visiting. Once the documentation is complete, you will return back to the United States to wait for the paperwork to clear the appropriate Serbian governmental departments and for the adoption to become final. The time between your two trips is very difficult to predict and could be between 1 to 3 months later, or even longer. It is important that you understand and respect that foreign governments take the question of international adoption very seriously, and there are many steps involved before you can travel to Serbia to bring your child home. As your agency, we know the wait can be frustrating and stressful, and we are here to support you through this time.
You will be notified as soon as the adoption is final so that you can make travel preparations for the second trip. Once in Serbia, the foreign representative will guide you through each step of the adoption process. You can stay in Serbia for as few as 3 to 5 days, or you can stay longer if you prefer. During this time, the foreign representative will assist you in obtaining the following for the child: adoption certificate, a new birth certificate, a medical examination, a passport, and a visa.
When you return home, and for the first six months following placement, Hope International or your home study agency will provide post-placement supervision as required by the State of Texas or your state of residence. In addition, Serbia requires that four follow-up reports be submitted during the first three years after placement. Hope International or your home study agency will prepare these reports and forward them to Serbia. At the completion of the initial six-month post-placement period, you will be ready to proceed with your Registration of Foreign Decree or Re-adoption. Hope International will help facilitate this process for Texas families. If you reside outside of Texas, we recommend that you contact a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) regarding the completion of a registration of re-adoption in your state.
Qualifications for Adopting from Serbia
- There must be a difference of at least 18 years, but no more than 45 years, between the adopting parent(s) and child.
- Serbian law does not specify a maximum age for adopting parents, but parents over 46 years old will have to adopt older children.
- Married parents can adopt. Single women must receive special prior approval from the local adoption authorities in Belgrade before they can pursue an adoption through this program.
- Adoptive parents with diagnosed mental disorders or infectious disease can not adopt from Serbia.
- Children age 2 months to 18 years are eligible for adoption in Serbia, however usually U.S. adoptive parents will only be matched with children who have been on the register for a minimum of one years. A waiver can be issued if there is a medical need. Please note that a child must be under the age of 16 in order to qualify for an U.S. immigrant visa.