The country of Azerbaijan is located in an area of the world that has known in the past conflict and heartache, for its children as citizens. At one time Russia ran the now independent country of Azerbaijan. Iran is to the south, and the coast line is the Caspian Sea on the east. If you want to internationally adopt a child from this country you will need to be aware of the procedures for initiating an adoption and learn about keeping up to date on the adoption policies, in this politically volatile area of the world. Here are the basic procedures for adopting, and places to contact for further information.
Children that can be adopted from Azerbaijan vary widely in ages, and special needs children are also available for international adoption in this country. Children are adopted out of state and local orphanages, and a wait of over 1 year is the typical frame from the time of acceptance, to finalization of the adoption in an Azerbaijan family court. If adopting from the U. S. you will need to register to adopt first, and then submit your information with the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Your packet must contain your dossier and the USCIS (U. S. Citizen Immigration Service) approval. Review of your information could take one to two months, depending on the review of facts, and any problems that might be encountered in the review.
If you are approved, the information will be sent to the MOH (Ministry of Health), and then sent on to the Health Department of Baku, in Azerbaijan. Before the information is sent though, you will be provided with a list of current children that are residing in orphanages, and that can be adopted. You will have to travel to Azerbaijan to choose a child that you would like to adopt (this is a required step and usually both parents need to visit the country). Your adoption packet will then be sent to an area court of residence for the child, and a formal court review will take place.
If a temporary approval is granted in your international adoption by the court, then it will move up to the district for approval. If approval is met, it will be reviewed again by the governmental adoption officials at the Cabinet of Ministers for the country of Azerbaijan. This process is time consuming but absolutely essential when adopting from Azerbaijan.
However, in an international adoption from Azerbaijan, your dossier and USCIS approval forms will have to be reviewed a second time by a local court notary. Both parents must be present at the hearing on the final review by the court for international adoptions. You will be able to stay in country, or you can leave for the mandatory 30 day waiting period and closing of the files. It is generally best to stay and become acclimated with your new child before you take the journey home.
In the changing world of international adoption policy in this area, you will need to contact the U. S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, or at the U. S. embassy at:
U. S. International Embassy for Azerbaijan
7050 Baku PL
Washington, D. C. 20521
U. S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan
83 Azadlyg, Prospecti
Phone: (994 12) 4980 ext. 335
You can find up to date information on the U. S. government website address, which includes facts about international adoptions at www.usembassybaku.org.
The U. S. State Department is an excellent adoption resource on various issues connected with the adoption of a child from a foreign country. Not only can they point you to the resources for a Visa, but during the adoption process they can help too with inquires on your adoption. Check out the government website at www.travel.state.gov. Here are a few of the issues they can help you with:
• Inquire about your specific adoption case in an international adoption of a child or baby, from any U.S. Embassy in a foreign country.
• Act on complaints of discrimination about any foreign court for perspective adoptive parents on an overseas, or on an international adoption issue.
To protect yourself from scams, go online and visit the BBB of the U. S. (Better Business Bureau), here you will find clear information on international adoption agencies, and any complaints lodged against your agency. There website address is www.bbb.com.
Other sources in an international adoption are:
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
A list of agencies that are in place in the different countries of the world is provided that gives you the necessary insight into what agencies are current, and ones that are not for your international adoption.
The Joint Council of International Children’s Services
This site has the largest affiliation of international adoption agencies listed on the web.