Adoption from Hungary
Hungary is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Hungary.
Who can adopt from Hungary?
- Residency requirements: There are no residency requirements for Hungary. Hungarian citizens who live abroad belong to the international applicants and are in the international registry.
- Age requirements: According to Hungarian law, adoptive parents must be at least 16 years older than their adoptive child, but no more than 45 years older. The age difference is calculated based on the age of the younger adoptive parent. If the adoptive children are siblings, the age of the older sibling is taken into consideration.
- Marriage requirements:Hungarian law allows single people to adopt. However, Hungarian authorities may not encourage these adoptions based on the strongly held opinion that a child should be raised by a heterosexual and married couple. According to information from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, adoptions are approved based on the submitted documents and a detailed study of the particular case.
- Income requirements: There are no income requirements for adoptive parents in Hungary; however, parents must submit proof of their income to the Ministry of Human resources.
- Other requirements: Hungarian law requires both adoptive parents to meet the child prior to the adoption.
Who can be adopted?
Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Hungary must meet the requirements of the Convention to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Hungary have determined that placement of the child within Hungary has been given due consideration, and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.
- Relinquishment: According to Hungarian Family Law, only children whose parents are deceased, have abandoned their children, or who have had their parental rights terminated by the Hungarian Government may be adopted.
- Age of adoptive child: There are no age requirements for adoptive children.
- Sibling adoptions: Hungarian adoption authorities try to place siblings together if they determine that it is in the best interest of the siblings.
- Special needs or medical conditions: Some of the children adopted from Hungary are children with special needs or they may have minor, correctable medical conditions.
- Waiting period or foster care: There is no waiting period. Children on the registry list are available for adoption and may be matched with their future adoptive parents without any mandatory waiting period or transition through foster care.
What steps are to be followed?
Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Hungary 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.
- Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
- Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
- Be matched with a child by authorities in Hungary
- Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
- Adopt the Child in Hungary
- Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
If both the United States and Hungary determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Ministry of Human Resources has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Hungary. The Ministry of Human Resources will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary.
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States. The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Hungarian Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Hungary where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Hungarian Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.
What does the adoption process include in Hungary?
Role of the adoption authority: After meeting with the child, the custody of the child is granted to the adoptive parents. The Local Guardianship Authority issues an official Custody Decree regarding the placement of the child into the custody of the adoptive parents for 30 days. During that month, the child lives with the adoptive parents in Hungary, and the family is regularly visited by the local child protection service. When the one-month custody is successfully completed, the adoption is finalized and a final adoption decree is issued by the local Guardianship Authority.
Role of adoption agencies: There are no adoption agencies in Hungary. U.S. accredited adoption agencies needs to work directly with the Ministry of Human Resources.
Time frame: If there is a child available for intercountry adoption and the adoptive parent(s) accept(s) the child for adoption, a 30-day temporary custody requirement applies. The procedure after the adoption may take one or two weeks; however, there are very few children on the waiting list for intercountry adoption. The adoptive parents may wait many months or even years until the Ministry of Human Resources offers them a child.
Adoption application: The application is made with the local (county) office of the Guardianship Authority.
Adoption fees: There are no fees for the adoption process itself.
What documents should I submit?
Adoptive parents need to obtain the following documents with official Hungarian translation:
- Home study
- Proof of income
- Psychological report showing suitability of the parents to adopt
- Home country's advanced permission to the adoption
- Proof of citizenship (photocopy of the passport)
- Statement of the adoptive parents regarding their motivation for adoption, and expectations about the child (child's sex, age, health)
- Accreditation of the adoption agency
- Photos of the adoptive parents, of their home, other children or other important elements of their life
Hungarian authorities require two post-placement reports: after two months and after one year of the adoption. Parents should make the reports as detailed as they can and include family photos.
For more information please contact:
Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Protection and Guardianship of Children (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma, Gyermekvédelmi és Gyámügyi Főosztály)
Akadémia u. 3.