Latvia Adoption Program

The Country of Latvia is located in Eastern Europe on the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania. It is a small country geographically, slightly larger than West Virginia. Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Latvia is famous for its pristine forests, medieval castles, and rustic villages. Latvia’s capital city of Riga dates back to around the 12th century when it was already a center of commerce. The Latvian flag is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 13th century. Much of the population speaks English, Russian, German, and Latvian among other languages spoken there.

Latvia is a Hague Convention County, like the United States. Adoption in Latvia is facilitated under the Ministry of Welfare. For a long period of time, Latvia required adoptive parents to spend months-long bonding periods before the adoption was to be completed. Recently, laws have shortened the bonding period to two to three weeks. In 2013, 82 children were adopted from Latvia.

Children Available

Children of either gender are available for adoption and are age 9 or older unless part of a sibling group of 3 or more or special needs. Children are usually blond haired and blue eyed, occasionally a child will have brown hair and blue eyes; some children do have light brown eyes. The children are cared for in orphanages or foster homes while waiting to be adopted.

Hosting Program: We participate with the Project One Forty Three hosting program throughout the year, where qualified and pre-approved families can host a child from Latvia for several weeks in their home. Hosting is twice a year – Winter and Summer. Please contact CCAI for more information.

Latvian Adoption Requirements

Citizenship: One Adoptive parent must be a United States citizen.

Age: Adoptive Parents must be at least 25 years old and at least 18 years older than the adoptive child.  Adoptive parents over the age of 55 will be considered on an individual basis.

Marriage Status:  Married couples are accepted and should be married at least 3 years. Singles living a traditional, heterosexual lifestyle are also accepted.

Income: Latvia does not have any income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

Previous Children: Families may already have children currently living in the home.

Adoption Process

After completing a homestudy and getting USCIS approval, the adoption process begins when you submit your dossier to Latvia. The dossier is translated into Latvian, and submitted to the Ministry of Welfare.  Once approved, a referral will be  given. The wait for a child depends on the age of the child you wish to adopt. Older children are more available, and will be assigned more quickly than a younger child.

Travel

Latvia requires that adoptive families make three trips to complete their adoption. Both parents must travel to Latvia on the first trip to complete the adoption. This trip is typically 19-26 days in length. You will go before a judge at the beginning of this trip and again at the end of this trip. You may also request to be allowed to bring your child back after the first trip and if granted, your child can travel back with you to the United States. Your second trip to Latvia is for the final court hearing finalizing your adoption. Only one adoptive parent needs to travel on this trip with a power of attorney for the other parent. If your adopted child is age 12 or older, they must travel as well. This trip is typically 3 days in length. Your third and final trip to Latvia is for your US Embassy appointment to grant your child their final visa. Regardless of age, your child must travel on this trip as well as one adoptive parent with power of attorney for the other parent. This trip is typically about five days in duration.

Time Frame

The time-frame varies but approximate processing time is 6 to 9 months from the time a child is identified and paperwork is submitted to Latvia.