Basic Steps and Timeline of the Latvia Adoption Process

Timeline from Application Approval to Bringing Your Child Home: Approximately 14 - 21 Months


5 working days

Approved Home Study

Approx. 8 -10 weeks


Approx. 5-7 months

Latvian Adoption Authority Approval

Approx. 2-3 months

Child Match

Approx. 2-6 months

Travel to Latvia (3 trips in total)

Approx. 6-8 months

There are benchmarks in every Latvian adoption. To give you an idea of what is involved in a Latvian adoption through CCAI, the following highlights the major steps and timeframe of the process. Because of the nature of international adoption, this timeframe can change during your adoption process, but CCAI is committed to keeping you informed of the current timeframe as you work toward bringing home your adopted child(ren). Understanding the process and timeline now will enable you to be better prepared for this incredible journey that brings you and your child(ren) together.

Application for Adoption – 5 Working Days

Your application allows CCAI to screen your qualifications for a Latvian adoption. From your application, we are able to determine whether or not you meet the requirements of our agency and the requirements of the various government entities that will be involved in your adoption - U.S. government, Latvian government, etc. If a family submits a complete and truthful application and is approved by CCAI, we are committed to serving you through all the stages of a Latvian adoption.

Home Study - Approx. 8 to 10 weeks

Your dossier cannot be complete without your Home Study; CCAI provides home study services and is your link to the USCIS. Approval from the USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) is required to send your dossier to Latvia. Our dossier team will review your home study.

Dossier Compilation – Approx. 5-7 Months

Once your adoption application has been approved, you will begin to compile your adoption dossier. Your dossier is a collection of documents that report on various aspects of your life and represents you as adoptive parents to the Latvian government. This part of the adoption process often seems daunting to adoptive families, but it is important to remember to follow CCAI’s Latvian Adoption Dossier Guide, and get help from our knowledgeable dossier team.

Once your dossier is complete, our dossier team will critically review your documents and submit your dossier to the Latvian legal team via FedEx. The Latvian legal team will translate and authenticate your dossier and personally walk it through all of the steps of the in–country process.

Latvian Adoption Authority Approval - Approx. 2-3 Months

The Ministry of Children’s Welfare is responsible for allowing and overseeing adoptions in Latvia. Your dossier will be translated and submitted to the Ministry of Children’s Welfare for review and approval. This process can take up to two or three months.

Child Match – 2-6 months

Once the Ministry approves your family to adopt, a referral letter will follow with information about the medical and social background of the child you wish to adopt or they have matched with you. You will have two weeks to respond, request additional information related to the child referral, and reach a decision about accepting your referral. A referral can be delayed if the Ministry does not have all the required documentation from the Orphan Court in the region the child is located, timelines, children available and other factors.

Travel to Latvia – (Three trips)

Trip One

Parents will travel within one month after the Ministry issues a “Letter to get Personally Acquainted” or “Warrant” beginning the adoption process in Latvia. The letter is typically issued within one week of accepting a referral. Parents spend 19 to 26 days in-country for care and supervision time, or a bonding period with the child. During your in-country stay, you will live in an apartment. You will be visited at least one to three times during this care and supervision period by the court appointed social worker. At the end of this bonding trip, you will appear a second time in court. In this court visit, the court will decide the adoption is in the best interest of the child to move forward, as well as approve the child to return back to your home on a hosting visit. This visit is considered an extension of the care and supervision period. While it is not required, many families decide to bring their child back to the United States.

Trip Two

Once parents return to the US, CCAI will assist you in filing the I-800 with USCIS to receive provisional approval to adopt a specific child. This process usually takes up to 6 to 8 weeks. If your child came home with you, you will need to have a visit and report prepared by your social worker approximately four to six weeks after you are home.

This report is sent to your child’s Orphan Court to let them know about the well-being and progress of the child. Once you have an approved I-800, CCAI will assist you in filing the DS-260 (Immigrant Visa application), the US Embassy in Riga will issue the “Article 5” letter and the Latvian legal team can make the second court date to finalize the adoption. Only one parent has to return to Latvia to complete the adoption process. During this stay the parent and child will stay in a hotel. If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child MUST return to Latvia for this trip. If they are under 12 years of age, they may remain in the US with the other parent, however there have been a few instances where the Court has required a younger child to return. The second trip is for the finalization of the adoption lasts approximately 3 days. Once the adoption is finalized, there is a 20 day grace period before the adoption order is signed off by the court. Families do not stay in-country during this grace period.

Trip Three

The third trip is for your US Embassy required visa interview. One parent and the child MUST travel on this trip. The trip is usually scheduled approximately 6-8 weeks after your second trip and lasts approximately 7-10 days. During this trip, you will work with the Latvia team to get your child’s new passport, a US Embassy required medical exam, and complete the visa interview.

When it is time to travel we will assist you with recommendations for travel. Accommodations (typically an apartment) and transportation (train, intercountry flights, etc.) in Latvian will be coordinated by the facilitator. You are responsible for intercountry transportation costs (plane, train). Adoptive parents are responsible for shared accommodations (apartment) with the facilitator, and paying for meals and transportation costs for the representative while in Latvian. This is estimated in the per day/diem fee of $100-150, dependent on region.

Please remember that timelines are controlled by the Latvian government offices and are subject to change.

Throughout the wait, families are encouraged to check in with CCAI regularly. We maintain a library of books and resources at our office and are able to recommend relevant reading materials to families as they wait.

* The timeframe may lengthen while you are in process. However, the outline above reflects the timeline that families have experienced. This may not be your timeline.

CCAI and your Latvian representative will work with you to determine the best option for your family related to travel. CCAI’s Latvian Program Coordinator will work with the in-country team to arrange your local travel and accommodations. You will be met at the airport and accompanied at all times by your Latvian representative. CCAI will provide you with the needed travel training.

Post Adoption Support and Adoption Validation

After you return to the United States, CCAI will provide ongoing post adoption support to assist you with your adoption transition. Latvia requires adoptive parents to supply information about the adopted child's living conditions and educational progress to the Latvian Ministry of Children’s Welfare through a post adoption report, with photos attached, prepared by your agency’s social worker. As of January 1, 2021, the Ministry requires a report every 6 months after adoption finalization for the first 2 years, then starting from the third year after adoption – one annual post adoption report is required until the child is 18 years of age. . CCAI will provide you information on how to validate your finalized adoption through your local court, enable your adopted Latvian child(ren) to receive a U.S. birth certificate from your state, and obtain his/her Social Security card.