International Adoption - Iran

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DISCLAIMER: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

The United States Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy at Tehran has provided the following information regarding adoptions in Iran. The information is based on informal discussions with an adviser at the Nationality and Refugees Department of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In accordance with current Iranian practice, adoptions by parents residing outside of Iran are possible provided the adoptive parents are Iranian citizens and fulfill all the other required conditions for adoption. Applications from close family members have the greatest chance of being approved.

Only the Iranian Welfare Organization and the appropriate court can decide each case on its own merits in the best interest of the child. Muslim children will be given exclusively to Muslim parents. Christian parents may adopt children of Christian faiths.

Before an adoption can take place, strict rules are applied in order to protect the children and to establish the suitability of prospective adoptive parents. The process is complicated and time-consuming. After a child has been placed with a family, surveillance by Iranian authorities continues and periodic checks are made to ensure the child's physical and mental well-being.

Iranians living abroad can file adoption applications through relatives living in Iran. Applications must be submitted to the Iranian Welfare Organization.

Information and adoption applications can can be obtained at the Iranian interests Section located at 2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 965-4990 (Fax: 202-965-1073). Please be aware that if a child is placed in a foster home in the United States, the Iranian Interests Section will have certain supervisory functions.
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