International Adoption - Syria

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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 counsel.

NOTE: The information contained in this flyer is intended as an introduction to adoption in the Syria. It is not intended as a legal reference. Currently there are no international or bilateral treaties in force between Syria and the United States dealing with international adoption.

Legal "Adoption" in Syria

The American Embassy in Damascus has been informed that in Syria religious authorities handle laws concerning personal status matters, such as adoption. Islamic Sharia law does not provide for adoption and the adoption of a Muslim child would not be recognized in Syria. Technically, adoption is allowable under the laws of various Christian denominations; however, it is the Embassy's understanding that for the past 80 years most Christian churches in Syria have preferred not to handle adoptions in order to conform to Sharia law provisions on inheritance. The Embassy has been informed that Sharia law restricts distribution of inheritance to spouses and certain blood relatives and, for that reason, adoption does not exist in Syria.

Specific questions regarding adoption issues may be addressed to:

Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic
2215 Wyoming Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 232-6313

U.S. Embassy in Damascus
Abu Roumaneh
Al-Mansur St. No. 2
P.O. Box 29
Damascus, Syria

Phone: (963) (11) 333-1342
Fax: (963) (11) 331-9678

For further information on international inter-country adoption, contact the Office of Children's Issues at 202-736-7000, visit our home page on the Internet at, or send a nine-by-twelve-inch, self-addressed envelope to:

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State
Room 4800 N.S.
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520-4818

In addition, the State Department publishes Consular Information Sheets for every country in the world, providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. When situations in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department issues Travel Warnings which recommend U.S. citizens avoid traveling to a country. These documents are available on the Internet at or by calling the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizen Services at (202) 647-5225.

Information on immigrant visas is available from the State Department's Visa Office, at (202) 663-1225. This 24 hour automated system includes options to speak with consular officers during business hours for questions not answered in the recorded material. Application forms and petitions for immigrant visas are available from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the nearest office of which is listed in the federal pages of your telephone book, under U.S. Department of Justice.
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