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Private international adoptions in Georgia, on hold since September 2003, remain suspended pending new legislation.

Georgia was closed for international adoptions from December 1996 until November 1998.

A new adoption law in the Republic of Georgia, effective Sept. 25, 2003, would create significant delays in intercountry adoptions, according to an Oct. 29, 2003 news release from the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. Children must be registered in the central database of orphans, and stay in an orphanage, for at least six months so that Georgian families may adopt them. Then they would be eligible to be adopted by foreigners.

The agency Adoption Horizons reported, "In September 2003 intercountry adoptions from Georgia were put on hold to review the private adoption process. Amendments to the Civil Code of Georgia eliminated private international adoptions. Adoption Horizons hopes that a Georgian adoption program will resume. We understand it will involve a public adoption procedure like the one in Russia."

The Alberta ministry for adoptions reported in November 2003 that the Republic of Georgia has stopped its international adoption program so it can change procedures to allow for domestic adoption and to comply with the Hague Convention. No Canadian province is accepting applications for Georgia until further notice from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

Effective Nov. 3, 2003 the British Columbia ministry for adoptions will not issue Letters of Approval and Notifications of Agreement for privately arranged adoptions. It said that although the Hague Convention is in force in Georgia, a domestic law allows lawyers to arrange private intercountry adoptions without a license. Across Canada there have been reports of irregularities with privately-arranged adoptions. New legislation effectively ends private adoptions by foreigners. Foreign Affairs in Ottawa has recommended that no new applications to adopt children in Georgia be approved until the Central Authority in Georgia can be involved in all adoption cases.

According to Adoptive Families magazine (March/April 2006), "The parliament of Georgia is preparing a new law that would ease domestic adoptions while making procedures more difficult for international parents." According to The Messenger, Georgia's English-language daily (Jan. 9, 2006), the new law provides that international adoption would be considered for a child only if no family in Georgia could be found. No direct contact would be allowed between birth families and adoptive families from abroad; contact would be only via approved adoption agencies.

A report from Joint Council on International Children's Services said the Georgia Ministry of Education informed the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, in August 2006, that a very limited number of Georgian children are eligible for intercountry adoption. Information on available children may be obtained from Ms. Tamar Golubiani, head of the Child Care Department at the Ministry of Education and Science in Georgia.

Joint Council on International Children's Services reported January 2, 2007 that the President of Georgia had signed new legislation effectively terminating private adoptions by foreigners. However, the Ministry of Education in Georgia will be making a legislative proposal to improve the existing adoption legislation, which would include implementing the Hague Convention.


For resources on Georgia adoption, see Adoption Resource Central, Country-specific Resources - Georgia.

Find an agency for the country you've chosen: Agency Chooser,

Descriptions of agency programs are at Adoption Agencies,

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Country News is written by Robin Hilborn,
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Updated June 13, 2007

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