Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act

logo-gray Dear Colleague:

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.

I am pleased to inform you that on Monday President Obama signed the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which applies the Hague Accreditation and Approval requirements to all agencies and persons providing “adoptions services” in cases where a child immigrates to or emigrates from the United States for purposes of adoption.

As you may know, COA is recognized by the U.S. Department of State to accredit agencies and approve persons under the requirements of the Intercountry Adoption Act. As such, if your organization is currently Hague Accredited through COA or Colorado you have already established the necessary policies, procedures and processes to comply with the mandate. You will now, however, need to implement those practices with all your international adoptions, regardless of the country of origin.

In addition, private organizations in the United States that provide intercountry adoption services and are currently accredited under COA’s 8th Edition Standards will also need to comply with the Hague Accreditation/Approval requirements.

In accordance with the UAA and 22 CFR Part 96.12, effective July 14, 2014, an agency or person may not offer, provide, or facilitate the provision of any adoption service in the United States in connection with an international adoption unless it is:

  1. An accredited agency or an approved person;
  2. A supervised provider; or
  3. An exempted provider.
    If you would like definitions of the above mentioned terms, please access our glossary.
    Please note that the UAA includes a transition provision for certain cases that are in process of pursuing Hague Accreditation and Approval prior to July 14, 2013.
    To learn more about Hague Accreditation and to receive additional information, please contact Zoƫ Hutchinson, Associate Director of Client Relations, by email at or by phone at 866.262.8088, extension 242. If you are currently Hague Accredited, please feel to contact Jayne Schmidt, Senior Manager of Hague Accreditation, by email at if you have any questions.
    If you are interested in learning about the U.S. Department of State’s information regarding intercountry adoption, please visit:

For information regarding the Hague Accreditation/Approval process, please visit the following links on COA’s website:

COA is proud to assist in ensuring that all intercountry adoptions in the United States remain safe for children and their biologic families abroad and prospective adoptive families here.


Richard Klarberg
President & CEO

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