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International Adoption:

Image by Amjad rana

Bangladesh (NOn-Hague Convention Country)

Image by Marwan Ahmed

Located in Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is bordered by India and Myanmar, and is the world’s 8th most populous country. Unlike the other countries in which Hands Across The Water offers adoption programs, Bangladesh is not a Hague Convention country, and it also does not allow for full adoption of Bangladeshi children. Prospective adoptive parents considering adopting a Bangladeshi child must obtain guardianship from a Bangladeshi court and subsequently adopt the child in the United States. Only those who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and Bangladesh are able to adopt through this program. 

who can become a guardian in Bangladesh?

  • Bangladeshi citizens

  • At least 18 years old


Click here for more information. 

Bangladesh does not recognize same-sex marriage. However, the Family Court may grant custody to an applicant irrespective of marital status.

Prospective guardians must submit an application for legal guardianship to the Family Court. There is no independent central government authority In Bangladesh. The Family Court has sole jurisdiction over family matters.

children available

Bangladeshi children available for adoption are generally more than 1 year old. Sibling groups may be available, and their needs may vary. 

Overview of the Bangladesh Guardianship/Adoption Process

1. Contact the agency and participate in a group or individual information session about our Bangladesh guardianship/adoption program.

2. Complete and submit an application for adoption services with accompanying non-refundable application fee to HATW.

3. Complete your Home Study with Hands Across The Water or a Hague accredited agency in your state. Please contact HATW for assistance if you live outside Michigan.

4. File your I-600A with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

5. Submit your application to a governmental orphanage or a non-governmental orphanage that has entered into a Foreign Supervised Provider agreement with Hands Across The Water. Processing time at the orphanage is approximately 1-2 months.

6. Visit the orphanage to be shown a child that is legally free for intercountry adoption and review the medical and social information the orphanage director has collected on the child. In most cases, you will have up to 2 weeks to consider the referral information. 

7. Accept the referral by signing the Deed of Agreement with the orphanage. 

8. Obtain legal custody of the child by working with Hands Across The Water’s attorney in Bangladesh to submit an application for legal guardianship to the Family Court in Bangladesh that has jurisdiction over the child’s place of residence. Processing time at the Family Court is approximately 1-3 months.

9. Once the Family Court has granted guardianship to you, you can take physical custody of the child. If you choose to return to the US, you can name a relative in Bangladesh to be the child’s caretaker or it may be possible for you to pay the orphanage to continue to care for the child.

9. Apply for the child’s new birth certificate. 

10. Obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dhaka. The “special branch” police force will investigate the child’s case, which may include a visit to where the child is residing in Bangladesh. Processing time at the Ministry of Home Affairs is approximately 2-3 months.

11. Apply for the child’s passport. The “special branch” police force will conduct another investigation of the child’s case. Processing time is approximately 14-30 days.

12. File your I-600 in Dhaka at the same time you apply for child’s visa OR file your I-600 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Processing time at USCIS is approximately 6-8 months.

13. Receive the child’s Bangladeshi passport with an IR-4 visa, then bring child home to the US. Processing time at the National Visa Center is approximately 2-4 weeks.

Post Placement Supervision. Adoption Finalization & Certificate of Citizenship
Since you receive guardianship of the child in Bangladesh, you must finalize the adoption in the US. You will work with your home study agency or an attorney to petition your county court to finalize the adoption. The court will require your home study agency to supervise the child’s placement with your family before granting the Order of Adoption. The length of the supervision period is determined by the county court, and monthly post-placement reports are required. Typically, 3 to 6 post-placement reports are required before the adoption is finalized. After the adoption is finalized, you will need to submit the N-600 application to USCIS to obtain your child’s Certificate of Citizenship.


Disclaimer: The photos of children on this page are not available for adoption. Hands Across The Water does not photo list children waiting for adoption via the internet.

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