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Iraq is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Iraq did not change.

Adoptions in Iraq are extremely rare and under no circumstances are foreign nationals permitted to adopt.  Iraqi law provides for guardianship under limited circumstances, which the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security has deemed insufficient for the purpose of immigration under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

As defined by the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, guardianship is only granted to extended family or friends who can provide for the child in Iraq.  Additionally, a family cannot obtain guardianship over a child of a different religious faith. Iraqi law does not permit foreigners to obtain legal guardianship of Iraqi children. Iraqi nationals living in the United States who are interested in adopting Iraqi orphans are subject to the same guardianship requirements as other foreigners.

For further information on adoptions abroad, please refer to the International Adoption page of the Travel.State.Gov website which includes a general information sheet on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari’a Law is observed.