Non-Hague Training

Prospective adoptive Parents who are seeking to adopt a child from a country that is not participating in participating in the Hague Adoption Convention must complete 12 hours of training. IFS requires the following training in non-Convention cases. See also the first two notices below, both from the US Centers for Disease Control, on Lead Alert and Post Arrival Medical Exams.

For a list of convention countries, see Hague Convention Countries.

For additional medical information that may be helpful as you parent an internationally adopted child, see the National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus.

Lead Alert

Children recently adopted from overseas may have been exposed to lead. Ask your doctor for a lead test! Click here…LEAD ALERT: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently updated their website for adoptive parents. They write, “Concern exists about children adopted from overseas who may have been exposed to lead before they came to the United States. Recently in the United States, a small number of internationally adopted children have been found to have high levels of lead in their bodies. As a group, foreign-born adopted children tend to have higher levels of lead in their blood than children born in the United States (3). Children can be exposed to lead in different ways in various in countries (1, 2, 3).”

For more information about testing your child for possible lead exposure, please see the CDC web page International Adoption and the Prevention of Lead Poisoning.

Post Arrival Medical Exams

Click on the this image, register (free), view the video, print the article and take it with you to your child’s first exam upon arrival in the U.S.


U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides important information on child health exams upon arrival in the U.S. Also included are recommendations for adult travel immunizations. Click on the link to the CDC, register (free), continue to the article, view the video, print the article and take it with you to your child’s physician.

Reality Check: Common Health & Developmental Issues

Reality Check: Common Health and Developmental Issues of Internationally Adopted Children created in collaboration with University of Alabama-Birmingham, International Adoption clinic.   Educates prospective adoptive parents about the risks, needs and developmental issues of institutionalized children using real-life examples in addition to proven research. Provides extensive information and resources lists on topics such as fetal alcohol, attachment, behavioral issues, as well as, common medical and health concerns as they relate to adopted children (4 hours of training) Includes a worksheet that must be completed and submitted to the family’s IFS Program Director. IFS offers this material for free for families for which we are conducting a home study or international placement. Click here to begin download: Reality Check.

With Eyes Wide Open

With Eyes Wide Open: A Preparation Guide to International Adoption offered by   Helps parents prepare to adopt an international child and offers creative methods to reconstruct the years families have missed with the child. Leads parents through exercises that help them imagine their child’s life during the first years; research and prepare for the challenges of transitioning; and, think about and plan one’s parenting style. Nineteen chapters; self-study format. (4 hours of training) Copy of Adoption Learning Partners certificate of training completion must be submitted to the family’s IFS Program Director. (IFS does not request a copy of the homework from the prospective adoptive parents.) Adoption Learning Partners offers this course on line for a fee. Please see for more information.

Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adopted Children

Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adopted Children

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service) published this guide for parent considering an international adoption. This manual includes procedures that apply to children adopted from countries that do not participate in the Hague Convention (non-Convention countries). (2 hours)

Parents must write and sign a statement indicating that they each have read and understand the contents of this manual.

Be sure to check out the post-arrival information by clicking here for information on obtaining a Social Security card and proof of U.S. citizenship, post-adoption and post-placement reports, re-adoption, finalization, and adoption tax credits.

Click to begin download: USCIS M-249 Adoptions.

Children from Hard Places

Children from “Hard Places”   You are considering adopting a child from an orphanage abroad that should be considered a “hard place” for a child. Dr. Karyn Purvis, Director of The Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, offers “Seven Insights” and “Seven Gifts”for parents and caregivers to help your child overcome the effects of trauma, neglect or abuse and to aid in your child’s journey of healing. These brief videos must be viewed by each prospective adoptive parent prior to bringing their child home to the U.S. (2 hours).  Complete and submit the 7Insights, 7Gifts quiz.

Alternate Training

If a prospective adoptive parent wishes to substitute different training for the above, IFS will consider alternative course offerings. However, IFS will have to determine if any alternative training adequately covers the material. Complete the Alternate Training, non-Convention document and submit it along with any request to consider alternative training.


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