Latvia

Adopting a child from Latvia

Who can adopt?

Who can adopt? Who can’t adopt?
Married couples Same sex couples
Single people De facto couples

Please note: the number of adoptions from Latvia is very low.

Children you can adopt from Latvia

Most children needing intercountry adoption are aged between 10 and 17 years old. However, there are younger children with longer waiting times.

Children up to 4 years of age may have moderate to severe health problems such as:

  • premature birth
  • low birth weight
  • HIV and/or HCV exposure
  • congenital or acquired heart disease
  • frequent respiratory illness
  • vision problems
  • surgically correctable health problems

Children aged between 4 and 9 may have mild to moderate health problems such as:

  • mild mental developmental delay
  • learning and behavioural disorders
  • speech development delay
  • attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
  • emotional and attachment disorders
  • correctable surgical problems
  • effects of tuberculosis
  • moderate to severe vision problems
  • coeliac disease
  • diabetes
  • bronchial asthma
  • epilepsy
  • effects of physical and/or sexual abuse

Specific eligibility criteria to adopt from Latvia

If you’re interested in adopting a child from Latvia, you need to meet the eligibility criteria of your state or territory central authority (STCA). You will also need to meet the following Latvian criteria:

Marriage

  • you can be married
  • you can be single
  • you can’t be a same sex or de facto couple

Age

  • if you’re a married couple one of you needs to be at least 25 years old and your partner no younger than 21 years
  • if you’re single you need to be at least 25 years old
  • there must be at least an 18 year age gap between you and your child
    • unless you’re adopting a sibling group, then the difference must be 16 years
  • there are no maximum age limits

Other information

While there is no specific information relating to health, finances or religion the Orphan’s Court in Latvia may take into account your religion, financial and household circumstances, and capacity to raise a child when deciding if an adoption is in the best interests of the child.

Waiting times

Latvia advises that younger, healthier children will have longer waiting times (up to 5 years). The waiting times for older children and children with medium to severe medical conditions may be shorter.

Cost of adopting a child from Latvia

Latvia doesn’t charge processing or administrative fees. But there are other expenses such as:

  • translation fees
  • legal costs
  • expedited Latvian passport processing fee
  • travel and accommodation costs
  • incidentals

Other fees

On top of state and territory central authority fees, there are other expenses such as:

  • translation fees
  • travel and accommodation costs
  • incidentals

Travel to Latvia

Depending on your circumstances, you can choose to stay for a 6-month bonding period or make 2 trips.

The first trip is for at least 3 weeks, so that the Orphan’s Court can decide if the adoption is in the best interests of the child. If the court decides the adoption should go ahead, you can either remain in Latvia to finalise the adoption or spend the rest of the bonding period in Australia. But the court will only allow this if your STCA has agreed to supervise the remaining bonding period.

If you chose to finish the bonding period in Australia, you will need to return to Latvia to finalise the adoption.

After the adoption

Your state or territory central authority (STCA) sends an annual post-adoption report to the Latvian Ministry of Welfare for two years after the finalisation of the adoption.

You may also need to complete post-placement reports for your STCA.

Immigration and citizenship for your child

If you stayed in Latvia for the full bonding period, once you have the adoption compliance certificate your child is eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. You can then apply for an Australian passport, so they can travel back to Australia with you.

If you’re taking your child home during the bonding period you child will need to travel to Australia on an adoption visa (subclass 102). Once you have returned to Latvia to finalise the adoption you can then apply for Australian citizenship on behalf of your child.

Hague Convention information

Latvia will attempt to place a child within a family in Latvia before deciding if a child can be placed for intercountry adoption.

The central authority in Latvia is the Ministry of Welfare.

More information