Hague Accreditation and Approval
Hague Accreditation and Approval is for adoption service providers seeking accreditation or approval required by the Hague Convention (1993), the Intercountry Adoption Act (2000), and the Universal Accreditation Act (2013). The U.S. Department of State (the Department) designated COA as the only national accreditor to carry out the accreditation and approval of U.S. adoption service providers.
The Department of State issued Hague Regulations that govern the accreditation and approval process and establish the accreditation and approval standards for agencies and persons; requirements applicable to accrediting entities; and a framework for the oversight of accrediting entities, agencies, and persons.
- Four-year accreditation
- User-friendly, online process
- Evaluators with experience in accreditation and adoption who conduct site visits
- An Accreditation Coordinator who guides the adoption service provider through the process
- Standards and accreditation materials are free
Timeline and Process
Most adoption first time applicants are able to complete the process in 9 -18 months, but the time frame is largely dependent upon the adoption service provider. It is COA’s experience that this time frame provides most applicants with sufficient opportunity to implement the requirements of the standards.
For a detailed look at the steps in the accreditation process, see the Accreditation Guidelines.
The Hague Accreditation and Approval Standards were developed by the Department of State and are organized by the following categories:
- Licensing and Corporate Governance (LCG)
- Financial and Risk Management (FRM)
- Ethical Practices and Responsibilities (EPR)
- Professional Qualifications and Training for Employees (PQT)
- Information Disclosure, Fee Practices, and Quality Control Policies and Practices (IFQ)
- Responding to Complaints and Records and Reports Management (CRR)
- Service Planning and Delivery (SPD)
- Standards for Cases in Which a Child is Immigrating to the United States (Incoming Cases) (IC)
- Standards for Cases in Which a Child is Emigrating from the United States (Outgoing Cases) (OC)
The Hague Regulations provide no specific eligibility requirements regarding who can apply. It is each applicant’s responsibility to review the standards and requirements thoroughly to determine if they can meet the requirements. COA is happy to answer questions about the standards and process to assist adoption service providers in making their decision to apply for accreditation or approval.
Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for Hague Accreditation.
For profit entities and individual practitioners are eligible to apply for Hague Approval.
The cost of Hague Accreditation/Approval varies based on the size of the program, the number of adoptions the agency/person expects to process, and geographic location. Fees associated with a four-year accreditation cycle include an application fee, accreditation/approval fee, site visit costs, and monitoring and oversight fees.
Further Reading and Recommended Trainings
For more detail regarding the accreditation process, download and review the Accreditation Guidelines.
U.S. Department of State Website
To learn more about the Hague Convention, important laws governing intercountry adoptions, and the role of accrediting entities in carrying out the accreditation and approval process, visit the State Department’s website.
- Module 1: Hague Accreditation/Approval
- Module 2: Licensing and Corporate Governance/Financial and Risk Management
- Module 3: Professional Qualifications, Information Disclosure, Fees and Responding to Complaints
- Module 4: Service Planning and Delivery, and Services for Incoming Cases
- Module 5: Services for Outgoing Cases
Request an Information Kit
Interested in learning more about applying for Hague Accreditation or Approval? Request an information kit.
Private Organization Accreditation
Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges. Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.
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Ulysses Arteaga, L.C.S.W.
Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; EPPA; Marine Reviewer; Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader
The Consuelo Foundation 2012 Peer Reviewer of the Year, Mr. Arteaga conducts two to three site visits a year, often volunteering for visits that require a Spanish speaking peer.