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

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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.

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Hague Standards

The Hague Accreditation and Approval Standards were developed by the Department of State and are organized by the following categories:

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Eligibility Criteria

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.

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Fee Information

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.

Read the Fee Information for Hague Accreditation and Approval.

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Further Reading and Recommended Trainings

Accreditation Guidelines

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.

Recommended Trainings

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Request an Information Kit

Interested in learning more about applying for Hague Accreditation or Approval? Request an information kit.


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