42 USC § 14902
July 4, 2020

As used in this chapter:

(1) Accredited agency
The term "accredited agency" means an agency accredited under subchapter II to provide adoption services in the United States in cases subject to the Convention.

(2) Accrediting entity
The term "accrediting entity" means an entity designated under section 14922(a) of this title to accredit agencies and approve persons under subchapter II.

(3) Adoption service
The term "adoption service" means—

(A) identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;

(B) securing necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;

(C) performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent, and reporting on such a study;

(D) making determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of adoptive placement for the child;

(E) post-placement monitoring of a case until final adoption; and

(F) where made necessary by disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement.

The term "providing", with respect to an adoption service, includes facilitating the provision of the service.

(4) Agency
The term "agency" means any person other than an individual.

(5) Approved person
The term "approved person" means a person approved under subchapter II to provide adoption services in the United States in cases subject to the Convention.

(6) Attorney General
Except as used in section 14944 of this title, the term "Attorney General" means the Attorney General, acting through the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.

(7) Central authority
The term "central authority" means the entity designated as such by any Convention country under Article 6(1) of the Convention.

(8) Central authority function
The term "central authority function" means any duty required to be carried out by a central authority under the Convention.

(9) Convention
The term "Convention" means the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, done at The Hague on May 29, 1993.

(10) Convention adoption
The term "Convention adoption" means an adoption of a child resident in a foreign country party to the Convention by a United States citizen, or an adoption of a child resident in the United States by an individual residing in another Convention country.

(11) Convention record
The term "Convention record" means any item, collection, or grouping of information contained in an electronic or physical document, an electronic collection of data, a photograph, an audio or video tape, or any other information storage medium of any type whatever that contains information about a specific past, current, or prospective Convention adoption (regardless of whether the adoption was made final) that has been preserved in accordance with section 14941(a) of this title by the Secretary of State or the Attorney General.

(12) Convention country
The term "Convention country" means a country party to the Convention.

(13) Other Convention country
The term "other Convention country" means a Convention country other than the United States.

(14) Person
The term "person" shall have the meaning provided in section 1 of title 1 and shall not include any agency of government or tribal government entity.

(15) Person with an ownership or control interest
The term "person with an ownership or control interest" has the meaning given such term in section 1320a–3(a)(3) of this title.

(16) Secretary
The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of State.

(17) State
The term "State" means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in introductory provisions, was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 106–279, Oct. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 825, known as the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 14901 of this title and Tables.

Subchapter II, referred to in pars. (1), (2), and (5), was in the original "title II", meaning title II of Pub. L. 106–279, Oct. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 830, which enacted subchapter II of this chapter and amended section 622 of this title. For complete classification of title II to the Code, see Tables.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 6, 2000, with transition rule, see section 505(a)(1), (b) of Pub. L. 106–279, set out as an Effective Dates; Transition Rule note under section 14901 of this title.

Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of Functions

For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.

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