Due to changes in adoption regulations in Kazakhstan and the Covid-19 pandemic this programme is currently not open for new applications.

Kazakhstan is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption 1993 and all adoptions from Kazakhstan are regulated through the adoption Central Authority of Kazakhstan, the Ministry for Education and Science.  

Kazakhstan requires that intercountry adoption arrangements are made through an Agency in the receiving State that their authorities have accredited.  The accredited Agency is required to have a representative office in Kazakhstan. IAC was accredited by the Kazakhstan central authority in March 2016 and is the only agency in the UK able to offer a full service to prospective adopters seeking to adopt children from Kazakhstan. 

In 2017 IAC opened an office in Karaganda which is staffed by both professional and administrative officers to support prospective adopters with the adoption process in that country. This new and exciting programme allows IAC to work with the authorities in Kazakhstan through our local Representative Office to place children from institutions around the country with families in the UK.

The children needing homes

The children requiring homes in Kazakhstan have a range of needs. It is important to note that:

  • The majority of children living in institutions are “social orphans”, they have living parents who cannot take care of the child for one reason or another and they are not adoptable
  • Generally children are in good health, but they will have lived in an institution for a long period and may therefore have health, emotional, or behavioural legacies as a result
  • The majority of the children are of Russian, Kazakh, European or Eurasian heritage. 

A child will be eligible  to be adopted for the  following reasons:

    • Loss of parents
    • Parents voluntarily relinquished their rights
    • Termination of parental rights of court
    • Where parents are unknown, by court order
  • Children must be on the federal registry for 6 months from the date they legally obtain adoption status. This means children would not be available for international adoption younger than 9-10 months. Boys and children over 2 will be matched with families more quickly than younger children, and girls;

Kazakh law is that siblings/twins should be adopted together.  However, twins are rare and the wait is likely to be very lengthy.  Siblings are available for adoption, of a variety of ages including 4 and under.

Eligibility for Kazakhstan

Prospective adopters must:

  • Have good mental, moral, physical and “spiritual” health, allowing them to ensure a smooth education for the child
  • Where a couple are not married, the female partner can adopt as a single adopter
  • If wishing to adopt as a couple they must be married
  • If the adopter is a single female, she must be financially secure
  • Though there are no upper age limitations in Kazakhstan both IAC and the Ministry of Education would wish to ensure that any prospective adopter was sufficiently fit, healthy and vigorous, and likely to remain so, in order to meet the demands of the parenting task both in the immediate future and up until the child is a young adult
  • There is no “difference of age” restriction between child and PAPs and this is approached on a case by case basis. 

Kazakhstan does not permit a child to be adopted by:

  • persons who by judicial decision are recognised disabled or partially abled, even if in a marital relationship with a person without a disability
  • persons who have been deprived of their parental rights or limited in parental rights by judicial decision, or who have had an adoption annulled
  • persons who do not have permanent residence in their country
  • persons of non-traditional sexual orientation i.e. not heterosexual
  • single males
  • persons who, at the time of adoption,  have unspent or un-expunged offence(s) for premeditated crimes
  • persons who at the time of adoption do not have the financial income to support a child
  • persons who are registered in drug treatment or neuropsychiatric clinic. A previous history of alcohol or drug addiction would be considered on a case by case basis
  • persons who are under psychiatric care.

The Ministry for Education and Science in Kazakhstan will not accept applications from prospective adopters with any of the following illnesses and diseases.

Please speak to the IAC Advice line if you are wishing to adopt from Kazakhstan, and have a health condition, which includes:

  • Communicable diseases (HIV, Syphilis, etc.)
  • Severe skin condition (scleroderma, etc.)
  • Psychological disorders. (schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Chronic illnesses (TB, alcoholism, drug-addiction, etc.)
  • Debilitating diseases (Lupus, etc.)
  • Current or recent cancer (taken on a case by case basis)

IAC can assist families with adopting children related to them where the child concerned is already living in institution and has been declared eligible for international adoption. It is not clear whether IAC would be required to have a role in any adoption arrangements for those wishing to adopt a relative in Kazakhstan who is not currently living in an institution.

Who can use the Special Programme?

To qualify for the IAC Kazakhstan Special Programme you must:

  • plan to work exclusively through IAC
  • be habitually resident in the UK
  • be either an approved adopter or be willing to be assessed as to your suitability by IAC*
  • satisfy the requirements and eligibility criteria of both Kazakhstan and the UK (including those laid down by the Home Office Borders & Immigration Agency) and such additional criteria that this agency might determine.

*Prospective adopters living outside of Local Authorities who contract IAC to undertake their assessments may need to request an assessment of suitability from their Local Authority before joining the Kazakhstan programme but please speak to IAC before making an enquiry about becoming an approved adopter with your Local authority of voluntary adoption agency.

There is a charge for IAC’s  Kazakhstan Special Programme and further details concerning the service and the relevant service charges can be found in the Information Pack.

For further information please contact the IAC Advice Line.