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Cablegate: Intercountry Adoption - Brunei

VZCZCXRO0879
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBD #0187/01 1690118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170118Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4274
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000187

SIPDIS

STATE FOR CA/OCS/CI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS CASC CMGT BX
SUBJECT: INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION - BRUNEI

1. (U) Below please find post's submission for the Intercountry
Adoption Flyer for Brunei. We have adhered as closely as possible
to the model text provided by CA/OCS/CI. Post would like to
acknowledge and thank John Groch from Embassy Singapore for his
valuable support in drafting this message. Given post's limited
CONS resources and the extremely low demand for this information, we
will only update this flyer should there be a significant change in
adoption law or regulations in Brunei.

2. (U) BEGIN ADOPTION FLYER TEXT:

DISCLAIMER: The following is intended as a very general guide to
assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child from a foreign
country and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the
United States. Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the
laws of the child's country of birth govern all activity in that
country including the adoptability of individual children as well as
the adoption of children in country in general; and 2) U.S.
immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United
States.

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of
specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our
current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual
state of the laws of a child's country of birth and is provided for
general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including
regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This
flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date
and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and
U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed
respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

INTRODUCTION: Brunei has a zero-tolerance policy on child
abandonment, and has no orphanages. The royal family, particularly
the Sultan's female siblings, often adopts children from less
fortunate families or the few children who have been abandoned.
Out-of-wedlock births generally lead to adoption by a family member
of the mother. To the best of local authorities' knowledge, there
has never been a foreign adoption of a Brunei citizen child;
adoptions of non-citizen Brunei children are possible.

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: There has
been no immigration of adopted children to the U.S. from Brunei in
the past decade.

ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN BRUNEI: The Department of Community
Development section of the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport is
the competent authority for local and international adoptions in
Brunei.
The Department oversees two separate adoption processes: the
Islamic Adoption of Children Order 2001, through Jabatan Mahkamah
Syariah (Islamic Court for Muslims) and the non-Muslim adoption of
children through the Brunei High Court.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Persons wanting to
adopt a child must themselves identify the child to be adopted.
Childless married couples are given top priority to adopt a child.
Single men or women are also allowed to adopt, but are required to
adopt a child of the same sex. At least one of the prospective
parents is required to be of twenty-five (25) years old at the time
of the application; additionally, at least one of the prospective
parents is required to be eighteen (18) years older than the child
to be adopted. Muslim prospective parents may adopt non-Muslim
children, but non-Muslim prospective parents may not adopt Muslim
children.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: In addition to the regular requirements for
adoption, U.S. citizens interested in adopting a Brunei child while
they are living in the living Brunei or in the U.S. must meet the
following conditions:
a) Be resident in the Brunei or in the U.S. prior to the filing of
the adoption petition and maintain such residence until the adoption
decree is entered by a Jabatan Mahkamah Syariah (Islamic Court for
Muslims) or Brunei High Court (for non-Muslim);
b) If the prospective parent(s) reside in the United States, all
documents must be authenticated or verified by the Brunei Embassy or
one of the Brunei consulates in the U.S.
c) Possess a certification of legal capacity to adopt issued by
appropriate government agency from your state of residence.
TIME FRAME: Once a child is identified for adoption, the time to
approval is approximately 2-3 months.

ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS: Prospective adoptive parents are
advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they
plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.-based agencies, it is
suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better
Business Bureau and/or the licensing office of the appropriate state
government agency in the U.S. state where the agency is located or
licensed.
Please see

http://travel.state.gov/family/

BANDAR SER 00000187 002 OF 003


adoption_resources_05.html

at the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs web site
travel.state.gov.

ADOPTION PROCEDURES: If prospective adoptive parent(s) have
identified a Muslim child to be adopted, they must go to Jabatan
Mahkamah Syariah and get a form entitled Perintah Pengangkatan
Kanak-Kanak Dalam Islam, 2001, Jadual Bab [2]; if they have
identified a non-Muslim child to be adopted, they must go to the
Brunei High Court at Bandar Seri Begawan and get a form entitled
Registration of Adoption Act, Chapter 123. In either case, they
must submit their approval letter to adopt a child (MMS/91), letter
of consent from child's biological parent(s), Statutory Declaration
of agreement between the biological and prospective adoptive
parent(s), photocopied passport of the adopted child, birth
certificate of the adopted child, marriage certificate of the
adopted child's parents.

The completed Jadual Bab [2]s, Islamic Adoption of Children Order
2001 (for Muslim) or Brunei High Court, Registration of Adoption
Act, Chapter 123 (for non-Muslim) is forwarded by the appropriate
court to the Department of Community Development. Social workers of
the Department of Community Development then investigate the
prospective adoptive parents, and their report is analyzed during a
monthly meeting attended by senior officers of Families section of
the Department of Community Development as well as by the social
workers who prepared the report. The completed forms of the
successful applicants are returned back to Jabatan Mahkamah Syariah
or to Brunei High Court with the written memorandum; the officers in
charge of child adoption in Jabatan Mahkamah Syariah or Brunei High
Court, Registrar General then grants adoption certificates to
successful adopted parents. Unsuccessful applicants' forms are also
returned to Jabatan Mahkamah Syariah or Brunei High Court and the
reasons for their unsuccessful applications are noted in the forms.


DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ADOPTION IN COUNTRY: Prospective adoptive
parents are required to submit: photocopied identity cards;
certificate of marriage (if applicable); physical and medical
evaluation reports; psychological evaluation by a duly licensed
psychiatrist or psychologist; name of a character reference who has
known the prospective parent(s) for at least five years; and salary
slips. Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate that they are
financially solvent and have no criminal record.

AUTHENTICATING U.S. DOCUMENTS TO BE USED ABROAD: The language
describing the process of authenticating U.S. documents to be used
abroad is currently under review. Please click on the following link
for more information until the new language is finalized:
http://www.travel.state.gov/law/info/
judicial/judicial_701.html.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN EMBASSY AND CONSULATE IN THE US:
Embassy of Brunei Darussalam
3520 International Court, NW
Washington D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 237-1838
Fax: (202) 885-0560

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents are
strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The
Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as
the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. The
USCIS publication is available at the USCIS web site. The Department
of State publication International Adoption can be found on the
bureau of Consular Affairs web site, travel.state.gov, under
intercountry adoption. Before completing an adoption abroad,
prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to read the
requirements for filing Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as
an Immediate Relative. Please see the flyer "How Can Adopted
Children Come to the United States" at the U.S. Department of State,
Bureau of Consular Affairs web site travel.state.gov.

U.S. EMBASSY IN COUNTRY: Americans living or traveling abroad are
encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
through the State Department's travel registration website,
https://travelregistration.state.gov/, and to obtain updated
information on travel and security within the country of travel.
Americans without Internet access may register directly with the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American
citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them
in case of emergency.

The Consular Section is located at:
Embassy of the United States of America
Consular Section
3rd Floor Teck Guan Plaza
Jalan Sultan
Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811
Brunei Darussalam

BANDAR SER 00000187 003 OF 003

APPLYING FOR A VISA AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BRUNEI: The U.S. Embassy
in Brunei does not issue immigrant visas. Immigrant visas for
citizens or non-citizen residents of Brunei are processed in
Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

ACQUIRING U.S. CITIZENSHIP: The language describing the acquisition
of U.S. citizenship for adopted children is currently under review.
Until the new language is finalized, please click on the following
link for further information: http://travel.state.gov/family/
adoption/info/info_457.html.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Specific questions about adoption in Brunei
may be addressed to;
Embassy of the United States of America
Consular Section
3rd Floor Teck Guan Plaza
Jalan Sultan
Bandar Seri Begawan BS8811
Brunei Darussalam

General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed
to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State,
CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

------------------------
Other Useful Information
------------------------

Telephone:
-- Toll Free - For information on intercountry adoption and
international parental child abduction, call Overseas Citizens
Services at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m.
to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except
U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free
numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information
and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.

-- U.S. Department of State Visa Office - recorded information
concerning immigrant visas for adopting children, (202) 663-1225.
-- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - recorded information
for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM
(3676).
---------------
Internet
----------------

-- Adoption Information Flyers: The U.S. Department of State, Bureau
of Consular Affairs web site at: http://travel.state.gov/ contains
intercountry adoption information flyers like this one and the
International Adoptions brochure.

-- Consular Information Sheets: The State Department has general
information about hiring a foreign attorney and authenticating
documents that may supplement the country-specific information
provided in this flyer. In addition, the State Department publishes
Consular Information Sheets (CIS's) for every country in the world,
providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health
conditions, political situations, and crime reports. If the
situation in a country poses a specific threat to the safety and
security of American citizens that is not addressed in the CIS for
that country, the State Department may issue a Public Announcement
alerting U.S. citizens to local security situations. If conditions
in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department may
issue a Travel Warning recommending that U.S. citizens avoid
traveling to that country. These documents are available on the
Internet at: http://travel.state.gov/ or by calling the State
Department's Office of Overseas Citizen Services Toll Free at
1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those
calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during
these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.

-- USCIS web site - http://uscis.gov/.

END ADOPTION FLYER TEXT.


FRIEDMAN

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