Kazakh Adoptive Families

Please note that Kazakhstan stopped accepting applications for adoption in 2010. They signed the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and have to put new processes in place. They are allowing adoptions to procede with families who already had their dossiers approved and were matched with children. There is no currently projected date when adoptions will open.

International adoption from Kazakhstan is similar to adoption from Russia: the children are either abandoned or removed from their homes and placed in orphanages. Not all children in the orphanages are eligible for adoption because some are placed there temporarily by their parents for a variety of reasons. The children in Kazakhstan are thought to be a little healthier and less likely to be affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effect due to the Muslim population, although they are not strict adherents to religious edicts (there are no statistics that I am aware of concerning this, although I do have information about a generally lower alcohol consumption rate in Kazakhstan vs. Russian Federation) and you will see people drinking on the streets. The orphanages are generally good, many with doctors, music programs, and good caregiver ratios. Infants can be adopted as young as six months old, but it is more likely that the youngest available is 9-12 months. The children are usually either ethnically Kazakh or Russian, although there are other ethnic backgrounds and mixes as well. You can not specify race or gender on your dossier, although your adoption agency may be able to help with this once you are assigned a region.

Immigration statistics for kids adopted from Kazakhstan to the US

  • Summarized up to 2002: 1927 kids, 65-75% of the children are 0-4 years old, 12-18% are 5-9 years; 43-45% male, 55-57% female.
  • Fiscal year 2003: 825 kids; 33% less than 1 year, 16.8% ages 1-4 years, 16.8% 5-9 years, 7% older than 9 years; 47.5% male, 52.5% female
  • Fiscal year 2004: 826 kids; 35% under 1 year, 42% ages 1-4 years, 15.5% ages 5-9 years, 7% older than 9 years, 47.8% male and 52.2% female
  • Fiscal year 2005: 755 kids; 42% under 1 year, 37% 1-4 years, 21% 5+ years; 48% male, 52% female
  • Fiscal year 2006: 580 kids; 41% under 1 year, 39% 1-4 years, 19% 5+ years; 44% male, 56% female
  • Fiscal year 2007: 547 kids; 43% under 1 year, 42% 1-4 years, 15% 5+ years; 48% male, 52% female
  • Fiscal year 2008: 380 kids, 35% under 1 year, 53% 1-4 years, 12% 5+ years, 44.4% male, 55.5% female
  • Fiscal year 2009: 298 kids, 42% under 1 year, 46% 1-4 years, 23% 5+ years; 55% male, 45% female
  • Fiscal year 2010: 182 kids, 38% under 1 year, 43% 1-4 years, 19% 5+ years, 45% male, 55% female

Adopting from Russia [external link] is a useful site with information on all stages of international adoption. Great packing lists. Karen's Adoption Links [external link] has links to lots of areas concerning adoption, from adoption stories to listservs to shopping.

I would like this web site to be something you wished had been around before you adopted. If you are still in the process, I hope it answers some of your questions. Please let me know [e-mail link] if you would like to see anything added. I believe the information presented here to be accurate and up-to date, but changes happen frequently. Help me maintain it by letting me know if anything was different for you. I am a member of many Kazakhstan adoption lists, but I will not post anything here unless I am fairly certain of the accuracy of the information, ignoring rumors. A red diamond next to a page indicates that it has been updated in the last month.

You will not find any information or links for agencies: after observing adoptions in Kazakhstan for over 9 years, I have some strong opinions for and against some agencies and don't want to be sued; people have different expectations about what an adoption agency should do for them, and these expectations may be different from mine and other parents'; and my opinions are based upon hearsay, not my own personal experience, thus I have no way of validating the information. I want this web site to be for everyone, so rather than refusing to link to some agencies, I chose not to address the topic. There are many sources that you can look to for information, including many mailing lists. If you ask me, I will not make agency recommendations and I will only refer you to these sources.

Pre-adoption: the process and paperwork.

Adoption trip:


Transitioning is an article with hints on easing your child's transition out of the orphanage to a family, covers things to do during your trip and at home.

Initial Adjustment of adopted children; excellent article on easing the adjustment once home.

New link:

Medical Issues: help in evaluating a referral, links to international adoption medical specialists, developmental evaluation, post-adoption medical tests.

FAQ Index: Frequently Asked Questions on the e-mail lists.

Adoption Law: links and unofficial translations of some of the Kazakhstan laws affecting adoption.

  • Original law page: information from the US Embassy, and translation of a small part by an attorney.
  • Law on Marriage and Family: machine translation of Chapter 12 Adoption of the Child.
  • Law on Marriage and Family Continued: machine translation of further laws governing adoption: sections of Chapters 13, 11, 23, 27, and Section 7 of the Law on Marriage and Family; Code of Civil Procedure; and the Consular Statute.
  • Decrees: listing of some of the decrees and orders affecting adoption, some with machine translations. Also links to the sources that I used to obtained the information about adoption law.

Connecting: ways to maintain a cultural connection. Reunions and regional get-togethers, online school, cultural exhibits, sewing, etc.

New link:

Other countries: international adoption while living in countries other than the US.

New link:

Adoption Resources: other international adoption sites, financial resources, list of download forms.

E-mail lists and online support groups.

Inspiration: songs and poems, most with an adoption theme. Continued on Inspiration Page 2, Inspiration Page 3 and Inspiration Page 4.


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Page last updated on 1 May 2010.

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