Adoption between the United States and Switzerland is governed by The Hague Adoption Convention. Please keep in mind few Swiss born children are eligible for adoption. Since the demand for adopted children among Swiss citizens is typically high, there is also usually a long waiting list of Swiss prospective adoptive parents. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must make a determination of eligibility for U.S. prospective adoptive parents to adopt under The Hague Adoption Convention. For further information, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s adoption website or the Swiss Federal Office of Justice website.
International Child Support Enforcement
Persons entitled to child support in Switzerland have the right to support from the authorities in enforcing their claims for child support payments if a person required to pay them fails to do so.
A variety of agreements cover the recovery of unpaid child support payments from persons living abroad, providing a bridge from the legal system of one country to that of the other.
The most important is the UN Convention of 20 June 1956 on the recovery abroad of child support payments (The New York Convention). This Convention has been ratified by around 65 countries.
Cooperation between states is regulated by setting up transmitting and receiving agencies (Central Authorities) in the countries concerned.
Visit the Swiss Federal Office of Justice website for instructions, forms and contact information if you are residing in Switzerland or the HCCH Website if you are in the United States.
International Parental Child Abduction
International parental child abduction is the removal or retention of a child outside their country of habitual residence in breach of another parent or guardian’s custody rights. The Office of Children’s Issues within the U.S. Department of State is a leader in U.S. government efforts to prevent international parental child abduction (both from the United States and to the United States), help children and families involved in abduction cases, and promote the objectives of the Hague Abduction Convention.
If you believe your child is in the process of being abducted by a parent, legal guardian, or someone acting on their behalf, call us: 1-888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444.
Giving Birth in Switzerland
The Swiss Civil Registrar’s Office (Zivilstandsamt / Etat Civil) is the responsible office to register births in Switzerland and will issue a Swiss Birth Certificate. In order to register a child’s birth, the Civil Registrar also requires the parental information. You will be asked to furnish documentation such as:
- Parent’s Birth Certificates issued within the last six month (obtain copies of U.S. vital records directly with the appropriate vital records office)
- Parent’s Marriage Certificate or civil status affidavit
- Proof of residency in the United States
- Birth Certificate (issued within the last six months) for all other children of the same marriage
This list is not exhaustive and we recommend you contact your local Swiss Registrar’s Office prior to your child’s birth for detailed instructions to avoid delays for the issuance of the Swiss Birth Certificate.
Visit our Consular Report of Birth (CRBA) website to register a child born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s).