The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Convention) is an international treaty created to ensure that inter-country adoptions are in the best interests of children and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.

The Convention generally requires that agencies and persons be accredited or approved to provide adoption services for inter-country adoptions when both countries involved are parties to the Convention.

The United States signed this treaty in March 1994.

For more information about the Convention and an up-to-date list of countries that are parties to the Convention, please visit the website for the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

The U.S. Department of State named the Council on Accreditation as the only national accrediter for Hague Convention Accreditation and Approval.

The COA accreditation process involves an in-depth examination of the organization’s compliance with best practice standards in the areas of human resources, financial and risk management and continuous quality improvement as well as standards that address a full array of child, family and behavioral health care areas.

International Adoption Services received their first accreditation in 2008.

COA provides the general public with an opportunity to provide feedback the agency’s performance by clicking here.


The Council on Accreditation (COA), a national accrediting entity designated by the US Department of State to provide Hague Accreditation and Approval, invites the public to provide comment on intercountry adoption service providers seeking Hague Accreditation, Approval or Renewal. You are invited to provide comments through COA’s website at: