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Adopting? Japan does NOT have a Child Abuse Registry

Prospective adopting parents who are current or former residents of Japan and are adopting children from countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) need to be aware that Japan does not have a child abuse registry.

The Hague Adoption Convention went into effect in the U.S. in April 2008.  Japan is not a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention; however, U.S. citizens who are adopting children from Hague countries (including China and the Philippines) need a child abuse registry check from every country where they have been a resident.  If you are living in Japan or used to live in Japan, you may be asked during the adoption process to get a “child abuse registry check” from Japan; however, Japan does not have such a registry and you must inform the person requesting the check about this fact.  

For more information on adoptions, please visit the State Department website at

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