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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