The Global Family: How Would-Be Parents From Abroad Adopt Kazakhstani Children


Children from Kazakhstan are mainly adopted by citizens of European countries, the USA and Canada, according to the Ministry of Education, which recently discussed some of the changing trends in the adoption of children from Kazakhstan.

There are two types of adoption procedure in the country: adoption by citizens of Kazakhstan or adoption by citizens of other countries. The number of Kazakh children adopted by foreign citizens has decreased significantly over the last decade — from 2013 to 2023 only 158 Kazakh children were adopted abroad, compared with 8,805 children in the period from 1999 to 2011. Since 2013 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has controlled the process of foreign families adopting children from Kazakhstan.

The Ministry of Education emphasizes that foreign citizens can only adopt a child if the chance to adopt them was refused by relatives who are citizens of Kazakhstan — or if the child does not have any relatives. The ministry also explained that adoption of children by foreign nationals is only permitted to citizens of a country that has child-protection legislation that is on par with that in Kazakhstan.

Children adopted by foreign citizens are registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before leaving Kazakhstan.