January 28, 2005
The U.S. Embassy in Almaty reports that the Kazakh Government has transferred responsibility for passport issuance to the Ministry of Justice, which does not yet have adequate staff to process passports for orphans in an expeditious manner. As a result, it is taking at least 30 days to obtain a Kazakh passport for an adopted child, which is required in order for the child to leave Kazakhstan. Recognizing the hardship this creates for adoptive families, the U.S. Embassy has urged the Government of Kazakhstan to expedite passport issuance for children. We will provide further updates as information becomes available. Until further notice, families pursuing an adoption in Kazakhstan should take these delays into consideration when planning their travel.