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Interesting Facts about latvia

  • The official name of the country is Latvijas Republika, translated as the Republic of Latvia.
  • Government. Latvia is a democratic parliamentary republic established in 1918.

  • History. Around 3000 BCE the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Rome and Byzantium. By 900 ACE, 5 tribes inhabited Latvia: CuroniansLatgaliansSeloniansSemigallians, and the Livonians. Starting in the 13th century Latvia was at various times split up and ruled by the Germans, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, and Russia. Independence was restored in 1991.

  • Geography.  Latvia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea on the level northwestern part of the rising East European platform, between Estonia and LithuaniaLatvia has over 12,000 rivers, only 17 of which are longer than 60 miles long, and over 3,000 small lakes.

  • Climate. The damp climate of Latvia resembles New England's. Latvia has an European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and severe winters. 

  • Natural Resources. Other than peat, dolomite, and limestone, gypsum, and clay, natural resources are scarce. Fish from the Baltic Sea is another potential export resource export. Amber, million-year-old chunks of petrified pine pitch, is often found on the beaches of the Baltic Sea and is in high demand for jewelry.

  • Riga.  The capital of Latvia, Riga, is called the "European Capital of Culture".  It has many museums.  
  • Olympics. In 1952, Latvian athletes who qualified for Olympic competition could only do so as part of the USSR. The Latvian Olympic Committee never withdrew its membership from the IOC. The majority of the Latvian Olympic Committee fled to the West but many famous Latvian sportsmen died in the Siberian camps.
  • Latvia has 500 kilometres of beach along the Baltic Sea. It has modern port cities, resort cities, old fishing villages, and natural areas. 

  • Economy. After a harsh recession, Latvia now has the fastest growing economy in the European Union.
  • Cuisine.  Latvian traditional cuisine consists of meat, fish, potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork. Latvian food is generally quite fatty, and uses few spices. Grey peas and ham, sorrel soup and Rye Bread (Rupjmaize) are traditional foods. 
  • Castles.  There are many medieval castles in Latvia. Dundaga, for example, was named for the sounds of a bell heard by a boy in the belfry of the castle: "Dung, dung - dang, dang". When the boy mentioned this name, he was said to have turned into stone. This stone is supposedly still in the castle. 





Statistics for latvia


2,178,443 (July 2013 est.)


 Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 73.19 years 
male: 68.13 years 
female: 78.53 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:


1.34 children born/woman (2013 est.)


Lutheran 19.6%

Orthodox 15.3%

other Christian 1%

other 0.4%

unspecified 63.7% (2006)


Ethnic Groups

Latvian 59.3%

Russian 27.8%

Belarusian 3.6%

Ukrainian 2.5%

Polish 2.4%

Lithuanian 1.3%

other 3.1% (2009)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$18,600 (2012 est.) 


definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 99.8% 
male: 99.8% 
female: 99.8% (2011 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)



total: 14 years 
male: 14 years 
female: 15 years (2011)








Children in Latvian orphanages are usually of Latvian or Russian heritage. The orphanages are home to between 80-100 children and are very clean. The children seem well cared for and reportedly receive adequate medical care.  They attend school and learn English.




inter-country adoption of children from latvia 


2013 Adoptions: 82


Hague Accredited: yes


Estimated Total Cost (2013): $25,000 - $30,000


Available Children: In 2012 53% of children adopted were boys.


Age of ChildrenChildren aged nine years and older are eligible for international adoption, younger if they are part of a sibling group or have special needs.


Ethnicity of Children: Most of the children are of Latvian or Russian ethnicity.


Family Marital Status: Both married couples and single men and women may adopt.


Parent Qualifications: Parents must be between 25 to 55 years of age and at least 18 years older than the adoptive child.


Timeline: From dossier submission to completion of adoption reportedly takes about 6 to 9 months, although other sources cite 1-4 years. Family will travel about 2 to 4 months after receiving a referral. Three trips are required but you may bring your child home after your first trip. The first trip is usually about 4 weeks, and both parents must attend. During this trip, you will meet your child and have an orphan court hearing. After two months one parent will return to Latvia for 2-3 days to complete paperwork and attend the regional court hearing. After another 20 day waiting period the third trip is 6 days in length to complete the adoption. 


Post Adoption: 12- and 24-month post adoption reports are required to demonstrate to the Latvian government the benefits of international adoption for their children.







We strongly urge you to comply with the requirements established by the government of the country you are adopting from and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process and/or provide you with more specific guidelines.  


If your agency is unable to help you with this, or no longer has an active program, it is suggested that you enlist the assistance of another agency that is able to help you complete the post-placement reports.  If all else fails, filing the report directly with the embassy or Minister of Education of the country adopted from may be acceptable.


In Fall 2006, the following advice was obtained by Karen's Adopiton Links for all families who needed to file their own Post Placement Reports:

  1. Use a Licensed Social Worker to do the Post Placement Report 
  2. Translate report with a Certified Translator. 
  3. Get the Post Placement Report apostilled.
  4. Include 5 pictures
  5. Suggested Sample form 
  6. Send directly by DHL or FedEx to the Minister of Education in the country or region of adoption. 

click here for more Information on Post-Placement Reports in general 










Helpful Links


Resources below are presented for information purposes only. Unless noted specifically as a FRUA INC group, FRUA INC does not endorse, nor have any connection with the following.


Latvian Adoption Forum 

Latvia Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)


Intercountry Adoption from Latvia (Latvian Government)


Latvian Adoption Fast Facts (Building Your Family)

Latvian Adoption Process (Binti)

US Embassy in Latvia

Latvian Embassy in Washington DC

Latvia (Wikipedia)

Latvia (CIA Factbook)

Latvia (Info Please)  

FRUA INC Facebook Page


Karen's Adoption Links

InterCountry Adoption Service Provider Search

International Adoptive Medical Clinics & Physicians

Child Welfare Gateway

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Hague Accreditation and Approval

Post Adoption (US Department of State)

Intercountry Adoption (US Department of State)

PEAR (Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform)


 There may also be other online parent support groups, lists and forums related to adoption from this country on Yahoo GroupsFacebook, the EEACAdoptive FamilesAdoption Services Support Groups, and






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