Adoption

The Department of State Strongly Recommends Against Adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

Last Updated: June 21, 2018

This Alert Supersedes the Alert Issued on April 12, 2017.

We understand adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents have been contacted by individuals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) urging adoption service providers to resume operations in the DRC. However, the DRC Adoption Authorities, Direction Générale de Migration (Immigration), confirmed that the suspension on issuing exit permit in adoptions cases has not been lifted. Therefore, the Department of State strongly recommends against initiating an adoption in the DRC at this time. We continue to ask adoption agencies not to refer new Congolese adoption cases for U.S. prospective adoptive parents as the ongoing exit permit suspension remains firmly in place.

We also understand a few adoption service providers and adoptive parents were asked to provide post adoption reports to a government entity in the DRC. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa has confirmed that the DRC adoption authority does not require post-adoption reports. Although post adoption reporting is not required by the DRC authorities, there may be requirements for post-adoption reporting in some states and/or through an adoptive family’s contract with the accredited adoption service provider. Parents may be obligated to fulfill such requirements regardless of the DRC’s post-adoption reporting requirements. Adoptive parents should work closely with their adoption service provider regarding any post-adoption matters, including services, supports, and reporting.

We will continue to engage with the Congolese government on these issues. Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information. For questions about this notice or adoption-related visa processing, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov.

A child adopted by a U.S. citizen and who will reside in the US must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa processes immigrant visas for children adopted in D.R. Congo. Country specific adoption information can be found here.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for two categories of adopted children to immigrate to the U.S.  Under the first category, an adopted child is processed in the same way as a birth child if the child is adopted before the age of 16 and the adoption is full and final (not legal guardianship) and the child physically resided with the adoptive parent in their legal custody for two years.

The second category allows an “orphan,” as defined by U.S. law and regulations, to immigrate. Immigration requirements for an adopted orphan can be found here. Appointments to file an I-600 petition or visa application for an adopted orphan are given priority and can be scheduled by contacting the consular section directly at KinshasaAdoptions@state.gov. In the email text, please include your full name, the full name and date of birth of the adopted child, and the case number if you have one.

Adoption Overview

A child adopted by a U.S. citizen and who will reside in the U.S. must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa processes immigrant visas for children adopted in DRC. Country specific adoption information can be found here.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for two categories of adopted children to immigrate to the U.S.  Under the first category (IR-2), an adopted child is processed in the same way as a biological child if the child is adopted before the age of 16, the adoption is full and final (not legal guardianship), and the child physically resided with the adoptive parent for two years. For more information, please visit USCIS’s website to start the process of petitioning for your IR-2 adopted child.

The second category allows an “orphan,” as defined by U.S. law and regulations, to immigrate. Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is a foreign-born child who does not have any parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents OR has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child, consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country, and who has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. For more on the definition of an orphan under U.S. law, please

To adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States, you must first be found eligible to adopt under U.S. federal and state law and the law of the country from which you intend to adopt. Information can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s website about who can adopt and determining eligibility to adopt.