Adoption Information: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Intercountry adoptions from the DRC are not legally possible, and the DRC continues to suspend adoptions.

On Sept. 27, 2013, the Congolese Ministry of the Interior and Security, General Direction of Migration (Direction Generale de Migration, referred to as DGM) informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that effective Sept. 25, 2013, the DGM was no longer issuing exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents, and we understand the suspension remains firmly in place. These exit permits, along with U.S. immigrant visas, are required for adopted children traveling to the United States from the DRC.

The Department of State’s Adoption Alert updated on May 4, 2020, states that adoptions are not legally possible at this time and continues to strongly recommend against initiation of new adoptions in the DRC at this time.

The DRC is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). If you are a U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parent and you wish to learn more about the non-Hague process, you may see our Orphan Process webpage.

How Can I Change to Another Non-Hague Adoption Convention Country?

If you have an approved Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, for the DRC and wish to change to another country that is not party to the Hague Adoption Convention, then you must:

  • Notify USCIS in writing of your intention; and

  • Submit an amended home study that is no more than 6 months old. Please see the USCIS Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) webpage for information on how the UAA may affect an amended home study.

You may see our Change of Country webpage.

How Can I Change to a Hague Adoption Convention Country?

If you wish to change to a country that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, you must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, along with a Hague-compliant home study and the appropriate fee.

Can I Extend the Validity of an Approved Form I-600A?

If you wish to maintain your Form I-600A approval, you can request a one-time, no-fee extension of approval for an additional 18 months before the expiration of an approved Form I-600A by:

  • Requesting an extension of approval with USCIS in writing; and

  • Submitting an amended or updated home study as appropriate. Please see the USCIS Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) webpage for information on how the UAA may affect an amended home study.

Note: Prospective adoptive parents may also be asked to submit additional documentation.

You may see our Extension and Validity Periods webpage.

For further information, please see the Department of State’s website adoption.state.gov, and search for or select the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the country list. Please pay attention to the alerts that are posted on the DRC page.

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