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Notice: The Hague Adoption Convention Enters into Force for Côte d’Ivoire on October 1, 2015

On October 1, 2015, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) will enter into force for Côte d’Ivoire.  Côte d’Ivoire is still in the process of developing procedures with regard to Convention adoptions; in the interim the United States will process intercountry adoptions petitions that are initiated on or after October 1, 2015 under the Convention on a case-by-case basis.

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that Côte d’Ivoire is still establishing procedures for intercountry adoptions to take place under the Hague Convention.  The final approval of any adoption petition and subsequent visa issuance will require families to follow procedures that are still being developed.  The Department of State strongly urges prospective adoptive parents to wait until these procedures are in place before applying to adopt a child in Côte d’Ivoire to avoid potentially extensive delays.

Prospective adoptive families should not finalize any adoption until they have received permission from both the Ivoirian Central Authority and the U.S. Central Authority to proceed with the adoption process in the court.  

The Ivoirian Central Authority, the Child Protection Office within the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women and Children, has indicated that prospective adoptive parents must file their application with their office before any other action regarding the adoption can occur.  Their office will be determining exactly which documents will be required in order to apply to adopt an Ivoirian child. This procedure will apply to all adoptions, intra-family, domestic, and intercountry. Prospective adoptive parents may contact the Child Protection office at: 

Ministre de la Solidarité, de la Famille, de la Femme et de l’Enfant
Direction de la Protection de l’Enfant
SERVICE ADOPTION
Immeuble le General
Plateau, Abidjan
BP V 200 ABIDJAN
COTE D’IVOIRE
TEL 20 32 42 33
Fax : 20 21 44 61

The Department of State highlights that the United States will only consider plenary adoptions for immigration purposes. While children from Côte d’Ivoire may be eligible for simple adoptions in Côte d’Ivoire, a child adopted through a simple adoption would not be eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States Prospective adoptive parents should ensure that the judge declares the adoption as a plenary, or full and final, adoption. 

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that they should expect lengthy delays while Côte d’Ivoire works to revise its current laws,  regulations, and procedures in the adoption process. The Government of Côte d’Ivoire has told the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan that it will continue its ongoing efforts to improve its practices while it begins to process adoptions using the Convention process. The Department of State remains in close communication with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available. 

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at adoption@state.gov.