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Alert: Recent Developments Related to Intercountry Adoption from Uganda

The Department has received information from prospective adoptive families currently in Uganda regarding reports that Ugandan government officials have visited prospective adoptive families and asked to review their dossiers.  The Department is gathering more information about these reports and will post an update on our website as more information becomes available.

Any U.S. Citizen in Uganda who is concerned for his/her personal safety, should contact the Embassy’s 24/7 Duty Officer at +256 414 259 791 or, if calling from a local number, 0414  259 791.  Additionally, in an emergency, U.S. citizens overseas may contact the Department of State’s Duty Officer at:  1-888-407-4747 (toll free) or if calling from outside of the United States: (202) 501-4444.  Please note that these numbers are for emergency situations. If U.S. citizen prospective adoptive families in Uganda are contacted by Ugandan authorities, they may contact the U.S. Embassy at during regular business hours, or the Embassy Duty officer after hours. 

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala is aware of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development’s initiative to assess the suitability of all children’s homes in Uganda in providing alternative care for children in need.  The Ugandan Children’s Act, which governs all aspects of the fostering, legal guardianship, and adoption process, requires all orphanages (also termed baby homes and children's homes) to obtain and maintain the approval of the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development in order to provide alternative care to children in need.

The Ugandan Courts that grant guardianships and adoption orders do not consistently require evidence of this approval when granting guardianships and adoption orders.   Additionally, the Ministry of Gender and the Courts have differing interpretations of the relevant Ugandan laws. While these issues are being reviewed by the Ugandan authorities, the U.S. Embassy will continue to adjudicate qualified cases based on decisions made by Ugandan courts. 

At this time, the Embassy does not require proof of the Ministry of Gender’s approval or proof of the national accreditation of children’s home as part of the visa file.  We will immediately post new guidance to our website should the Government of Uganda formally notify the Department of State of changes to Ugandan laws and regulations pertaining to accreditation or approval of children’s homes as they relate to intercountry adoptions.