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Angola

Official Name: Angola Last Updated: September 1, 2015

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Hague Adoption Convention Country? No

Are Intercountry Adoptions between Angola and the United States possible? Both adoptions to the United States from Angola and from the United States to Angola are possible.

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  • Hague Convention Information

    Angola is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).  Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases.  The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information.  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600.  However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

    Adopting in Angola is a complex process.  It can take years to identify a child for adoption and to complete all of the required steps and takes an Act of the National Assembly to approve each intercountry adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents should note that Angolan adoption laws, which are currently being revised, are very strict.  To ensure that the adoption process is completed successfully and in a timely manner, the U.S. Embassy in Angola strongly suggests that prospective adoptive parents consult an Angolan attorney.

  • U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

    To bring an adopted child to the United States from Angola, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

    Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

  • Who Can Adopt

    In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Angola must meet the following requirements:

    •  Residency: None.
    • Age of Adopting Parents:  Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and at least 16 years older than the prospective adoptive child.
    • Marriage: Prospective adoptive parents may be married, single, or in a common-law relationship.
    • Income: None.
    • Other: Prospective adoptive parent(s) must be in good physical and mental health, and financially capable of supporting and providing an education for the adopted child.

  • Who Can Be Adopted

    In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Angola:

    • Relinquishment: Adoption requires the consent of the prospective adoptive child’s birth parent(s) or the legal guardian.  Consent will be waived with regard to a child or adolescent whose parents are unknown or who have been stripped of their parental rights.
    • Abandonment: None.
    • Age of Adoptive Child: Less than 18 years old. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).
    • Sibling Adoptions: None.
    • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None.
    • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Two years.

    Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

  • How To Adopt

    The Process

    The process for adopting a child from Angola generally includes the following steps:

     

    Angola’s Adoption Authority

    National Office of Children and Adolescents of the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS); Ministry of Justice; and the National Parliament.

    1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
    2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
    3. Apply to Angola’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
    4. Adopt the Child in Angola
    5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
    6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    1.  Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

    Before taking steps to adopt a child from Angola, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case.  As of July 14, 2014, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case under the UAA, unless an exception applies. The primary provider is responsible for:

    ·         Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided;

    ·         Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and

    ·         Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

    For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.

    There are no specific adoption agencies in Angola.  Prospective adoptive children can be selected from an orphanage or foster center.  There are orphanages and foster children centers in all 18 provinces of Angola.  After the selection of the child, prospective adoptive parents should inform MINARS and request assistance in completing the adoption process.  A list of adoption attorneys in Angola may be found at the U.S. Embassy in Angola’s website.

    2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Angola, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Angola and U.S. immigration law. 

    To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt before you identify a child to adopt. You may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition along with all the required Form I-600A application supporting documentation, including an approved home study, once you have been matched with a child and have obtained all the necessary documentation. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options. Regardless of which approach you take, the home study must meet the same requirements. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

    3.  Apply to Angola’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

    If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, MINARS will provide you with a referral to be presented to the Ministry of Justice, Department of Social Assistance of the Family Court. 

    If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Angola will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, will provide you with a referral. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child, and must conform to the recommendations in the home study for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Angola’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

    4.  Adopt the Child in Angola

    The process for finalizing the adoption in Angola generally includes the following:

    ·         Role of Adoption Authority: There is no single adoption authority in Angola.  The National Office of Children and Adolescents accepts adoption requests on behalf of MINARS.  MINARS then processes and evaluates applications to be forwarded to the Family Court Room (a department of the Ministry of Justice).

     

    ·         Role of the Court: The Family Court Room reviews MINARS evaluations, provides permission for the prospective adoptive child be adopted, and forwards the file to the Assembleia Nacional (National Parliament) for final approval of the adoption.

     

    ·         Role of Adoption Agencies: There are no adoption service providers in Angola.

    Starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following  six services:

    o   Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;

    o   Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;

    o   Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;

    o   Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;

    o   Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or

    o   When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement.  22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

    ·         Adoption Application: The following sections outline the major provisions of the law that apply to adoptions:

    o   Adoption by proxy is prohibited;

    o   Adoption requires the consent of the prospective adoptive child's birth parent(s) or the legal guardian.  Consent will be waived with regard to a child or adolescent whose birth parents are unknown or who have forfeited their parental rights;

    o   A home study is required and will be evaluated by a Judge of the Family Court Room from the Provincial Court beforethe approval of the Parliament (National Assembly)

    o   Prospective adoptive parent(s) should contact a local orphanage to identify a child for adoption through the National Office of Children and Adolescents.  After a prospective adoptive child is identified, the orphanage contacts MINARS.  If the prospective adoptive child is eligible for adoption, MINARS issues a document giving permission for the prospective adoptive child to be adopted.  The process of identifying the child for adoption and receiving approval from MINARS can take 6-12 months.

    o   The prospective adoptive parent(s) then submit a request to the Family Court Room requesting approval from the National Assembly to adopt the child.  Along with this request, the prospective adoptive parent attaches the following:

    -          A copy of the MINARS document giving permission for the child to be adopted;

    -          Birth certificates of the prospective adoptive parent(s);

    -          Marriage (and prior divorce) certificate of the prospective adoptive parents(s) (if applicable);

    -          Police clearance from home country and from Angola;

    -          Medical exam attesting good physical and mental health;

    -          Proof of financial support.

    The process of approval from the Parliament can take between 12-18 months.

    Note:  Prospective adoptive parents should expect to submit certified copies of all documents.

    o   During the adoption process, the prospective adoptive parent(s) can submit a separate request to the Family Court Room requesting guardianship of the child.  The request for guardianship can be submitted at the same time the request to the National Assembly is submitted.  The request must be accompanied by the same documents listed above.  A hearing will be scheduled at which the prospective adoptive parent(s) must be present.  If the child is ten years of age or older, he/she will also be heard by the Trustee at the Family Court Room.  This process may take three to six months to be completed.

    o   If the child is not an orphan, the prospective adoptive parent (s) will have to note that on their request and the Trustee of the Family Court Room will send a notification to the birth parents to appear in person and consent to the adoption of the child.  Their consent will effectively permanently sever their parental rights.

    o   Once the National Assembly (Parliament) approves the adoption and the adoptive parent(s) receive the determination, that document must be submitted to the Family Court Room, and the Family Court Judge must issue the adoption decree.

    ·         Time Frame: An intercountry adoption in Angola can take anywhere from two to three years to complete from the time the prospective adoptive child is identified.

     

    ·         Adoption Fees: Prospective adopting parents can expect to pay as much as U.S. $3,000.00 in government fees to complete the adoption.  Attorney’s fees are estimated to be an additional U.S. $10,000.

    Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by themselves directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Angola, with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying achild, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Angola at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the UAA and IAA make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

     

    ·         Documents Required:

    o   Initial application can be made by a letter and should include the personal data of the prospective adoptive parents and the personal data of the prospective adoptive child. This letter does not need to be notarized;

    o   Criminal background check and clearance (The USCIS FBI background check is sufficient);

    o   Medical evaluation can be conducted in the U.S. or Angola;

    o   Proof of income;

    o   Birth certificate of the prospective adoptive parent(s);

    o   Birth certificate (if available) for the prospective adoptive child or a statement from the institution where the child has been cared for;

    o   Marriage certificate and divorce decree(s) of prospective adoptive parent(s), if applicable;

    o   Consent from any living biological parent(s) of the child to adopt.

    All documents must be translated into Portuguese. The translation must be done in Angola.  Any translator in Angola can do the translation.  A list of translators is available from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy.  The court will ask the translator to appear in court and swear that the translation is correct.

    Note: Additional documents may be requested.

    ·         Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

     

  • Traveling Abroad

    Applying for Your U.S. Passport

    U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel.  Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

    Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

    Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Angola

    In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Angola, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information. 

    Staying Safe on Your Trip

    Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

    Staying in Touch on Your Trip

    When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country.  Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Angola, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler. Enrollment Program (STEP)

  • After Adoption

    Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

    Angola has no post-adoption or post-placement reporting requirements.

    Post-Adoption Resources

    Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.  Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption. 

    Here are some places to start your support group search:

    Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

    COMPLAINTS

    If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Luanda, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case.  The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.  Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process.

    The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers.  If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider.  If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry

     

  • Contact Information

    U.S. Embassy in Angola
    Rua Houari Boumedienne #32, Miramar
    Luanda, Angola
    C.P. 6468
    Tel:  (244)(222) 641-000
    Fax:  (244)(222) 641-259
    Email:  consularluanda@state.gov 
    Internet:  angola.usembassy.gov

    Angola’s Adoption Authorities
    Ministry of Justice, Family Court Room
    Sala da Familia, Tribunal Provincial de Luanda
    Rua Amilcar Cabral No. 17,  5th and 7th Floor
    Luanda, Angola
    Tel:  No telephone numbers for the public are available
    MINARS - National Institute of the Child and Adolescent
    Rua N’Gola M’Bambi
    Luanda, Angola
    Tel:  244-222 322 611; 222 323 683; 222 322 753
    Assembleia Nacional (Parliament)
    Rua 1 Congresso do MPLA
    Luanda, Angola
    Tel:  +244 222 391691; 222 394541

    Embassy of the Republic of Angola
    2100-2108 16th Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C.  20009
    Tel:  202-785-1156
    Fax:  202-785-1258
    Internet:  angola.org
    Angola also has consulates in: New York, NY; Houston, TX.

    Office of Children’s Issues
    U.S. Department of State
    CA/OCS/CI
    SA-17, 9th Floor
    Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
    Email:  Adoption@state.gov
    Internet:  adoption.state.gov

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    For questions about immigration procedures:
    USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
    Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
    Internet:  uscis.gov
    For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or I-600 petition:
    USCIS National Benefits Center
    Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
    Email:  NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov