Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Angola Intercountry Adoption Information
Exercise normal precautions in Angola. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Exercise increased caution in:
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Angola:
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, kidnapping, carjacking and homicide, is common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
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 2012webpage 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.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Angola, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to 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.
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:
In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Angola:
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).
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
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Angola has no post-adoption or post-placement reporting requirements.
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.
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.
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
Tel: No telephone numbers for the public are available
MINARS - National Institute of the Child and Adolescent
Rua N’Gola M’Bambi
Tel: 244-222 322 611; 222 323 683; 222 322 753
Assembleia Nacional (Parliament)
Rua 1 Congresso do MPLA
Tel: +244 222 391691; 222 394541
Embassy of the Republic of Angola
2100-2108 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Angola also has consulates in: New York, NY; Houston, TX.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808
For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
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