Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


Republic of Benin
Exercise normal precautions in Benin. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise normal precautions in Benin. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in:

  • Urban areas due to crime.
  • Beaches due to crime

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Benin:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Travel in groups when visiting beaches to reduce the risk of robbery.
  • Avoid travel between cities at night.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Benin.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Urban areas

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, and assault, is common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crimes.


Violent crime, such as muggings, is common at beaches within Cotonou at any time of day and outside of Cotonou after dark.


Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

Hague Convention Information

Benin is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of Benin. U.S. citizens adopting children from Benin, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Benin who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of Benin to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.

The type of adoption in Benin that resembles U.S. adoption practice most closely is adoption plenière ("Plenary Adoption"). Adoption pleniereprovides the same rights and privileges to an adopted child as biological children of the adopting parent(s). Benin may have particular requirements on the age, marital status and family size for prospective adoptive parents, as well as requirements for which children can be adopted. Prospective adoptive parents should verify these requirements directly with the adoption authority of Benin.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, with the intention of returning for the child when they are able to do so. In such cases, the birth parent(s) rarely would have relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Benin and the U.S. Embassy Cotonou website for information on consular services.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Benin, 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.

Contact Information

Ministère de la Famille et de la Solidarité Nationale
Direction de la Famille de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence (D.F.E.A.)
Address: 01 B.P. 2802 Cotonou, Bénin
Tel: (229) 21 31 67 07 / 21 31 67 08 / 21 30 03 33
Fax: (229) 21 31 64 62
Email: /

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)

Last Updated: April 1, 2012

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Cotonou
Marina Avenue
01 BP 2012 Cotonou, Benin
+(229) 21-30-75-00
+(229) 21-30-75-00
+(229) 21-30-66-82

Benin Map