Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Benin Intercountry Adoption Information
Exercise increased caution in Benin due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Benin due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Benin.
Do Not Travel to:
Country Summary: Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assault, is common in urban areas. There is a risk of maritime crime, including violent attacks and kidnapping at sea, in the Gulf of Guinea.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Benin:
Northern Benin – Do Not Travel
Extremist groups have carried out attacks in areas of Burkina Faso and Niger adjacent to Benin’s northern border, near Park Pendjari, Park W, and adjacent hunting zones. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Western tourists have been kidnapped in Park Pendjari, in northern Benin.
Extremist groups have also operated in the northeastern border region between Benin and Nigeria, specifically in the border region north of Nikki. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Western tourists are at risk of kidnapping in this region.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Benin’s northern border areas. U.S. government employees are prohibited from personal travel and must obtain special authorization for official travel to the regions described above.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to the risk indicators.
Benin is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations in 22 C.F.R. 96, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Benin.
The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for Benin on October 1, 2018. The United States has determined that it will be able to process intercountry adoptions consistent with the Convention, allowing consular officers to verify on a case-by-case basis that the intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations under the Convention. However, the Department cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be significant delays in the adoption process while Benin works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures.
The Department of State will provide updated information, including information about the adoption process, on this website as it becomes available. Please visit the Benin country information page on travelling to Benin and the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou’s website for information on consular services.
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.
BENIN’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ms. Lea Estelle HONFO AKPOVO
President of the Central Authority for International Adoption
Ministry of Social Affairs and Micro Finance
Office: Festival des Glaces building, 3rd floor
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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