Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


Republic of Benin
Exercise increased caution in Benin due to crime, kidnapping, terrorism, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in Benin due to crime, kidnapping, terrorism, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

The northern regions of Benin, including:

  • The cities of Kandi and Tanguieta
  • North from Kandi and Tanguieta to the Niger / Burkina Faso border
  • Pendjari and W National Parks, Zones Cynegetique De La Pendjari, De Latakora, and De Djona, and the adjacent hunting zones
  • RNIE 7 between Banikora and Segbana
  • RN10 between Nikki and Segbana

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assault, is common in Benin. There is a risk of maritime crime, including violent attacks and kidnapping at sea, in the Gulf of Guinea.

Terrorists continue plotting attacks in Benin. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, and could target shop, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Benin.

If you decide to travel to Benin:

Northern Benin – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Extremist groups have carried out attacks in areas of southern Burkina Faso, southern Niger and northern Benin (including 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 vicinity of Kandi and Tanguieta and 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. Foreign nationals and residents 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.


Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

Hague Convention Information

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. Despite this, international adoptions from Benin have been suspended since May 2014. Benin is still finalizing the Hague adoption processes and no American service providers have been authorized for adoption.  Please check this website for updates. 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.

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

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)

Last Updated: May 18, 2020

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