Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Benin Intercountry Adoption Information
Reissued with updates to security information and an expansion of locations to avoid travel.
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:
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.
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.
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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