Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Ethiopia Intercountry Adoption Information
Reconsider travel to Ethiopia due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas.
Do Not Travel To:
The situation in Addis Ababa is stable. However, there is armed conflict and civil unrest in other areas of Ethiopia, and the security situation may deteriorate without warning. The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist with departure from the country if the security situation deteriorates. Due to armed conflict and civil unrest throughout parts of Ethiopia, travel by U.S. government personnel is routinely assessed for additional restrictions. Please see information on What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis.
U.S. officials have very limited consular access to U.S. citizens detained by Ethiopian authorities. The government of Ethiopia has previously restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services before, during, and after civil unrest. Telecommunication, electricity, and other public services remain largely unavailable in the Tigray region as well as other conflict areas. These restrictions impede the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with and provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.
The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. Please contact the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit at AddisACS@state.gov for further information.
Read the country information page for additional information about travel to Ethiopia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Ethiopia has a moderate level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
If you decide to travel to Ethiopia:
Tigray Region and Border with Eritrea—Do Not Travel
Due to armed conflict, the Tigray Region and the border with Eritrea are currently off-limits for U.S. government personnel, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity efforts. Due to the current situation in Tigray, the border roads with Eritrea are closed. Conditions at the border may change with no warning.
Amhara Region – Do Not Travel
Due to armed conflict, the Amhara Region is currently off-limits for U.S. government personnel, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity and priority diplomatic engagement efforts.
Afar Region – Do Not Travel
Due to armed conflict, the Afar Region is currently off-limits for U.S. government personnel, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity and priority diplomatic engagement efforts.
Border Area with Somalia—Do Not Travel
Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks and kidnappings. Landmines are present in this region. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to the border areas with Somalia, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity efforts.
Border Areas with Sudan and South Sudan—Do Not Travel
Crime, kidnapping, armed conflict, and the potential for ethnic conflict exist near the Ethiopian borders with Sudan and South Sudan. This includes but is not limited to the Nuer Zone and the Jore Woreda of the Agnuak Zone in the in Gambella region, and the Pawe, Guba, Dangur, Dibati, and Bulen Woredas, and the Metekel Zone in the Benishangul Gumuz region. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to the border areas of Sudan and South Sudan, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity efforts.
Border Areas with Kenya – Do Not Travel
Terrorists, particularly Al-Shabaab, maintain a presence in this area, and ethnic conflict has been reported. This includes but is not limited to the Konso Zone and surrounding areas. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to the border areas with Kenya, with limited exceptions to support humanitarian capacity efforts.
Oromo Region – Specific Zones – Do Not Travel
The following towns and areas in Oromia due to ethnic violence: Horro-Guduru Wollega, East Wollega, West Wollega, Kelem Wollega, Nekemte, Ambo, Fiche, Chiro, Negele, and Wenchi Crater Lake.
Visit our website for advice if you decide to Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Last Update: Reissued with update to the travel advisory level for Ethiopia.
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Ethiopia and the United States.
On January 9, 2018, the Ethiopian Parliament passed an amendment to the Revised Family Code law that removes all references to adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners; effective February 14, 2018. As a result of this change to Ethiopian law, we strongly recommend against initiating an adoption in Ethiopia at this time.
Ethiopian officials informed the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa that only intercountry adoption cases filed with the Federal First Instance Court of Ethiopia prior to February 14, 2018 will be considered by the court. The Ethiopian government stated it will allow certain adoption cases that were in process prior to the enactment of the new legislation to proceed under the old law. If you have a question about whether your adoption case is considered by the Ethiopian government to be “in process,” please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov or the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa at ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov. For information about how to proceed if your case is in process, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues or your adoption service provider.
Ethiopian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Women's, Children’s Affairs (MOWCA)
Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO)
P.O. Box 1293
Tel: +251 12552 1657
Fax: +251 11552 7524
Embassy of the United States of America – Addis Ababa
P.O. Box 1014
Tel: (251-11) 130-6000
Fax: (251-11) 124-24-35
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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