Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


The Gambia
Republic of The Gambia
Exercise increased caution in The Gambia due to crime and inadequate health infrastructure. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire travel advisory.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in The Gambia due to crime and inadequate health infrastructure. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire travel advisory.

Exercise increased caution due to other factors in

  • The southern border area adjacent to Senegal’s Casamance region due to the potential presence of landmines and sporadic border skirmishes.

Country Summary: Theft and home burglaries occur frequently in The Gambia, especially in the broader Banjul area. U.S. government personnel live in housing with heightened security measures.

The Gambia’s health infrastructure is inadequate; services, hygiene, and quality control do not meet U.S. standards of care.  Pharmacies are not well regulated; locally available medications may be unsafe.

The Gambia’s Southern Border with Senegal:  Some landmines from the Casamance conflict remain in the border region.  There have been occasional border skirmishes in this region.  If travelling near or across the border stay on main roads and do not travel at night.

Read the country information page for additional information about travel to The Gambia.

If you decide to travel to The Gambia:

  • Do not stray from main roads and well-traveled locations if you travel to areas in southern Gambia that border the Casamance region of Senegal.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Bring your own over the counter and prescription medications.
  • 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 Country Security Report for The Gambia.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

Hague Convention Information

The Gambia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (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 the Gambia. U.S. citizens adopting children in rare adoption cases from the Gambia, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in The Gambia who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of the Gambia to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.

Foreigners are allowed to adopt Gambian children only in exceptional circumstances. Prospective adoptive parents usually must be resident in The Gambia at least six months prior to applying to adopt.

PLEASE NOTE: The U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal issues immigrant visas for Gambian citizens, including adopted orphans.

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, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely 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 The Gambia and the U.S. Embassy Dakar website for information on consular services.

The Kanifing Children's Court
Address: Mamadi Maniyang Highway, Kanifing, KMC, The Gambia
Tel: +(220) 437-4525 or 439-2202
Fax: None
Email: None
Internet: None

U.S. Immigration Requirements

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

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Banjul
92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
The Gambia
+(220) 439-2856
+(220) 439-2856
+(220) 439-2475

The Gambia Map