Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Guinea Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in Guinea due to civil unrest.
Country Summary: Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country and are often sporadic and unplanned, making it difficult to predict the size, route, level of violence, or congestion that may occur.
Any demonstration may turn violent, resulting in injuries and even fatalities. Demonstrators may attack vehicles that attempt to pass through or around the protests, resulting in serious injuries and vehicular damage. Criminals are known to take advantage of the resulting traffic congestion to rob drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Uniformed security forces may also extort drivers and passengers during these incidents.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Guinea.
If you decide to travel to Guinea:
Guinea is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Guinea.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Guinea, you must meet eligibility and suitability 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 Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.
In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from Guinea must meet the following requirements imposed by Guinea:
Because Guinea is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Guinea must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Guinea have determined that placement of the child within Guinea has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ADOPTION:
While both simple adoption and plenary adoption are permissible under Guinean law, only children subject to a plenary adoption are eligible for U.S. immigration benefits through intercountry adoption. Generally, simple adoptions do not irrevocably sever parental rights with the prior legal parents, and therefore do not qualify as an “adoption” for purposes of U.S. immigration law.
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. 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 possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have not relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren). The Government of Guinea will identify a prospective adoptive child to couples approved for intercountry adoption in Guinea. Parents may not identify and apply to adopt a specific child.
WARNING: Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Guinea before: 1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of Guinea has determined the child is eligible for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.
Guinea’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Affairs, the Advancement of Women, and Children’s Affairs (The Ministry)
Because Guinea is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Guinea must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may cause significant delays or result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.).
1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider That Has Been Authorized by Guinea’s Central Authority to Operate in Guinea to Act as Your Primary Provider.
The first step in adopting a child from Guinea is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved, and authorized by Guinea’s Central Authority to operate in Guinea to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case. Your primary provider is responsible for:
Learn more about Agency Accreditation.
2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt
In order to adopt a child from Guinea, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Guinea and U.S. immigration law. After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, provide biometrics, and cooperate in a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.
3. Apply to Guinea’s Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child
Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority
After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the Central Authority in Guinea as part of your adoption application. Guinea’s Central Authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Guinea’s law.
Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority
If both the United States and Guinea determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and Guinea’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is eligible for adoption, and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, then the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in Guinea may provide you with a referral. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. In order to qualify for a referral from the United States the adoption must be plenary. Simple adoptions are not valid for purposes of US immigration law because it does not include an irrevocable severance of ties between prior legal parents and the child. The adoption authority in Guinea will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral. We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child. You must also adhere to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS with respect to the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in Guinea. Learn more about this critical decision.
4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption
Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility
After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to be admitted to the United States.
Submit an Immigrant Visa Application
After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Guinea.
You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.
The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Guinea’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Guinea if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Guineas Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.
Warning: Do not attempt to adopt a child in Guinea before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.
Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
5. Adopt the Child in Guinea (or Obtain Legal Custody of the child for Purposes Emigration and Adoption)
Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Guinea, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Guinea.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption) in Guinea generally includes the following:
o Investigations and filing fees: three million (3,000,000 GNF) Guinean francs per file, to be paid at the time of administrative processing;
o Administrative expenses: six million (6,000,000 GNF) Guinean francs;
o Food and childcare fees (approx.): two million Guinean francs (2,000,000 GNF) per month and per child to be paid into the childcare center account.
o Statement of motivation to adopt addressed to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Advancement of Women, and Children’s Issues explaining the motivations and describing the biographical data of the child (gender, physical description, etc.);
o Birth Certificate for each applicant;
o Certificate of nationality for each applicant;
o Criminal record from the prospective parents' country(s) of nationality and/or usual residence, no older than three months for each applicant;
o National Identity Card;
o Marriage Certificate;
o Residence Certificate;
o Proof of income of each applicant;
o Medical certificate attesting to the overall state of health of each of the applicants;
o Receipt for administrative costs
o Copy of authorization approval issued by Ministry for the adoptee
All submitted proposals for adoption must be followed up with an evaluation from a social service provider in the United States.
6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home
Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:
You will need to obtain a birth certificate for your child.
If you have finalized the adoption in Guinea, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
If you have been granted legal custody for the purpose of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.
Birth certificates are issued by the Civil Register in the community in which the child was born based on a Declaration of Birth, which is issued by a hospital. If no birth certificate was ever issued for a child, or the child was not born in a hospital, a "Jugement Suppletif tenant lieu d'acte de naissance" can be requested from the court.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Guinea.
An application for a Guinean passport should be submitted to the Central Immigration Office in Conakry, along with the child's birth certificate (or Jugement Suppletif), a residency statement for either the child or the child's parents (or a Police Report of abandonment), and two passport-sized photographs. An application for a Guinean passport may be submitted at any point prior to or after the adoption. The fee for a passport is currently the equivalent of approximately 20 USD, and the passport should be available within two to four weeks.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child you must apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Dakar processes immigrant visas for non-U.S. citizens located in Guinea. Additional information concerning immigrant visa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Dakar’s website. After the adoption (or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Dakar for final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of the child’s I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Dakar by email at DakarImmigrantVisa@state.gov to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the Form I-800 provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.
Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. You should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview. Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.
Upon receipt of the case at post, the Consular Section generally notifies the petitioner. Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes one week. Immigrant visa pickup times are Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00pm. It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. You should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Dakar before making final travel arrangements. Additional information on immigrant visa processing can be found on our website.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States:
An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s admission into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s admission into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child acquires U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.
Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Guinea
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Guinea, see the Department of State’s country page.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides country information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling abroad during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy in Guinea], to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Guinea, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Post adoption reports on the adoptee’s health and welfare should be submitted to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Advancement of Women, and Children’s Issues. A report must be submitted two years after the adoption is completed and then every three years until the child is eighteen.
We urge you to comply with Guinea’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Guinea’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.
If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Conakry, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800/A petition process.
The Complaint Registry is an internet-based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.
U.S. Embassy in Conakry, Guinea
Address: B.P. 603, Conakry, Republic of Guinea
U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal
Address: Avenue Jean XXIII, B.P. 49 Dakar, Senegal
Guinea’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Affairs, Advancement of Women, and Children’s Issues
Address: B. P. 527, Conakry, Republic of Guinea
Mr. Akoye Guilavogui, Director for Children’s Affairs
Tel : + (224) 628 21 89 94
+ (224) 631 34 74 23
+ (224) 622 96 25 33
+ (224) 666 63 62 00
Ms. Tiranke Kaba Toure, Assistant Director
Tel: + (224) 621 27 18 93
+ (224) 656 00 33 86
Embassy of Republic of Guinea
Address: 2112 Leroy Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 986-4300
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about a pending 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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