Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Guinea Intercountry Adoption Information
Exercise increased caution in Guinea due to civil unrest.
Frequent, unpredictable demonstrations occur across the country. Some have turned violent, resulting in injuries and several fatalities. Demonstrators have also attacked vehicles when drivers attempted to pass through or around the protests. Criminals take advantage of the resulting traffic congestion to rob/extort money from drivers and pedestrians.
Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page.
If you decide to travel to Guinea:
U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.
Guinea 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, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Guinea.
Guinea does not allow adoption service providers or orphanages to assist with intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents must work with an accredited or approved adoption service provider for U.S. processing elements, but should expect to work directly with Guinean authorities or a licensed Guinean attorney for services in Guinea.
Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Guinea, 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 a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.
In addition to the U.S. requirements, Guinea obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from 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 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. In addition to Guinea’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.
WARNING: Guinea is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Guinea before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.
Guinea’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Affairs, Women and Children
Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Guinea as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or, 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.
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 not confer immigration benefits on the adopted child (i.e. it is possible the child would not qualify for an immigrant visa if adopted out of order).
The recommended 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 to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Guinea. The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with The Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.
Note: No adoption agency or orphanage, foreign or domestic, is approved or accredited to assist prospective adoptive parents with the in-country process.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.
Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, you should provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Guinea as part of your adoption dossier. Guinea’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Guinea’s law.
Be Matched with a Child:
If both the United States and Guinea determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the central authority for Convention adoptions in Guinea may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Guinea. 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 or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Guinea. Learn more about this critical decision.
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.
After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Guinea. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.
WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Guinean Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Guinea where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Guinean Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.
Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Guinea before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any 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.
Remember: Before you adopt (or gain 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 gaining legal custody) in Guinea generally includes the following:
If you have already identified a child that you would like to adopt, you should be prepared to supply the Guinean Central Authority with all known information about the child and the child's family.
In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Guinea include those charged by the Government of Guinea for investigations.
Note: Additional documents may be requested.
Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:
If you have finalized the adoption in Guinea, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.
If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting 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 the equivalent of approximately 20 USD, and the passport will be available within two to four weeks.
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Dakar for final review of the case, 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 visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
POST-ADOPTION/POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
We strongly urge you to comply with any potential post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.
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. 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 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. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. 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 Specific Information.
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 Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. 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).
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. 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.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal
Address: Embassy of the United States of America
Avenue Jean XXIII
Tel: + (221) 33-829-2100
Fax: + (221) 33-822-5903
Guinea’s Adoption Authority
Address: Ministry of Social Affairs, Women and Children
B. P. 527
Conakry, Republic of Guinea
Tel: + (224) 64-36-4299
Embassy of Republic of Guinea
Address: Embassy of the Republic of Guinea
2112 Leroy Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 986-4300
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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