Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Kenya Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do Not Travel to:
Reconsider Travel to:
Country Summary: Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks. Emergency medical and fire service is also limited.
Terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship. Terrorist acts have included armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.
Demonstrations may occur, blocking key intersections and resulting in widespread traffic jams. Strikes and other protest activity related to political and economic conditions occur regularly, particularly in periods near elections. Violence associated with demonstrations, ranging from rock throwing to police using deadly force, occurs around the country; it is mostly notable in western Kenya and Nairobi.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating in the vicinity of the Kenyan-Somali border, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notice.
Some schools and other facilities acting as cultural rehabilitation centers are operating in Kenya with inadequate or nonexistent licensing and oversight. Reports of minors and young adults being held in these facilities against their will and physically abused are common.
Read the country information page for additional information about travel to Kenya.
If you decide to travel to Kenya:
Kenya-Somalia Border Counties and Coastal Areas – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Due to terrorism concerns, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the below Kenya-Somalia border counties and coastal areas:
Kenya-Somalia Border Counties:
Turkana County – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Nairobi neighborhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera – Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Kenya is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions from Convention countries are processed in accordance with 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 Kenya.
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible in Kenya. As reported in our December 13, 2014 adoption alert, on November 27, 2014, the Government of Kenya enacted a moratorium on adoptions of Kenyan children by foreigners for a time period of six months to a year. The Government of Kenya stated their intention to reform intercountry adoption procedures during this time. In our March 10 adoption notice, we reported that on February 20, 2015, the Kenyan government established an expert committee charged with reviewing procedures for both domestic and intercountry adoptions. It is our understanding that the moratorium impacts relative and non-relative adoption alike. The Government of Kenya has not provided any information on the timeline for any reforms to intercountry and domestic adoption procedures, nor has it offered any updated timeline for lifting the moratorium.
The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.
Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Kenya and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi’s website for information on consular services.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Kenya, 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.
U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya
P.O. Box 606
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 363-6622
Fax: +254 (0)20 363-6410
Kenya’s Adoption Authority
The Adoption Committee
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Tel: +254 (0)20 222-8411 ext 30040
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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