Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Kenya

Kenya
Republic of Kenya
Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas due to terrorism.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh at all times and Old Town in Mombasa at night due to crime.

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.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, and markets/shopping malls. Terrorist acts could include armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.

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 Airmen (NOTAM). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Kenya:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Kenya.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties and Coastal Areas

Due to terrorism concerns, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the Kenya-Somalia border counties and coastal areas.

Kenya-Somalia Border Counties

  • Mandera
  • Wajir
  • Garissa

Coastal Areas

  • Tana River county
  • Lamu county
  • Areas of Kilifi county north of Malindi.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nairobi Neighborhood of Eastleigh and Old Town in Mombasa

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.

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Kenya and the United States.

Hague Convention Information

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.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

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.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya 
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 606
Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 363-6622
Fax: +254 (0)20 363-6410
Email: NairobiAdoptions@State.gov
Internet: ke.usembassy.gov

Kenya’s Adoption Authority
The Adoption Committee
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 222-8411 ext 30040

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nairobi
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone
+(254) (20) 363-6451
Emergency
+(254) (20) 363-6170
Fax
No Fax

Kenya Map