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Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Lesotho

Lesotho
Kingdom of Lesotho
Reconsider travel to Lesotho due to COVID-19.

Reconsider travel to Lesotho due to COVID-19.   

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Lesotho due to COVID-19.    

Lesotho has lifted stay at home orders, and resumed some transportation options and business operations.  Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Lesotho. 

Read the country information page

If you decide to travel to Lesotho: 

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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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 to the United States from Lesotho and from the United States to Lesotho are possible.

Hague Convention Information

Please see our section on Adoptions from the United States for more information on the process for adopting a child from the United States. We urge prospective adoptive parents residing abroad who are considering adoption of a child from the United States to consult with the Lesotho’s Central Authority, the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD), for its determination as to whether it considers your adoption to be subject to the Convention.

Lesotho is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the Convention; the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); the IAA’s implementing regulations; and all applicable legislation and regulations of Lesotho.

While intercountry adoption is legally possible, children from Lesotho are not generally placed for intercountry adoption. Only eight children from Lesotho have received a U.S. immigrant visa based on an intercountry adoption since 2014. The information provided is intended primarily to assist in extremely rare adoption cases from Lesotho, including adoptions of children from Lesotho by relatives in the United States, as well as adoptions from third countries by U.S. citizens living in Lesotho.

U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Lesotho should contact the Central Authority of Lesotho to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Lesotho who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact Lesotho’s Central Authority. See contact information below.

Please visit the Department of State’s country page for more information on traveling to Lesotho and the U.S. Embassy in Maseru’s website for information on consular services.

The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Lesotho’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen adoptive parents and a child from Lesotho if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform Lesotho’s 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 Lesotho before USCIS has provisionally approved 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.

Contact Information

Lesotho’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Development
Health Headquarters Building
Private Bag A222
Maseru 100
Lesotho
Tel: +266 2231 4099
Internet: gov.ls/ministry-of-social-development/

Embassy of Lesotho
2511 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 1-202-797-5533
Fax: 1-202-234-6815
Email: lesothoembassy@verizon.net
Internet: lesothoemb-usa.gov.ls/home/ 

U.S. Embassy in Lesotho
254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100
Lesotho
Tel: +266-2231-0116
Fax: +266-2231-0116
Email: USConsularMaseru@state.gov
Internet: ls.usembassy.gov

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

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
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

Last Updated: October 1, 2019

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Maseru
254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho
Telephone
+(266) 2231-2666
Emergency
+(266) 5888-4035
Fax
+(266) 2231-0116

Lesotho Map