Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Lesotho Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise normal precautions in Lesotho.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Lesotho.
If you decide to travel to Lesotho:
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.
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.
Lesotho’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Social Development
Health Headquarters Building
Private Bag A222
Tel: +266 2231 4099
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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