Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Libya Intercountry Adoption Information
Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and 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 4 Travel Health Notice for Libya due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the State Department’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Libya.
Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.
Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.
Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Militia or armed groups sometimes detain travelers for arbitrary reasons, do not grant detainees access to a lawyer or a legal process, and do not allow detainees to inform others of their status. U.S. citizens should carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times, but having these documents does not guarantee fair treatment.
Some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of operational airports are sporadic and may be cancelled without warning. The U.S. government is very concerned about the targeting of commercial transportation in Libya and prohibits U.S. commercial aviation operations within Libyan airspace.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to U.S. citizens in Libya, as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Libya, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the 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 Libya:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
Adoptions from Libya are possible, but extremely rare. Please consult a local attorney or adoption agency familiar with laws and regulations regarding intercountry adoption in Libya. Additionally, prospective adoptive parents should refer to our information sheet on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari’a Law is observed for more information.
Libya is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the requirement that adoption service providers be accredited or approved, and therefore meet the accreditation standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also applies in non-Convention (“orphan”) cases under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider act as the primary provider in every Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case, and that adoption service providers providing any adoption services, as defined at 22 CFR Part 96.2, on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. See additional guidance for limited situations when a primary provider may not be required. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I 600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website on the impact of the UAA on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the home study requirements listed at 8 CFR 204.311, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.
The Department of State occasionally receives inquiries from U.S. citizens concerned about the plight of children in Libya and the possibility of adopting them. We share this concern for children in conflict areas and understand that some U.S. citizens want to respond by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need.
It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption. Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members during a conflict or natural disaster, and their parents or relatives may be looking for them. It is not uncommon in a hostile situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. Even when it can be demonstrated that children are indeed orphaned or abandoned, they often will be taken in by other relatives.
During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the United States and the child's country of origin. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down. It can also be very difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law. Prospective adoptive parents may wish to consult with experienced immigration attorneys and to take extra caution when considering adopting or caring for a child under these circumstances.
There are still ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Libya, such as by making a contribution to an established non-governmental organization that is well placed to respond to Libya’s most urgent needs, including those related to the children of Libya.
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Libya, 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 an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.
LIBYA’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
There is no central adoption authority in Libya.
U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia
North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Tel: +(216) 71-107-000 (Press 0 and ask for the Libya Office Consular Officer) | +(216) 71-964-360 (Emergency)
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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