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May 17, 2024

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May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


Republic of Niger
Reconsider travel to Niger due to risk of crime, civil unrest, terrorism, and kidnapping.

Last updated on January 8, 2023, to remove the Ordered Departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and eligible family members, and lower the overall risk level from Level 4 to Level 3.

Reconsider travel to Niger due to risk of crime, civil unrest, terrorism, and kidnapping.

Violent crimes, such as armed robbery, are common.

Demonstrations, while generally peaceful, may become violent at any time and lead to civil unrest. 

Terrorist groups continue plotting kidnappings and possible attacks in Niger. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities and areas frequented by Westerners. Terrorists operate in the areas bordering Mali, Libya, Burkina Faso, and throughout northern Niger. Avoid travel to Niger’s border regions, particularly the Malian border area, Diffa region, and the Lake Chad region. Mali-based extremist groups have crossed the border and conducted multiple lethal attacks on Nigerien security forces.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Niger.

If you decide to travel to Niger:

  • Visitors are urged to stay in hotels with armed Nigerien security presence.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • 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 Country Security Report for Niger.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

Hague Convention Information

Niger is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

PLEASE NOTE: Nigerien law does not technically permit adoptions by couples with biological children. The Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant(DPE) may review a longstanding policy of granting exceptions in the future.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Niger, 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.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Niger, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines Who Can Adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa. 

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Niger:

  • RESIDENCY: None.
  • AGE OF ADOPTING PARENTS:  According to Nigerien law, one prospective adoptive parent must be at least 35 years of age.
  • MARRIAGE: According to Nigerien law, the prospective adoptive parents must be married for a minimum of 10 years.
  • INCOME: Prospective adoptive parents have to submit proof of income.
  • OTHER: None.

Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Niger has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption: 

  • ABANDONMENT: Any child whose parents cannot be found.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children's homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children's home due to financial or other hardship, with the intention of returning for the child when they are able to do so.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) rarely would have relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)'s adoption.

How to Adopt


Ministère de la Population, de la Promotion de la Femme et de la Protection de l'Enfant, Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant (Ministry of Population, Promotion of Women, and Protection of Children, Department of Child Protection) and Ministère de la Justice et Garde Des Sceaux(Ministry of Justice and Keeper of the Seals)


The process for adopting a child from Niger generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt or gain legal custody of the child in Niger
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Niger is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.

    The sole agency authorized to handle adoptions in Niger is the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant,the Nigerien government entity cited above. However, this agency prefers that prospective adoptive parents work with an attorney who understands local law.

    Although not required by Nigerien law, prospective adoptive parent(s) should consider hiring a local attorney to handle their case. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of attorneys known to work with U.S. citizens. This list does not imply an endorsement of specific attorneys by the Embassy.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Niger; you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Niger and U.S. immigration law. You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the Direction de la Protection de l’Enfant of Niger.

    There is no specific application form for an adoption. Prospective adoptive parents should submit an application package including all items found in the ”Documents Required” section of Adopt or Gain Legal Custody of Child in Niger below.

    You may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt. 

  3. Be Matched with a Child 

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority or other authorized entity in Niger will provide you with a referral.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.   

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Niger requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law. 

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Niger

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Niger generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant receives and processes requests for adoption then passes them on to the Ministry of Justice.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: Court rules on the adoption request with an adoption decree.

    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: The Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant is the only agency authorized to handle adoptions; therefore, U.S. adoption agencies or the local attorney representing the prospective adoptive parents act as intermediaries between prospective adopting parents and the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The prospective adoptive parent(s) must submit the documents listed below under "Documentary Requirements" to the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant at the Ministry of Population, Promotion of Women, and Protection of Children. For adoptions pursued from abroad, the prospective adoptive parents are expected, but not required, to hire a local attorney to represent them.

      Upon receipt of a request from prospective adoptive parents, the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant reviews the file. After ensuring it is complete and fulfills the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant's requirements, the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant forwards the case to the President of the Tribunal de la Justice for a hearing.

      The President of the Tribunal may direct a social worker to review the home study ("social survey") contained in the file. If the parents are adopting from overseas, a home study performed to meet the requirements of their country of residence will be sufficient (in the case of U.S. families, the I-600A home study), but must be accompanied by a French translation.

      Once the review of the file is complete, the greffier (court clerk) at the Tribunal schedules a hearing before the President of the Tribunal for the prospective adoptive parents. The President of the Tribunal sends a copy of the case file to the Procurer Général (District Attorney) and requests that office to direct a huissier (process server) to notify the prospective parents or their representative of the hearing date. This is the point at which the prospective adoptive parents must travel from the U.S. to Niger.

      Unless the hearing reveals a documentary omission or other problems (depending on the individual case) the President of the Tribunal may issue the formal custody decree at that time. After a two-month waiting period, during which the child may not leave Niger, the adoption becomes final and the adoptive parents can then proceed with obtaining a birth certificate for the child at the Etat Civil office at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall).
    • TIME FRAME: According to Nigerien authorities, the procedures as outlined above, takes one to three months. However, experience has been that the Nigerien government generally takes six months to a year to process an adoption case.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Adoption fees vary from attorney to attorney and may include service fee for application filing, passport and birth certificate application, court fees etc. The U.S. Embassy in Niger discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Niger at risk.
      • A handwritten request/cover letter for the documents listed below delivered by the lawyer to the Direction de la Protection de l'Enfant at the Ministry of Social Development, signed by prospective adoptive parents;
      • Marriage certificate of the prospective adoptive parents;
      • Birth certificates of the prospective adoptive parents;
      • Medical examination certificates for the prospective adoptive parents. Although any qualified physician can do the exam, the results/report must be in French; [translation of the medical report is accepted]
      • Psychological evaluation of each of the prospective adoptive parents in French;
      • Two photographs (b/w or color, any size) of the each of prospective adoptive parents;
      • Sterility certificate for at least one prospective adoptive parent, if applicable. If neither is sterile, the prospective parents must state in the cover letter why they want to adopt a child;
      • Nigerien police record for prospective adoptive parents is required for any time spent in Niger. According to Nigerien authorities, police records are not required from other countries where the prospective adoptive parents have lived. Valid for three months, the Nigerien police records must be renewed for any additional time the prospective parents spend in Niger . Foreigners in Niger can obtain police records at the Cour d'Appel in either Niamey or Zinder as appropriate. There is a fee. (about US $10)
      • Monthly or annual earnings statement;
      • If the prospective adoptive parents (regardless of nationality) are resident in Niger, a certification of social survey ("home study") performed by a Nigerien social worker;
      • A copy of the home study submitted to USCIS professionally translated into French will suffice. However, it must include a psychological evaluation of the parents.
      • Nationality certificates or passports of prospective parents;
      • NOTE: The only document the Embassy is in a position to issue is a letter stating such a child will be issued an immigrant visa if the Consul is satisfied the adoption was carried out in conformity with Niger laws and that the requirements of U.S. immigration law have been met.);

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.

  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Niger, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. law.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

  6. Bring Your Child Home: Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      If you have finalized the adoption in Niger, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

      If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

      After a two-month waiting period, during which the child may not leave Niger, the adoption becomes final and the adoptive parents can then proceed with obtaining a birth certificate for the child at the Etat Civil office at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall).

    • Nigerien Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Niger.

      Some Nigerien authorities have taken the view that, once a Nigerien child has been adopted by a foreign couple, s/he no longer has Nigerien nationality under Nigerien law and thus is entitled only to a single-sheet temporary passport as a one-time travel document. The Nigerien passport office at the Direction Surveillance du Territoire at the Ministry of Interior, however, routinely issues Nigerien passports to children adopted by parents of various nationalities, and would do the same for those adopted by Americans. Using the Nigerien birth certificate listing them as the parents, the adoptive parents must submit the passport application through their attorney, but pay only the normal passport issuance fee. Depending on your attorney a service fee may be included in the attorney fees.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician's medical report on the child.  

      You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on Embassy Niamey's website.

      Important Note Regarding the Home Study:  Prospective adoptive parents resident in Niger who plan to apply for an immigrant visa for an orphan (immigrant visa category IR-3 or IR-4), must be certain that the home study performed to fulfill Nigerien requirements also meets the more rigorous requirements of U.S. immigration law.

      Immigrant visa interviews are on Tuesdays and Thursdays only from 1300H to 1600H.  For an appointment please call (227) 722 661/2/3/4.

      NOTE: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours, and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.


For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child's entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000
For adoptions finalized after the child's entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child's entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship. 

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.  

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad


A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Niger. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.


In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Niger, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.


Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.


When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Niger registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Nigerien Government Follow-Up: Nigerien officials may claim that the prospective adoptive parents must sign an agreement to pay for Nigerien social workers to travel and visit the family every two years until the adopted child reaches majority. This is not an actual Nigerien legal requirement. In practice, Nigerien authorities have accepted a letter from the social service agency with jurisdiction over the prospective parents' place of residence in the U.S. that it will monitor the child's post-adoption development.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Niger and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family,whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. 

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Niger 
Rue des Ambassades, BP 11201
Niamey, Niger,
Tel. (227) 72-26-61
Fax. (227) 73-31-67

Niger's Adoption Authority 

Centre d'Accueil des enfants en difficulté familiale
Direction de la protection de l'enfant,
Ministère du Développement Social, de la Population, de la Promotion de la Femme et de la Protection de l'Enfant
BP 11386
Niamey, Niger
Tel: 011-(227)-73-30-68

Embassy of Niger 
2204 R. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel. (202) 483-4224
Fax. (202) 483-3169

Niger also has a mission to the United Nations in New York, but it does not handle consular issues, including those related to adoptions.

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

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)

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Niamey
Rue des Ambassades, BP 11201
Niamey, Niger Republic
+(227) 20-72-26-61
+(227) 99-49-90-66
No Fax

Niger Map