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Update on U.S. Passport Operations

Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Uganda

Uganda
Republic of Uganda
Reconsider travel to Uganda due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Uganda due to crime and kidnapping.

Reconsider travel to Uganda due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Uganda due to crime and kidnapping.

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 Uganda due to COVID-19.

Uganda has resumed most internal transportation options, but the international airport and borders remain, with some exceptions, closed to regular travel. Most business operations have resumed, however day cares and schools remain closed. Other improved conditions have been reported within Uganda. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Uganda.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, home invasion, kidnapping, and sexual assault, is common, especially in larger cities including Kampala and Entebbe. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Uganda:

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Food and drinks should never be left unattended in public especially in local clubs.
  • Remain with a group of friends in public.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts 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 Uganda.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

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

... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Yes

Hague Convention Information

Uganda 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, 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 differs from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Uganda, 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

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Uganda must meet the following requirements:

Age of Adopting Parents: Applicants must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they plan to adopt. Uganda does not have an upper age limit for adoption. In the case of a married couple, it is sufficient for one spouse to meet these requirements.

Marriage: Married couples are not required to apply jointly, but both must consent to the adoption. Single parents may adopt, but they may not adopt a child of the opposite sex, absent the court's determination that special circumstances justify an exception.

Income: There are no specific income requirements for Ugandan adoptions, although prospective adoptive parents must be able to prove financial stability.

Residency: Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt an orphan from Uganda should be prepared to satisfy both the residency and fostering requirements in person in Uganda. The Children Act, as amended in 2016 (“Children (Amendment) Act”), requires non-Ugandan prospective adoptive parents to spend one year living in Uganda and foster the child(ren) they intend to adopt under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer. Under this law, non-Ugandan citizens may seek a final adoption of a Ugandan child if they have resided in Uganda for at least one year and fostered the child for at least one year under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer. The law authorizes the court to waive these requirements in exceptional circumstances, although the Ugandan government has not defined what may qualify as “exceptional circumstances.” The court’s decision to waive the residency or fostering requirements is a case-by-case decision. It has come to the attention of the Department that in an effort to fulfill the fostering requirement, some Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) may be arranging for Ugandan residents to foster children on behalf of U.S. prospective adoptive parents. We urge prospective adoptive parents to carefully consider the following information and all relevant Adoption Notices posted for Uganda before considering using “proxy fostering,” as the High Court or the authorized authority for adoption in Uganda may not recognize such fostering as fulfilling the one year fostering requirement. Failure to abide by residency and fostering requirements may provide grounds for an adoption order rescission pursuant to Section 46A of the Children (Amendment) Act.

Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (“Ministry”), which oversees Uganda’s adoption process, is drafting regulations to clarify how the Children (Amendment) Act will be implemented.

Other: Ugandan law restricts the ability of foreign citizens to obtain guardianship of Ugandan children. The Children (Amendment) Act states that no foreign citizen may apply for legal guardianship of Ugandan children.

While Uganda does not specifically prohibit adoption by LGBT couples or individuals, political and cultural perspectives in Uganda may mean that same-sex couples may not be approved for adoption by Ugandan courts.

Foreign adoptive parents must demonstrate that they have no criminal record and that they have been approved by their country of nationality to adopt.

Who Can Be Adopted

Under the INA 101(b)(1)(F), a child can be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from both parents, or in the case where there is a sole or surviving parent who is incapable of providing the proper care and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.

In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Uganda:

Age of Adoptive Child: The adoptive child(ren) must be under the age of 18. Children who are 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption.

Sibling Adoptions: Sibling adoptions are possible and do not have any unique requirements.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Under Ugandan law, adoptive parents must reside in Uganda for at least one year. In addition, adoptive parents must have fostered the child in country for at least one year under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer.

Relinquishment: The consent of both biological parents, if known, must be obtained and may be withdrawn prior to the pronouncement of the adoption order. The court also has the authority to require the consent of any person who has legal or customary responsibility for the child. However, per Article 47(2) of the Children Act, the court may dispense with parental consent if the parents are not capable of giving consent.

Abandonment: The probation and social welfare officers in the Ministry are responsible for certifying a child as abandoned in accordance with Ugandan law.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that 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 that 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).

How to Adopt

Uganda’s Adoption Authority

The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development is the body charged with overseeing intercountry adoptions. Adoption orders can only be granted by the High Court.

Uganda's Children Act and Children Amendment Act are the law governing all aspects of the fostering, legal guardianship, and adoption process.

The Process

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

1.Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider 2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)

3. Apply to Uganda’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

4. Adopt the Child in Uganda in compliance with Ugandan requirements

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider

Before taking steps to adopt a child from Uganda, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case. Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  •  Supervising and being responsible for any supervised providers, and otherwise complying with the requirements regarding the provision of adoption services using other providers. (see 22 CFR 96.14); and 
  •  Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. See additional guidance for limited situations when a primary provider may not be required. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

Uganda does not authorize specific adoption service providers for the purposes of intercountry adoption. U.S. accredited ASPs or approved persons are able to operate in Uganda without formal approval by the Government of Uganda. Adoptive parents should be advised, however, that very few, if any, U.S. ASPs have permanent staff in country and instead work with local orphanages and/or lawyers.

Under the UAA, starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. ASP acting as the primary provider in every intercountry adoption case. Accordingly, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in Uganda must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. This includes any local orphanage or lawyer (or any other agency or person) working with a U.S. ASP or approved person to provide an adoption service. Please see the Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers section for more information.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Uganda, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Uganda and U.S. immigration law.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS, to be found suitable and eligible to adopt. If you have already identified the child you wish to adopt, you may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition for the child and include all the required supporting documentation for the Form I-600A application (i.e. an approved home study) so USCIS can make a determination on your suitability and eligibility to adopt before reviewing the child’s eligibility as an orphan. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.

Please note that Ugandan law requires prospective adoptive parents to have a recommendation concerning their suitability to adopt from the relevant authorities in their country of origin. Prospective adoptive parents must also satisfy the High Court that their country of origin will respect and recognize the adoption order. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents should ensure they have received their I-600A approval notice before filing with the High Court.

3. Apply to Uganda’s Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child

The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development is responsible for matching children with prospective adoptive parents. Local district probation and social welfare officers will supervise prospective adoptive parents through the entire year of fostering. Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to obtain their foster care placement documents from the district probation and social welfare officers where the child is habitually resident at the start of their fostering period, as the date of the documents will indicate when the required one-year fostering period begins.

If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. immigration law and have completed the one-year residency and one-year fostering in Uganda, Ugandan law requires you to submit an adoption application to the High Court of Uganda for an adoption hearing.

The competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Uganda will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, may provide you with a referral. We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child, but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child. You must also ultimately adhere to the USCIS’ suitability determination (i.e. typically the Form I-600A approval notice) with respect to the number of children you are approved to adopt and the characteristics of the child(ren) ( such as age, gender, nationality, and/or special need, disability, and/or impairment) that you are approved to adopt. Learn more about Health Considerations.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Uganda’s 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 in Uganda

The process for finalizing the adoption in Uganda generally includes the following:

Role of Adoption Authority: The Ministry oversees probation and social welfare officers’ work, whose role is to care for and protect vulnerable children. In the adoption process, probation and social welfare officers monitor and record the progress of the adoptive family during the one year fostering period and assess whether the intercountry adoption is a suitable option for the child. Prospective adoptive parents should work with the probation and social welfare officers in the district where the child habitually resides.

Role of the Court: The High Court is the sole authority in Uganda that can grant adoption of a child/children to non-Ugandan citizens in the intercountry adoption process. Local magistrate courts process adoptions only when the prospective adoptive parent(s) and the child(ren) are all Ugandan citizens.

  • Ugandan law restricts the ability of foreign citizens to obtain legal guardianship of Ugandan children. The Children (Amendment) Act states that no foreign citizen may apply for legal guardianship of Ugandan children.

Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers: Any agency or person providing an adoption service to prospective adoptive parents seeking to complete an intercountry adoption of a child from Uganda must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider, unless an exception applies. U.S. accredited ASPs and approved persons are subject to ongoing monitoring and oversight. They are held accountable for failure to be in substantial compliance with the accreditation standards, including failure to properly supervise local adoption service providers.

Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

Note: See additional guidance for limited situations when a primary provider may not be required.

  •  The Embassy is unaware of any Ugandan adoption agencies that provide adoption services in Uganda. Local orphanages, local attorneys, as well as Ugandan nongovernmental organizations and interest groups that advocate for children's rights may provide adoption-related information.
  • Although orphanages (also termed “baby homes” and “children's homes”) must be accredited by the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development to refer children in their care for intercountry adoption, many unaccredited orphanages also refer children for intercountry adoption. The Ministry considers referrals from unaccredited orphanages illegal, and U.S. ASPs should not work with these orphanages. Prospective adoptive parents should carefully consider any referrals and whether they are made by an accredited orphanage. Children must first be evaluated by a probation and social welfare officer to determine whether intercountry adoption is suitable for the child before the child is referred for adoption.

Prospective adoptive parents may wish to consult with a Ugandan attorney to assist with the legal aspects of the adoption under Uganda law. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend any specific attorney but maintains a list of attorneys practicing in Uganda who have indicated a willingness to accept requests to perform legal services on behalf of U.S. citizens. This list is available at Legal Assistance | U.S. Embassy in Uganda.

Adoption Application: Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in Uganda are required to file an application with the High Court of Uganda after they have fulfilled all the requirements of Section 46 of the Children (Amendment) Act. When filing the application, prospective adoptive parents should ensure the application states clearly their intention for the child to immigrate to the United States, if applicable. Please see the “Documents Required” section below for what should be included with the application. The High Court of Uganda requires that at least one prospective adoptive parent appears in person and that the probation and social welfare officer that supervised the case submits a report with his/her recommendation. In most cases, the court also requests that other relevant individuals or authorities submit a report or affidavit(s) related to the adoption application, such as orphanage directors or living relatives. For example, orphanage directors may be asked to submit information about children who were placed in their care. Living relatives are generally asked to provide affidavits about the child's circumstances, including the reason for adoption, and, in most cases, must appear in court.

Time Frame: Intercountry adoptions in Uganda may take several months to complete. Prospective adoptive parents are required to arrive in country ahead of filing the fostering application with the Probation and Social welfare office, and they must reside in Uganda and foster the child in Uganda for one year under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer. At the conclusion of the one year residency and fostering period, prospective adoptive parents must then file an adoption application with the High Court. Note, prospective adoptive parents must submit to court evidence of an approved suitability determination from their country of origin. It may take several months before prospective adoptive parents appear in High Court for the court hearing, and then several more weeks before receiving the actual adoption order. Upon obtaining the court order, the adoptive parents then file their I-600 petition with the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. The I-600 process may take between three weeks to several months to complete.

  • Prospective adoptive parents should allow sufficient time to complete the necessary processing of the case both with the Ugandan High Court and the U.S. Embassy. The court process takes, on average, several weeks from the initial court appearance to the pronouncement of the adoption decree to the issuance of a written court ruling. Ugandan immigration authorities generally require the court documents before adjudicating a passport application submitted on behalf of a child being adopted by foreign parents. The average processing time for a Ugandan birth certificate and passport is approximately four weeks for each document. The passport application process can only begin after the written court ruling has been issued.

Adoption Fees: Average attorney fees can range from $3,000 USD to $4,000 USD. Civil document fees are paid in cash in Ugandan Shillings. No credit card payments are accepted. Court fees are less than $2 USD per application and may vary according to the number of documents that require notarization. Ugandan birth, death and adoption registration certificates each cost less than $2 USD and Ugandan passports cost about $40 USD. The U.S. Embassy discourages the payment of any improper fees, including those that are sought as “donations” or “expediting fees” when such payments are not actually required or are not used for a stated legitimate purpose. These may be requested from birth parents, children's homes, or individuals offering to assist with procuring civil documents. Your adoption service provider should disclose all required fees to you.

  • We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by them directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Uganda, with your adoption service provider, and, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry. Improper payments violate applicable law, or create the appearance of buying a child, and could put all future adoptions in Uganda at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Further, the UAA and IAA make certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing functions as a competent authority, or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your adoption service provider will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

Documents Required: The following documents must be submitted to the Ugandan High Court with the application for an adoption order:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents, if applicable;
  • Police clearances from all countries of residence;
  • Proof of financial stability (e.g., tax returns and bank statements);
  • U.S. home study, including a valid Form I-600A approval as evidence of suitability to adopt;
  • Foster care placement documents, including placement documents;
  • Affidavits from the prospective adoptive parents attesting to the child’s background or life situation;
  • A report from the Probation and Social Welfare Officer recommending adoption;
  • The child's full orphanage file if the child has been in a children's home. This must include:

- Proof of registration of the children's home with Ugandan authorities;

- Proof of the children's home approval by the Ministry of Gender, Social Development, and Labour to refer children for intercountry adoption;

- A care order for the child issued by the local magistrate's office;

- Police report(s), if applicable;

- Probation and Social Welfare Officer's reports on the child's situation;

- Affidavit from the children's home director or social worker;

- Affidavits from birth relatives or persons who know about the child's background or circumstances;

  • Assurance that the adoptive parent(s)'s country will respect and recognize the adoption order issued by the Ugandan Court. Providing a copy of the U.S. Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) usually meets this requirement.

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. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan

After you finalize the adoption in Uganda, USCIS must determine if the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order for the child to immigrate to the United States. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of the child and unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider.

If you have a valid Form I-600A approval, you may file your Form I-600 petition in the United States with the USCIS National Benefits Center. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options.

When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Kampala, Uganda, must complete a Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as an orphan determination), to verify the child’s orphan status.

When a Form I-600 petition is filed with the Embassy’s consular section, the consular officer must complete the Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption, to verify the child’s orphan status. Conducting the Form I-604 determination is a critical part of the non-Convention adoption process and is mandatory under U.S law. It can take weeks or even months to complete, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Some of the factors that may contribute to the length of the process include prevailing fraud patterns in the country of origin, civil unrest or security concerns that restrict travel to certain areas of the country. Consular officers appreciate that families are eager to bring their adopted child home as quickly as possible and make every effort to conduct them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You are advised to keep your travel plans flexible while awaiting the results.

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Scheduling Appointments:

If you are filing your Form I-600 petition with the consular section in Kampala, you will schedule two appointments: one to file the Form I-600 petition and supporting documents and a second for the immigrant visa interview.

If you are filing your Form I-600 with USCIS in the United States, you will also be scheduled for two appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. The first appointment will be to submit Form I-600 supporting documents for the I-604 orphan determination process following a provisional approval by USCIS, after which you will be scheduled for the immigrant visa interview once your I-600 petition has been fully approved.

The Consular Section has dedicated petition filing hours Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons and visa interview hours on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. These appointments are made directly with the Consular Section through email once prospective adoptive parents have obtained all necessary documents, as described in further detail below.

Appointments cannot be scheduled until prospective adoptive parents are in possession of all of the below listed documents. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. During busy periods of the year (summer, winter holidays), the wait time for an appointment may be several days or weeks. The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. and Ugandan holidays, and the Consular Section is closed to the public on the first Friday of each month. Current information about the U.S. Embassy process can be found at: Adoption | U.S. Embassy in Uganda

Prospective adoptive parents must bring all of the following documentation to the initial appointment (to file the I-600 petition):

  • Evidence of the petitioner's (prospective adoptive parent’s) identity;
  • Original adoption court order and ruling;
  • Proof of Form I-600A approval from USCIS;
  • The application filed by the prospective adoptive parents before the High Court;
  • Child’s birth certificate;
  • Foster care placement documents;

• Orphanage file, if the child came from a children’s home, including:

§ Proof of registration of the children's home with Ugandan authorities;

§ A care order for the child issued by the local magistrate's office;

§ Police report(s), if applicable;

§ Probation and Social Welfare Officer's reports on the child's situation;

§ Affidavit from the children's home director or social worker;

§ Affidavits from birth relatives or persons who know about the child's background or circumstances;

  •  Death certificates of the birth parent(s), if deceased
  •  Presence of living birth parents at the interview;
  •  Evidence the child qualifies as an orphan as defined in INA 101(b)(1)(F) and 8 CFR 204.3
  • Proof of compliance with any pre-adoption requirements (if any)
  •  Immigrant visa application fee ($325);
  •  I-600 petition filing fee ($775) per petition.

The official long-form birth certificate for the child as well as death certificates for the biological parent(s), if applicable, can be obtained at:

National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)

National Independence Grounds, Kololo Airstrip

PO Box 26529, Kampala-Uganda

Tel: +256 393518565 Website: NIRA | National Identification and Registration Authority

Purpose of the initial appointment

The purpose of the first appointment is for the Consular Officer to conduct an orphan determination (I-604) as part of Form I-600 processing. If after the Form I-604 orphan determination is complete and the Form I-600 is approved, the child may be scheduled for a medical exam, and the visa interview can subsequently be scheduled.

The orphan determination is necessary to conclude whether the child can be classified as an "orphan" under U.S. law. This may require further inquiry into the child's history. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the orphan determination process can range from interviews and document review to a full field investigation by Embassy personnel. In many cases, this can take several weeks or even months. It is importan

possibility, and refrain from only giving themselves a few days between their initial filing date and their return to the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security has delegated authority to the Department of State to approve I-600 petitions that are clearly approvable. If there are any unresolved questions that arise during the I-604 orphan investigation and/or the I-600 is not clearly approvable, the consular officer must forward the petition to USICS for adjudication, which will extend the processing time.

Once the High Court has issued a written ruling reflecting the final adoption of the child, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

You will need to obtain a birth certificate for your child before you can file your I-600 petition with the Embassy.

Once the High Court has issued a written ruling reflecting the final adoption of the child , you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate as reflected in the adoption order by the court.

The official long-form birth certificate and adoption registration certificate for the child can both be obtained at:

National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)

National Independence Grounds, Kololo Airstrip

PO Box 26529, Kampala-Uganda

Tel: +256 393518565 Website: NIRA | National Identification and Registration Authority

Ugandan Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Uganda.

The estimated regular passport fee is $40 USD and about $80 USD for an expedited passport. Ugandan passports can be obtained from the following office:

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration

Passport Control Office

Plot 75 Jinja Road

P.O. Box 7191

Tel: 256-414-342-561

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600 (or you filled the I-600 with USCIS in the United States, but have been notified by the Embassy that your case is ready for visa processing) you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this visa process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You will need the case ID and invoice numbers provided in your I-600A approval letter from the National Visa Centerto log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. You should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview. Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Visa Interview:

When appearing for the immigrant visa interview, the applicant should present:

  • A valid passport, valid for at least six months beyond the expected date of travel;
  • Four color photos, 2” x 2”, taken within the last six months, full-face on an off-white background with no eye glasses. Face must cover 50 percent of the photo and the hairline and ears should be visible; • A completed DS-260 immigrant visa application, available online at: Immigrant Visa - Sign In
  • An I-864 Affidavit of Support and I-864A or I-864W, if applicable, completed and signed by the petitioner. These forms are available online at: www.uscis.gov (under forms). Instructions for completing the I-864, I-864A, and I-864W are also available on the USCIS website;
  • The petitioner's most recent income tax return, and, if applicable, other financial evidence demonstrating the ability of the petitioner(s) to provide for the immigrant as detailed in the I-864 instructions.

Medical exam report;

This is done at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) health assessment facility in Naguru. IOM is the designated panel physician for the Consular Section in Kampala. A medical exam completed by another physician will not be accepted. You will have two appointments for your child at IOM, and the entire examination costs between USD 125 – 170 depending on your child’s age. Once the assessment is complete, IOM sends the medical exam report directly to the Embassy for review during the immigrant visa interview.

If a consular officer determines that the child is eligible for a visa, visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24-48 hours. It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. You should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala before making final travel arrangements. Additional information on immigrant visa processing can be found on our website.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

Once the High Court has issued a written ruling reflecting the final adoption of the child, adoptive parents must register the adoption with the NIRA in Kampala. NIRA informs the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the adoption. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will maintain the adopted child's records, which will remain available to the child.

High Court judges will usually include provisions in the final adoption order that the child will retain Ugandan citizenship until age 18 and that post-placement reports need to be filed with the Ugandan authorities annually. Some judges include additional requirements such as requiring the adoptive family to bring the child back to Uganda every five years until the child is 18 and/or that the child must retain his/her Ugandan name until age 18.

We urge you to comply with Uganda’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Uganda’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive 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. You may wish to 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. Your primary provider can provide you with or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in intercountry adoptions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Kampala, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider or their adoption service provider’s local representatives, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600/A process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers. If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your

provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

OTHER INFORMATION ON TRAVELING ABROAD

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child acquires U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for international travel. 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 Department of State’s 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.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Uganda

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Uganda, see the Department of State’s Welcome to Uganda Electronic Visa/Permit Application System

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides country information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling abroad during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Uganda, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Uganda, enrollment 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).

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Uganda

Plot 1577 Ggaba Road

P.O. Box 7007, Kampala Uganda

Telephone: +256 414 306 001

Email: KampalaAdoptions@state.gov

Website: U.S. Embassy in Uganda

Uganda’s Adoption Authority

The Department of Youth and Child Affairs

Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development

Simbamanyo House,

Plot 2 Lumumba Avenue

Kampala, Uganda

Telephone: +256-414-343-572

Fax: +256-414-256-374

E-mail: ps@mglsd.go.ug

Website: mglsd.go.ug/

National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)

National Independence Grounds, Kololo Airstrip

PO Box 26529, Kampala-Uganda

Tel: +256 393518565 Website: NIRA | National Identification and Registration Authority

Embassy of the Republic of Uganda

5911 16th Street, NW,

Washington DC 20011

Tel: (202) 726-7100

Fax: (202) 726-1727

Email: info@ugandaembassyus.org

Website: ugandaemb.org

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-600A application or a Form I-600 petition with the

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 questions about filing a Form I-600A application or a Form I-600 petition with a USCIS international field office: Please visit http://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-immigration-offices and select the appropriate office.

For general questions about immigration procedures:

USCIS Contact Center

Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Internet: uscis.gov

Last Updated: June 8, 2020

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kampala
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
Kampala, Uganda
Telephone
+(256)(0) 414-306-001
Emergency
+(256)(0) 414-306-001
Fax
+(256)(0) 414-259-794

Uganda Map