Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Yemen Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Do not travel to Yemen due to terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict, and landmines.
Country Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended its operations in February 2015, and the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Yemen.
A civil war continues in Yemen. In addition, terrorist groups continue to plot and conduct attacks in Yemen. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting public sites, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Additionally, there is a continuing threat of kidnapping/detention by terrorists, criminal elements, and/or non-government actors. Employees of western organizations may be targeted for attack or kidnapping.
Military conflict has caused significant destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities. This limits the availability of electricity, clean water, and medical care. This instability often hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver critically needed food, medicine, and water. Critical levels of violence, to include armed conflict, artillery shelling, and air strikes, persist throughout the country. There are also reports of landmines throughout Yemen.
Cholera is present throughout Yemen. There is a limited availability of medicine and medical supplies, and adequate medical treatment is unavailable.
There is a very high risk of kidnapping, and detention of U.S. citizens in Yemen, particularly dual national Yemeni-Americans. Rebel groups in Sana’a have detained U.S. citizens, including dual Yemeni-American citizens. U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, have faced difficulty – including lengthy delays – when attempting to depart Yemen.
Some companies outside of Yemen have misrepresented the security situation on the Yemeni island of Socotra and are offering tourist visits there, including by facilitating unofficial and invalid "visas." Only the sovereign Republic of Yemen Government can issue valid Yemeni visas. Private companies or third countries that arrange such visits are putting tourists in danger. U.S. citizens should not travel to Socotra or any other part of Yemen.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Yemen, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (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 country information page for additional information on travel to Yemen.
If you decide to travel to Yemen:
Yemen is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention 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).
Yemeni law, which follows Shari’a law, does not permit the adoption of Yemeni children in Yemen. U.S. citizens considering adoption of a Yemeni child must obtain guardianship for emigration and adoption in the United States from the Yemen court that has jurisdiction over the prospective adoptive child’s place of residence. Most guardianships that occur in Yemen are intra-familial and are done through the local court system. U.S. citizens who wish to obtain guardianship of a Yemeni child should contact the guardianship authority in Sanaa, Mr. Adel Al Sharabi, to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents should also refer to our information sheet on Adoption of Children from Countries in which Islamic Shari'a Law is Observed for more information.
U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Yemen who wish to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact Mr. Adel Al Sharabi (see contact information below).
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, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
YEMEN’S LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP AUTHORITY:
Mr. Adel Al Sharabi
Director of Social Protection
Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor
Tel: +967-261064 or 967-262808
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Yemen, 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.
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