Adoptions from Zambia to Begin Under the Hague Adoption Convention on October 1, 2015

Last Updated: October 1, 2015


The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention) will enter into force for Zambia on October 1, 2015. The United States has determined that it will be able to process intercountry adoptions consistent with the Convention after its entry into force for Zambia, allowing consular officers to verify on a case-by-case basis that the intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations under the Convention.  

Please note that all adoptions between Zambia and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. laws.  Do not finalize an adoption or obtain legal custody of a child in Zambia before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter.”  See the “Hague Adoption Process” section for more information.

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Zambia works to revise its adoption laws, regulations and procedures. The Government of Zambia has relayed to the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka that it will continue its efforts to improve its practice related to intercountry adoption, including after the Convention enters into force for Zambia.  The Department of State remains in close communication with the Government of Zambia and will provide updated information on as it becomes available. 

Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after October 1, 2015 should work closely with their U.S. accredited primary provider to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Zambia’s adoption process in accordance with Zambian and U.S. laws. The Department has encouraged the Government of Zambia to allow those cases that were in process as of October 1, 2015 to proceed as transition cases under the non-Convention adoption process; however, the Department has not yet received confirmation from the Government of Zambia regarding how these cases will move forward. If you have any questions about this notice or your pending case, please contact us at