Adoptions from the Republic of the Congo after April 1, 2020

Last Updated: March 31, 2020

On April 1, 2020, the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for the Republic of the Congo.  The Department of State has determined it will not be able to process intercountry adoptions from the Republic of the Congo initiated on or after April 1, 2020 (see below regarding “transition cases”).  The Republic of the Congo does not yet have implementing legislation authorizing the designated Central Authority to carry out its responsibilities under the Convention.  As a result, consular officers will not be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates or Custody Certificates, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, for a child from the Republic of the Congo. 

Families interested in adopting from the Republic of the Congo may not file Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative for a child from the Republic of the Congo until such time as the Department determines Hague Certificates may be approved on a case-by-case basis.  Until then, USCIS will reject any Form I-800 petitions filed on behalf of a child from the Republic of the Congo.  The Department of State will notify USCIS and the public when a determination is made that Convention adoption processing with the Republic of the Congo may proceed.

Transition cases:  We are confirming whether the Republic of the Congo will continue to process transition cases, i.e., cases that would not be subject to the Convention, in which a U.S. citizen filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, or a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, prior to April 1, 2020, or in which a final adoption was completed prior to April 1, 2020.  Once we confirm this information, we will post an updated notice on our website at  With the exception of any cases treated as “transition cases,” as of April 1, 2020, families should not file, and USCIS will not process, a Form I-600 for a child from the Republic of the Congo or a Form I-600A that indicates the Republic of the Congo as the intended country for adoption.

We are updating our Country Information Sheet for the Republic of the Congo.  Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at