Democratic Republic of the Congo: Intercountry Adoptions and Exit Permits Suspended

Last Updated: May 4, 2020

This Alert Supersedes the Alert Issued on June 21, 2018

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has confirmed to the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that, pursuant to a 2016 law, intercountry adoptions from the DRC continue to be suspended, effective July 15, 2016.  The MOJ; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Gender, Family, and Children; and the Immigration Authority (DGM) agree that intercountry adoptions from the DRC are not legally possible at this time. 

Due to the suspension of adoptions and the continued suspension of the issuance of exit permits in adoption cases, DGM will not allow adopted children to leave Congolese territory. Thus, adopted children have no legal means to exit the country.

Until the adoption suspension and exit permits suspension have been lifted, the Department of State strongly recommends against initiating an adoption process in the DRC at this time. We continue to ask adoption agencies not to refer new Congolese adoption cases for U.S. prospective adoptive parents given the adoption suspension and absence of any legal path for children to exit the country.

The DRC Family Code is available here.

We will continue to engage with the Congolese government on these issues. Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information. For questions about this notice or adoption-related visa processing, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov.