Intercountry Adoptions from Botswana after March 1, 2023

Last Updated: March 1, 2023

On March 1, 2023, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Botswana. Please be advised that the Department of State has determined it will not be able to process intercountry adoptions from Botswana initiated on or after March 1, 2023 (see below regarding “transition cases”). Botswana does not yet have legislation implementing the safeguards of the Convention. As a result, consular officers will be unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates or Custody Certificates, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve Form I-800, Petitions to Classify Convention Adoptees as an Immediate Relative, for a child from Botswana.

Families interested in adopting from Botswana may not file the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, for a child from Botswana 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 Botswana. The Department of State will notify USCIS and the public if a determination is made that Convention adoption processing with Botswana may proceed.

Transition cases: We understand that Botswana will continue to process cases 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 March 1, 2023, or in which a final adoption was completed prior to March 1, 2023. With the exception of any cases treated as “transition cases,” as of March 1, 2023, families should not file, and USCIS will not process, a Form I-600 for a child from Botswana or a Form I-600A that indicates Botswana as the intended country for adoption.

We are in the process of updating our Country Information Sheet for Botswana. 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