Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption News and Notices > Ordered Departure for Personnel of U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince
On July, 27 the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. direct-hire employees and eligible family members at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti., due to the current security situation and persisting infrastructure challenges. We understand how difficult this situation is for families pursuing parenthood through adoption in Haiti. The Department of State will provide further information on services available at the consular section in the future. Extremely limited consular services may become available, depending on remaining staffing levels in the embassy. From Washington we will continue to work to maintain lines of communication with Haitian adoption authorities handling pending adoption cases at various stages of the process.
Prospective adoptive parents should remain in regular contact with their adoption service providers in the United States.
The Department of State last issued an updated Travel Advisory for Haiti on July 27, 2023, to reflect the latest security situation in Port-au-Prince. Haiti has the highest (Level 4) Travel Advisory (“Do Not Travel”) for kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor healthcare infrastructure. The Travel Advisory for Haiti states the following:
“Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure. On July 27, 2023, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees. U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges. U.S. citizens wishing to depart Port-au-Prince should monitor local news and only do so when considered safe.
Country Summary: Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens. Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked. Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Victim’s families have paid thousands of dollars to rescue their family members.
Violent crime, often involving the use of firearms, such as armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom that include U.S. citizens are common. Mob killings against presumed criminals have been on the rise since late April. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women. As a result, the U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport.
Protests, demonstrations, tire burning, and roadblocks are frequent, unpredictable, and can turn violent. The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti – assistance on site is available only from local authorities (Haitian National Police and ambulance services). Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Shortages of gasoline, electricity, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Haiti. Public and private medical clinics and hospitals often lack qualified medical staff and even basic medical equipment and resources.
U.S. government personnel are limited only to the confined area around the Embassy and are prohibited from walking in Port-au-Prince. U.S. government personnel in Haiti are prohibited from:
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Haiti.
The Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) has confirmed an outbreak of cholera in the country.
If you decide to travel to Haiti:
Should adoption service providers or adoptive families have any questions or concerns, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov