Kenya: U.S. Dept of State, Adoption Alert

September 20, 2009

The U.S. Dept of State, Office of Children’s Issues has released the following alert regarding intercountry adoptions from Kenya:

Kenya is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). As such, all adoptions between Kenya and the United States initiated after April 1, 2008, must meet the requirements of both the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Although the Government of Kenya (GOK) acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention in 2007, it appears not yet to have established the regulations and procedural infrastructure necessary to meet its obligations under the Convention. In the absence of Hague-compliant adoption procedures, the Department of State cannot issue the documentation required for Convention cases to permit issuance of a U.S. immigrant visa for an adopted child. The Department of State therefore cautions American citizens not to initiate the adoption of a Kenyan child at this time.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi continues to be in contact with the High Court of Kenya and their Department of Children’s Services concerning the processing requirements of Convention adoption cases. Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information as it becomes available.

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