CONTACT INFORMATION

U.S. Embassy in Burundi
B.P. 1720
Avenue Des Etats-Unis
Bujumbura, Burundi

Tel: (257) 22-34-54
Tel (after hours): (257) 21-48-53
Fax: (257) 22-29-26
Internet: http://bujumbura.usembassy.gov/

Embassy of Burundi
2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 212
Washington, DC 20007
Tel: 202-342-2574; 202-749-0885
Fax: 202-342-2578

 

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW SA-29
Washington, DC 20520
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
E-mail:  AskCI@state.gov

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283
(TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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Burundi

Map of Burundi

 

Burundi is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Therefore all adoptions between Burundi and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention. 

Note:  Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Learn more

DISCLAIMER


WHO CAN ADOPT

Adoption between the United States and Burundi is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.  Therefore to adopt from Burundi, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government.  The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Burundi also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents of Burundian children.
  • Age Requirements:
    • An adopting parent should be at least thirty years of age.  A waiver of this requirement can be requested from the County Court.  (There is no age requirement if adopting the child of a spouse).
    • An adopting parent must be a minimum of fifteen years older than the child to be adopted. However, a waiver can be obtained from the County Court.
  • Marriage Requirements: If married, adopting parents must have been married and living together for at least the past five years, and consent of the spouse is required. Adoption by more than one person is not possible except when the couple is legally married.
  • Other Requirments:
    • Adopting parents must have moral qualities and material resources necessary to support the child.
    • Adopting parents must be found eligible to adopt through examination of a psycho- medical report and a home study.


WHO CAN BE ADOPTED

Because Burundi is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Burundi must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption.  For example, the Convention requires that Burundi attempt to place a child with a family in Burundi before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption.  In addition Burundi’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States. 


HOW TO ADOPT

Burundi’s Adoption Authority
Central Authority in the Ministry of Social Action

The Process

Because Burundi is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Burundi must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements.   A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below.  You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE:  If you filed your I-600a with Burundi before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption.  Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  Learn more.

    • Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
    • Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
    • Be Matched with a Child
    • Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
    • Adopt the Child (of Gain Legal Custody) in Burundi
    • Bring your Child Home


    1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:  

    The first step in adopting a child from Burundi is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited.   Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Burundi.  Learn more.


    2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:  

    After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).   Learn how.   

    Once the U.S. government determines that you are “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Burundi.  Burundi’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Burundi’s law. 


    3.  Be Matched with a Child: 

    If both the United States and Burundi determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Burundi may provide you with a referral for a child.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.   


    4.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption: 

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800).  USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States.   Learn how

    After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy.  The Consular Officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa inelegibilities.  If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify Burundi’s adoption authority (Article 5 letter).  For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.

    Remember:  The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 


    5.  Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Burundi:  

    Remember:  Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Burundi, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Burundi. 

    • Adoption Application:
      • Select and contact a lawyer in Burundi who will process the case;
      • Submit all required documentation for prospective parents;
      • Submit all required documentation for adoptive child / children;
      • Lawyer will prepare case for adjudication by the Central Authority in the Ministry of Social Action.  The following elements will be reviewed:
        • The home study report presented and performed by the adoption authority in the country of the adopting parents. Usually the home study completed when applying for the I-600A.
        • The child/children’s eligibility to be adopted: identification, status, social background, personal and family development, medical history, education and socio-cultural issued and any other special needs;
        • The best interest of the child/children;
        • The adoption consent must be given freely, and legally in a notarized attestation by persons authorized to agree to the adoption (e.g. biological parents, association caring for the child, family counsel) and with the understanding of the consequences of intercountry adoption;  the biological mother must give consent to relinquish the child/children after birth, if applicable;
        • With respect to age and maturity, the adoptive child/children must be fully informed of the consequences of intercountry adoption;
        • The child’s/children’s views must be taken into consideration. If over 13 years of age, the consent of the adoptive child/children must be given freely, and legally in a notarized attestation;
        • Evidence of the prospective adoptive parents’ eligibility to adopt. See documents required for the prospective parents (below);

     

    • Adoption Fees:  In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.  

      The U.S. Embassy in Burundi discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, “donations,” or “expediting” fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents.  Such fees have the appearance of “buying” a baby and put all future adoptions in Burundi at risk. Fees can vary and it is advisable to contact an attorney to obtain accurate fee information.

     

    • Documents Required: The following documents will be required and must be attached to an international adoption request:

      For the Child/Children:
    • Attestations of the adoptive child/children’s family situation and status;
    • An attestation of acceptance from the prospective family guaranteeing their material support of the adoptive child/children;
    • Travel document (i.e. Burundian passport) for the adoptive child/children.

     

    For the Prospective Adoptive Parents:

    • Marriage, Birth and Judicial/Police Ceritficates;
    • Attestations of good behavior and of family composition;
    • Financial/income declaration;
    • Family psychological and medical report.

     

     PLEASE NOTE: Civil documents, such as “attestations,” can be obtained at the Mayor Office or through the civil offices.  

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.  If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help.  Learn how.

     

    6.  Bring Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home.   Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:


    Birth Certificate
    You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate. 

     

    Burundian Passport

    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Burundi. 

     

    U.S. Immigrant Visa 
    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child.  After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child’s I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.  Learn more.     

     

    PLEASE NOTE: All immigrant visas for children from Burundi are issued in Nairobi. Please visit http://nairobi.usembassy.gov for additional information about the immigrant visa process.

     

    Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.  Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.

     

    Child Citizenship Act

    For adoptions finalized abroad:  The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents. 

     

    For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree.  We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

    *Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. 

    Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act. 


    Statistics

    Statisitcs about adoption from Burundi


    TRAVELING ABROAD

    Applying for Your U.S. Passport
    A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Burundi. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

    Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

    Obtaining Your Visa
    In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa.  A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

    To find information about obtaining a visa for Burundi, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

    Staying Safe on Your Trip
    Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The State Department is a good place to start.

    The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability. 

    Staying in Touch on Your Trip

    When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Burundi, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

    Registration is free and can be done online.


    AFTER ADOPTION

    What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

    Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

    Here are some good places to start your support group search:

    Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. 


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