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

CONTACT INFORMATION

http://www.nacac.org/
American Embassy
Entoto Road
Addis Ababa
Tel: (251-11) 124-24-24
Fax: (251-11) 124-35-35
Email: consaddis@state.gov
American citizens can walk in from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. M-F, and from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. M-Th.

http://www.nacac.org/
Ministry Of Women’s Affairs (MOWA)
Children and Youth Affairs Office, Adoption Team (CYAO)
P.O. Box 1293
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

http://www.nacac.org/
3506 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: 202-364-1200
Fax: 202-587-0195
info@ethiopianembassy.org

 

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)


In the News: Hepatitis A Risk Associated with Ethiopian Adoptees
This information is current as of today, March 25, 2009 at 00:54
Updated: July 20, 2007

Several cases of hepatitis A have recently been reported in children and adults linked to adoptees from Ethiopia. Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Most children under the age of 6 years do not get sick from the infection, but can spread it to older children and adults, who often become ill.

Recommendations
Travelers, including adoptive parents and any accompanying family members, who pick up the child should visit a health-care provider or travel medicine specialist as soon as travel is considered to ensure that their routine vaccinations are up to date and to obtain pre-travel advice tailored to their own medical history and the country they will visit.
To prevent hepatitis A virus infections, CDC recommends that travelers to areas with intermediate and high rates of hepatitis A (see map), including Ethiopia, receive hepatitis A vaccine prior to travel.
Other household members and caregivers of children adopted from Ethiopia, should consider being vaccinated before adopted children are brought to the U.S.
Post-arrival of adopted children: Adopted children, household members, caregivers, or other persons experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A should be evaluated by a health-care provider. Persons exposed to hepatitis A who have not been previously immunized should contact their health-care provider or local health department to determine if they should receive an immunization or immunoglobulin to help prevent illness.

Ethiopia Flag
Ethiopia

Map of Ethiopia

 

Ethiopia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Ethiopia did not change.

PLEASE NOTE: There are more than twenty U.S.- based adoption agencies authorized by the government of Ethiopia to provide adoption services that are actively referring children to American families, as well as several others whose accreditation is pending. All agencies are not created equal! Americans contemplating adopting in Ethiopia should take great care in selecting an agency. They should research different agencies, seeking the input of families who have used these agencies in the past.

Ethiopia requires post-placement reports on Ethiopian orphans at three months, six months, and one year after the adoption. Yearly reports until the child turns eighteen are also required.

 

Updated: December 2008

DISCLAIMER

 

WHO CAN ADOPT

To bring an adopted child to United States from Ethiopia, you must 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, Ethiopia also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
Age Requirements: In general, Ethiopian law and practice does not provide for intercountry adoptions by single persons under age twenty-five. If married, there is no minimum age. There is no maximum age limit; however, the practice is to limit the age difference between the prospective adoptive parent and the adopted child to no more than 40 years. Individual agencies may impose age limits for prospective adoptive parents. These age limits vary from agency to agency.
Marriage Requirements: The Ethiopian Government prefers to place children with married couples who have been married for at least five years. Single men also may not adopt in Ethiopia.
Income Requirements: Prospective parent(s) must prove financial ability as determined by the Ethiopian courts, though there is no minimum income required.
Other Requirements: Gay and lesbian adoption, and/or adoption by same-sex couples are not allowed in Ethiopia, although the Ethiopian Government has occasionally approved such cases.

 

WHO CAN BE ADOPTED

 

Ethiopia has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Ethiopia unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her home back to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

· Relinquishment Requirements: The Contract of Adoption is signed between the child's legal guardian and the adoptive parent/s (or the agency representative acting on the adoptive parents’ behalf). If the legal guardian is also the agency that is processing the adoption, another licensed orphanage can sign on behalf of the child. This contract is the basis for the issuance of the adoption decree, which shows that the guardian or the orphanage has relinquished their legal rights to the adopted child. The contract must be taken to the Inland Revenue Administration office to be stamped. There is a nominal fee.

· Abandonment Requirements: When a child is abandoned, by law it comes into the custody of the Government. MOWA places abandoned or orphaned children in orphanages or foster homes, pending adoption. When a child is found to have two HIV/AIDS-infected parents, or one living HIV/AIDS-infected parent, the Government routinely declares that the child is an orphan and assumes legal guardianship of the child. Many AIDS-orphaned children adopted by Americans come from the HIV/AIDS hospice run by the Missionaries of Charity in Addis Ababa.

· Waiting Period: It is common for the Government of Ethiopia to require that a child be resident in an orphanage for three months before they can be adopted.

 

HOW TO ADOPT

Ethiopian Adoption Authority
The Adoption Team in the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO) operating under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) is the primary adoption authority in Ethiopia.

MOWA has responsibility for all activities regarding children in the country, including welfare, foster care, domestic and intercountry adoption, and investigation of neglect and abuse. When an orphaned or abandoned child comes into the custody of the government, the police and MOWA create the child's dossier.

The Process

Adoptive parents residing in Ethiopia face a few issues NOT faced by those living in the United States. Please see the bottom of this section for more details and considerations for adoptive parents living in Ethiopia. Private adoptions are permitted in Ethiopia , but discouraged by MOWA because they take place under local adoption rules and may bypass the process and protections put in place by the Government of Ethiopia relating to international adoption. Information regarding private adoptions is also found at the end of this section.

The process for adopting a child from Ethiopia generally includes the following steps:

Choose an Adoption Service Provider
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
Be Matched with a Child
Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Ethiopia
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
Bring Your Child Home

1) Choose an Adoption Service Provider:

The first step in adopting a child from Ethiopia is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

Only adoption agencies licensed by the Government of Ethiopia may facilitate intercountry adoptions for non-Ethiopian adoptive parents. There are a number of agencies licensed by the Government of Ethiopia that are actively coordinating adoptions for American adoptive families. The Department of State is aware that there are American and foreign adoption agencies and individuals located in both countries who claim that they can assist with adoptions in Ethiopia. MOWA maintains a list of adoption agencies licensed by the Government of Ethiopia to provide adoption services in Ethiopia. This list may be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Women's Affairs at (251)-11-416-6370 or (251)-11-416-6354.

 

2) Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

To bring an adopted child from Ethiopia to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Ethiopia as described in the “WHO” tab.

Prospective adoptive parents must take or send all of the required documents (see below), certified and authenticated, to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for additional authentication. Once the Embassy has completed its authenticated, the completed packet is returned to the prospective adoptive parents. The prospective adoptive parents then forward the documents to MOWA, Children and Youth Affairs Office, Adoption Team (CYAO). You can find their address in the Contacts section of this information.

MOWA reviews the documents for completeness and creates a dossier on the adoptive parent(s).

Note on private adoptions: Parents who have received MOWA permission to adopt privately must come to Ethiopia to complete adoption requirements. Only one parent has to appear, but, if married, must bring a power of attorney from the other parent. If these parents plan to file the I-600 at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, they need to make sure that the parent who comes to finalize the adoption is an American citizen and that the I-600 has been signed by the non-traveling parent prior to the Embassy interview.

Note on relative adoptions: Ethiopian-Americans who are adopting orphaned relatives do not have to come to Ethiopia to process their adoptions. They can have a representative with a power of attorney represent them in court. Married adoptive parents need to make sure that both parents have given the representative a power of attorney so that both parents' names appear on the adoption decree.

The parents’ dossier is taken to the Claims and Authentication Section of the Protocol Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia to be authenticated. There is a fee of 300 Ethiopian birr for authentication stamps, and the stamps are affixed to the dossier.
The parents’ dossier is returned to CYAO. CYAO will then affix a summary sheet, on which will be noted items such as court decisions, background data on the adopted child or children, and the names of Adoption Committee members who will complete the form at a later date (see below). At this point, for private adoptions only, MOWA usually asks the U.S. Embassy to provide a letter of support for the adoptive parents. These letters are provided, free of charge, only after the U.S. Embassy has received directly from USCIS a notice of I-600A or I-600 petition approval for the adoptive parent(s).

CYAO submits the parents’ dossier to the Adoption Committee for review and approval to adopt. The Adoption Committee meets periodically, sometimes as often as every week, to review cases. The Committee either approves or rejects the prospective adoptive parent(s), based on Ethiopian guidelines for international adoptions. Given the volume of work before the Committee, it can take weeks from the time of submission before the Committee reviews a dossier. Further investigation into the parents' qualifications is done if deemed necessary, and a recommendation is made. The request is approved only if all the members of the committee agree and sign the recommendation.

3) Be Matched with a Child:

If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Ethiopia will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child. Learn more about this critical decision.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Ethiopia’s requirements, as described in the “Who” tab. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

Once the Committee has approved the parents’ dossier, a child is selected and referred to the prospective parents to adopt, according to the parents’ preferences for age and sex. The child selected must have his/her own dossier at MOWA. That dossier describes the child, the child's history, how the child came to be an orphan, and who has legal guardianship of the child. Once a referral is made, the prospective adoptive parent may accept or refuse the referral.

Upon the parents’ acceptance of the referral, a Contract of Adoption is signed between the child's legal guardian and the adoptive parent/s (or the agency representative acting on the adoptive parents’ behalf). If the legal guardian is also the agency that is processing the adoption, another licensed orphanage can sign on behalf of the child. This contract is the basis for the issuance of the adoption decree, which shows that the guardian or the orphanage has relinquished their legal rights to the adopted child. The contract must be taken to the Inland Revenue Administration office to be stamped. There is a nominal fee.

4) Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Ethiopia:

Note: All Ethiopian adoptions are full and final and irrevocable under Ethiopian law.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Ethiopia generally includes the following:

· ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: In addition to their above stated role, after the adoption is complete, MOWA prepares a request to the city of Addis Ababa for the issuance of a new birth certificate, and a request to the Office of Security, Immigration, and Refugee Affairs for an Ethiopian passport for the child in his/her new name. Both of these are best facilitated if the requests are hand-carried to the relevant offices. The U.S. Embassy needs both the new birth certificate and the passport to complete the child's U.S. immigrant visa application process.

 

· ROLE OF THE COURT: Once the prospective adoptive parents have been approved to adopt and the child has been identified, CYAO opens a file at the Federal First Instance Court to apply for an appointment date for the adoption hearing. The court date could be one to two months from the date of filing. The court generally is closed between three and twelve weeks between July and October. The dates change every year.

A notice is published in the local press seeking any other claimants to the child, stating the child's name and the name of the adopting parents. Anyone opposed to the adoption is requested to appear at MOWA by a certain date and time.

When the appointed court date arrives, the prospective parents or their agency's local representative appear in court. Final decisions can be handed down quickly, but delays of weeks are not uncommon. Adoptive parents must obtain at least two originals of the court decree. One will be retained by MOWA and one must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy with the application for the immigrant visa. The original submitted to the Embassy will be returned to the parents.

· Adoptions are final. All Ethiopian adoptions are full and final and irrevocable under Ethiopian law.

· Legal guardianship versus adoption. Ethiopian-American adoptive parents should note that the court decrees one receives for adoption are very similar to those granting legal guardianship. In order to receive an immigrant visa for an orphan, adoptive parents must ensure that the decree is one of adoption and not simply the granting of legal guardianship.

· Effective date of the adoption. Usually, the adoption decree confirms the adoption contract; thus, under Ethiopian law, the effective date of adoption is usually the date the adoption contract was signed. However, under U.S. immigration law, legal custody begins at the date of the official court decree.

The court decree must be translated into English. The original and the translation are submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for authentication. The authentication stamp, seals, and signature are placed on the back of the translation. If the adoption contract was made in Amharic, it must also be translated into English and the original translation must be authenticated by MOFA.

Note: All Ethiopian adoptions are full and final and irrevocable under Ethiopian law.

· ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: An adoption agency’s U.S. and Ethiopian-based staff manage the adoption process in Ethiopia. American citizens who are adopting privately must complete all of the adoption steps unaided by adoption professionals.

· TIME FRAME: Adoption agencies are best able to advise adoptive parents of approximately how long a particular adoption might take. Recent adoptions have taken anywhere from six to twenty-four months.

It may take several months for visas for private adoptions to be approved, depending upon the completeness of the application and the need for follow-up investigations.

· ADOPTION FEES: Before the adoption, adoptive parents can expect to pay translation fees and fees for authentication of U.S. documents for use abroad. All English-language documents submitted to the Ethiopian court must be accompanied by a translation in Amharic. The U.S. Embassy understands that translation services cost approximately $1 per page. Adoptive parents should check with their adoption agency for up-to-date information on translation costs.

The MOWA and the police charge no fees for services the provide: creating dossiers on the parents and the child, investigating whether the child is a bona fide orphan, meeting in committee to review the case, and making their recommendations to the court.

The Federal First Instance court charges a nominal fee of approximately $3 for services in accepting adoption petitions, making judgments, and issuing decrees.

If additional documents are required by MOWA, the agency/parents can submit certified copies. Cost for certification by the U.S. Embassy is $30 per single document or grommeted packet.

The services of MOWA in issuing a letter to the U.S. Embassy attesting to the orphan status of the child, and issuing requests so that the child's new birth certificate and passport can be issued, are free.

The issuance of a local birth certificate costs approximately $2. Expeditious or same-day service costs approximately $5 more.

To have a birth certificate or other document authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs costs approximately $16 for Ethiopian parents and $35 for foreign parents.

Ethiopian Passport issuance costs approximately $35.

Orphanages operated by religious organizations and large government-operated orphanages charge no fee for their services to prepare and sign adoption contracts.

Fees charged by licensed adoption agencies to process an Ethiopian adoption vary. Prospective adoptive parents should contact agencies to inquire about fees. Local unscrupulous adoption facilitators have been known to charge adoptive parents additional costs beyond what they believed they would be charged, often after they have arrived in Ethiopia and already have their children in their physical custody. Some of these parents indicated to the U.S. Embassy that the costs ran thousands of dollars more than they had been led to believe they would pay. Adoptive parents are strongly urged to do careful research on any adoption agency they consider using.

· DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Prospective Adoptive Parents must provide the following to MOWA:

· A written statement from the adoptive parents explaining why an Ethiopian child is preferred, with an original translation into Amharic.

· Original birth certificates of the prospective adoptive parents, each with an original translation into Amharic.

· Original marriage license/certificate, if applicable, with an original translation into Amharic. If originals are not available, certified copies must be authenticated by the Department of State. That authentication must be accompanied by an original translation into Amharic.

· An original Ethiopian police clearance for each of the adoptive parents (including those residing in Ethiopia).

· A medical certificate/clearance for each of the adoptive parents, with an original translation into Amharic.

· The original home study prepared by a qualified social worker, which specifies the following: personal and family status; character and personal qualities; educational background; duration and stability of marriage; financial and medical situations; present address and U.S. address; condition of home in country of residence; address and names of family of origin (i.e., parents); and the agency's recommendation regarding their suitability to be adoptive parent(s), with an original translation into Amharic. The agency that conducts the home study and issues the recommendation must be approved in the parents’ state of residence to do so.

· Evidence of economic status, which must include a letter from employer showing salary, date of employment, and position in the organization, plus a bank statement. Proof of life and health insurance or other proof of income or assets may also be submitted. Each document must be accompanied by an original translation into Amharic.

· Three letters of reference from friends, relatives, clergy, or other sources qualified to assess their character, the stability of their marriage, and their ability to parent, with original translations into Amharic.

· Two passport-size photographs of each of the prospective adoptive parents.

· If the adoptive parents do not come to Ethiopia together to oversee this process, then they must execute a power of attorney for their adoption agency; or, if only one parent will travel to Ethiopia, the other parent must execute a power of attorney for him/her. That power of attorney must be authenticated by the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC, and be submitted with an original translation into Amharic.

· "Obligation of Adoption or Social Welfare Agency" signed by the adoption agency handling the adoption, or for private adopters, from the organization that provided the home study or by the parents’ employer. The parents must agree to allow follow-up visits by a social worker, and to submit a regular progress report to CYAO on the child’s development in the adoptive home. These visits should be scheduled at three months, six months, and one year after the adoption, and annually thereafter until the child reaches the age of eighteen. This form must be forwarded together with the psychosocial study/home study and with an original translation into Amharic.

· Verification by the adoption agency or home study organization on the child’s qualification for naturalization under the parents’ state laws, with an original translation into Amharic.

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.

5) Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Ethiopia, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). 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 several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

1) 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.

After the adoption is complete, MOWA prepares a request to the city of Addis Ababa for the issuance of a new birth certificate. This is best facilitated if the requests are hand-carried to the relevant offices.

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

MOWA prepares a request to the Office of Security, Immigration and Refugee Affairs for an Ethiopian passport for the child in its new name. This request is best facilitated if it is hand-carried to the relevant office.

3) 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 in Addis Ababa for your child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. The U.S. Embassy needs both the new birth certificate and the passport to complete the child's U.S. immigrant visa application process.

Adoptive parents may contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy to schedule an immigrant interview (please be aware that the Embassy has designated interview dates for agencies; please consult with your agency for more information). Parents should not make final, non-refundable travel plans to depart Ethiopia until they have their child’s immigrant visa in hand. A consular officer is required to review each adoption case carefully and make an independent determination of the child’s eligibility for a visa. This includes another review of the orphan status of the child and a review of the child’s medical information.

Immigrant visa applications are adjudicated based upon an approved I-600. If the I-600 is to be filed at the Embassy by one or both adoptive parents, then the I-600 adjudication, the I-604 investigation, and the immigrant visa application adjudication are generally done at the same time. If one parent is traveling to Ethiopia and the other is not, the non-traveling parent must sign the I-600 and execute a power of attorney before the interview date. If both parents are traveling, the I-600 must be signed in front of the interviewing consular officer.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa will conduct the interview and complete an I-604 only if the child appears in person at the Embassy. Children who have been taken to the United States or other countries and adopted there must return to Ethiopia in order for the I-604 and I-600 to be completed. Adoptive parents should note that USCIS does not permit the adjustment of status in the United States of an adopted orphan. In other words, a child taken to the United States on a tourist visa cannot adjust status while in the United States to that of an adopted orphan.

· For information on current immigrant visa petition fees, the visa application and processing fee, and security surcharge, please see our Fees for Visa Services website at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html.

· Photos for the visa application cost approximately $2 to $3.

· The medical exam for the visa application costs approximately $35. If the child is 16 or older, a police certificate for him/her is required. This will cost approximately $1.50.

· If DNA testing is suggested, the cost is determined by the lab in the U.S. that conducts the testing.

· If adoptive parent(s) are using any of the adoption agencies licensed in Ethiopia should request that their DHS/USCIS office include the name of the agency in the notification. Upon receipt of such notification, the U.S. Embassy will contact the adoption agency and advise that the approval has been received.

· If the U.S. Embassy receives notification of an approved I-600A that does not list an adoption agency, the Embassy waits for the adoption agency to contact the Embassy. Once the adoptive parents are ready to start the immigrant visa application process, they or their agency should pick up the necessary forms from the Embassy.

· All non-English documents submitted to the Embassy must be accompanied by a translation into English. Translation services in Ethiopia cost approximately $1 per page.

· Photocopies of all original documents, including the biographic pages of the passport, must be submitted to the Embassy. Costs run approximately two to five cents per page.

· For parents who will file the I-600 with DHS in the U.S., the U.S. Embassy will certify copies of all adoption documents, birth certificates, etc. Cost for certification is $30 per single document or grommeted package. Simply placing a "seen and compared" stamp on documents that the Embassy will retain for the child's permanent record is free.

4) Ethiopian Exit Visa
For the child to depart Ethiopia, an exit visa is required. Ethiopian Immigration will place an exit visa in the child's Ethiopian passport. The fee for this service is approximately $8. If the child needs to transit through Germany en route to the U.S., a German visa is required. A German visa may be obtained by applying at the German Embassy in Addis Ababa. German visas cost approximately $15. If the child needs to transit through the U.K. en route to the U.S., and disembarks, a U.K. visa will be required. A visa to the U.K. may be obtained by applying at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa. A U.K. visa costs approximately $56. Taxicabs charge foreigners approximately $4 for transport to the U.S. Embassy from downtown or one of the major hotels.

Child Citizenship Act

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

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

*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.

Adoptive Parents Residing in Ethiopia

Adoptive parents residing in Ethiopia face a few issues not faced by those living in the United States.

The Embassy is not aware at this time of any American social worker residing in Ethiopia who is authorized to conduct home studies for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of I-600A applications and I-600 petitions. Prospective adoptive parents may contact an accredited American agency to inquire whether the agency might be sending a social worker to Ethiopia. In such a scenario, the social worker could conduct a home study, but it would likely take several months before the home study would be finalized and received by the adoptive parents in Ethiopia.

American adoptive parents residing in Ethiopia who wish to submit I-600A applications, should submit applications to the Officer-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi. U.S. Embassy Nairobi’s telephone number, if dialed from Ethiopia, is (00254-20) 363-6500. Before sending the I-600A to DHS in Nairobi, adoptive parents should first pay the filing fee at the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. DHS Nairobi will act on the application as quickly as possible. However, it may take a month or more to receive a response. Prospective adoptive parents can contact DHS Nairobi directly via fax at (00254-20) 363-6103.

Private Adoptions

While Ethiopian law permits private adoptions, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs discourages them because they take place under local adoption rules and may bypass the process and protections put in place by the government of Ethiopia relating to international adoption. Additionally, parents who might be successful in effecting a private adoption in Ethiopia may find that the child does not qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa as an adoptable orphan. Americans interested in private adoption are strongly urged to first contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa for additional information. Information on intercountry adoptions can be obtained via email at: ConsAdoptionsAddis@state.gov

 

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TRAVELING ABROAD

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Ethiopia. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify United States 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 Ethiopia, 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 Ethiopia, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.


AFTER ADOPTION

What does Ethiopia require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

By Ethiopian law, the adoptive parents must submit post adoption reports at three months, six months, and one year. After the first year, the reports must be filed yearly until the child turns 18. This is a commitment that the adopting parents, home study agency, and adopting agency must sign when submitting documents for the adoption.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wishes of Ethiopia and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with American parents.

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:

Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons
North American Council on Adoptable Children


Comments on this Adopt                                                     page 1 of 1
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Amore
Posted 339 days ago
Hello all, I am in the same shoe with regards to being a Brit and wanting to adopt an Ethiopian. The difference is I already have identified the child as well as the family of whom I want to adopt from. All I want to know is since this is a private adoption will I still need to go through approval process in Ethiopia and if so How much will it cost and any other pitfalls. To be honest I am willing to listen to any thing you are willing to send my way with regards to Ethiopia and adoption even if some of the info might be repetitive.
Thanks for all your help in advance.
Amore Worku
a.worku@mailcity.com
Joanna
Posted 1044 days ago
Ethiopia does not allow gays to adopt. I imagine this policy varies from country to country. I would think that in Ethiopia where it is not easy anyway to adopt, there is no wiggle room to their statutes. I would suggest you contact a couple of good adoption agencies and find out which countries do allow gays to adopt. Since you are from the U.K., the agency should be from there. You could also check out adoption attorneys. They may be able to help you further. Blessings, Joanna
alex
Posted 1045 days ago
i am about to attempt to adopt from Ethiopia,and I have been assessed in my home country as being eligible for a private adoption. I am a British citizen living outside of the UK - but not in Ethiopia. would like to know more about instances when the Ethiopian authorities have approved adoptions for a gay person. Is there anyone else out there ?