Adoption

Senegal is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Senegal.

The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for Senegal on December 1, 2011. However, Senegal has not yet implemented procedures for the processing of Convention adoptions and the Government of Senegal announced in February 2012 that it is temporarily suspending all new intercountry adoptions while it focuses on implementing the Hague Adoption Convention. Transition cases where an adoption dossier was filed with Senegal prior to December 1, 2011, may be completed under the previous “orphan” process.

The U.S. Embassy in Dakar has not been provided with an expected date by which Senegal will fully implement the Hague Adoption Convention. Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information.

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information or email DakarImmigrantVisa@state.gov for more information on travelling to Senegal and the U.S. Embassy in Dakar’s website for information on consular services.

A child adopted by a U.S. citizen and who will reside in the US must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. The U.S. Embassy in Dakar processes immigrant visas for children resident or adopted in The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania. Country specific adoption information can be found here.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for two categories of adopted children to immigrate to the U.S. Under the first category, an adopted child is processed in the same way as a birth child if the child is adopted before the age of 16 and the adoption is full and final (not legal guardianship) and the child physically resided with the adoptive parent in their legal custody for two years.

The second category allows an “orphan,” as defined by U.S. law and regulations, to immigrate. Immigration requirements for an adopted orphan can be found here.

Appointments to file an I-600 petition or visa application for an adopted orphan are given priority and can be scheduled by contacting the consular section directly at DakarImmigrantVisa@state.gov. Please include the words “adopted orphan” in the subject line of your email. In the email text, please include your full name, the full name and date of birth of the adopted child, the name of the country in which the child was adopted, and the case number (starts with DKR or FTN) if you have one. We also encourage you to email us at DakarImmigrantVisa@state.gov with your questions regarding adopting an orphan in The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, or Mauritania.