Democratic Republic of the Congo

September 27, 2013

Alert: Democratic Republic of the Congo Immigration Authorities Suspend Issuance of Exit Permits to Adoptees

This alert updates the Department of State's May 2 adoption alert regarding the suspension of issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents.

On September 27, the Congolese Ministry of Interior and Security, General Direction of Migration (Direction Generale d’Immigration, DGM) informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that effective September 25, 2013, the DGM suspended issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents. The DGM reports the suspension will last up to 12 months. This suspension is due to concerns over reports that children adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be either abused by adoptive families or adopted by a second set of parents once in their receiving countries.

The suspension of exit permits for adopted Congolese children applies to all intercountry adoptions and is not limited to adoptions by U.S. citizens. These exit permits are required in addition to U.S. immigrant visas in order for children to travel to the United States.

The DGM has not indicated whether adoptions in process may continue during the suspension period. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is seeking clarification on the impact this will have on cases where adoptions were already completed, or completed and an immigrant visa issued. We will post new information as it becomes available on www.adoption.state.gov.

Please direct questions related to this alert or a specific adoption from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States. Email inquiries may be directed to AskCI@state.gov.