Democratic Republic of the Congo

May 27, 2014

Alert: Democratic Republic of the Congo to issue Some Exit Permits; Others Must Wait for New Adoption Laws

On May 26, the Congolese General Direction of Migration (DGM) informed members of the diplomatic corps that it was prepared to issue exit permits to 62 children adopted by foreigners whose cases fully conform to existing Congolese adoption laws. The DGM’s list includes 15 children adopted by U.S. families. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will contact those families via email by May 28.

The DGM cautioned that all other children adopted by foreigners will not be issued exit permits until a new law reforming intercountry adoptions enters into force, even if their cases met the DGM’s previous exception criteria (as outlined in the Department of State’s October 23, 2013 Adoption Alert). This new law has not yet been drafted and Congolese authorities are not able to commit to a particular timeframe in which they expect to develop and implement any new law(s).

The Department of State has reiterated our previous offers of technical consultations and will seek clarification from the DGM on this recent decision’s impact on the remaining cases involving children adopted by U.S. families. Congolese authorities have not yet responded to inquiries from the U.S. Embassy regarding adopted children with life-threatening medical conditions.

NOTE:  Revisions to Congolese adoption laws may include retroactive provisions that could affect cases that have already been completed or are in progress. While the courts may continue processing adoptions, the children adopted during the exit permit suspension will not be able to obtain exit permits to depart the country and are not guaranteed to be eligible for exit permits once any new law is promulgated.

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.