Democratic Republic of the Congo

July 16, 2013

Democratic Republic of the Congo Immigration Authorities Clarify Procedures for Limited Issuance of Exit Permits

This notice updates the Department of State’s June 27, 2013, adoption alert regarding the limited resumption of exit permit issuances to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) General Directorate of Migration (Direction Generale de Migration, DGM) informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa on June 17 that the DGM had partially lifted its temporary suspension of issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents.  The DGM has since provided the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa with further information, as follows:

Adoptions completed on or after June 12, 2013:The DGM will only issue exit permits to children whose adoptions were completed in the local Tribunal pour Enfants, as required by the Congolese 2009 Law on Child Protection.  The DGM notes that Tribunal pour Enfants exist in Kinshasa, Matadi (Bas-Congo), Goma (Nord-Kivu), and Lubumbashi (Katanga).  Children from other provinces must be adopted in the Tribunal pour Enfants in Kinshasa or a neighboring city.

Adoptions completed prior to June 12, 2013: The DGM will not apply the Tribunal pour Enfants requirement retroactively to adoptions completed before June 12, 2013. 

Prospective adoptive parents and their adoption service providers are reminded that there is no fee for the exit permit.  The DGM conducts its own investigations to ensure Congolese adoption procedures have been followed.  The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will not contact the DGM to request expedited processing of the exit permit.  The Department of State strongly discourages the practice of paying “expediting fees” to Congolese officials in an attempt to move the adoption process more quickly.  These “fees” can be perceived as bribes that encourage corruption.

Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from the DRC and their adoption service providers are encouraged to review the information provided by the Department of State regarding the current U.S. Embassy procedures, the general process for adopting from the DRC, and the most recent travel warning.

If you have concerns or questions regarding the notice or a specific adoption from the DRC, please contact 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