Uganda

Last Updated: October 2013

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

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Hague Convention Information

Uganda is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Taking into consideration recent allegations of misconduct in intercountry adoptions in Uganda, the Department of State would like to remind prospective adoptive parents that before an immigrant visa may be issued to an adopted child, a U.S. consular officer must ensure that the adoption is legal under Ugandan law and that the child is qualified under U.S. immigration law to immigrate to the United States.

The Department of State reminds prospective adoptive parents that, in Uganda, consular officers are required by law to conduct an orphan investigation (I-604) to verify the child's orphan status prior to the issuance of an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa. Depending on the circumstances of a case, this investigation may take up to one month. If there are any unresolved questions during this orphan investigation, the consular officer must forward the case to USCIS Nairobi for final adjudication. This will take up to 30 days from USCIS' receipt of the file. Adoptive parents are therefore urged to work with their adoption service provider in the U.S. to confirm the status of their case before traveling to Uganda.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala receives a high volume of adoption petitions.  It is important that prospective adoptive parents have completed all the required tasks and obtained all of the necessary paperwork before scheduling an interview to allow for prompt and efficient service.

Once prospective adoptive parents arrive in Uganda, the legal process can take approximately four to eight weeks, if not longer, depending on how promptly the Ugandan courts act. Ugandan courts expect that the prospective adoptive parent will be present in court. If a prospective adoptive parent is not present, the court may not record the prospective adoptive parent's name on the court ruling and guardianship order. The U.S. Embassy requires that the petitioner's name be on both of these documents, so please plan accordingly. Many people plan on being in country for about two weeks and are disappointed when they realize the process takes much longer.

WORKING WITH U.S. EMBASSY KAMPALA:

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala is here to help with the adoption process, and we ask you to help us maximize our resources.

When you are ready to travel to Uganda for the first time, we ask you to do the following:

  • Enroll online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://step.state.gov.
  • Email us at KampalaAdoptions@state.gov to in order to let us know you will be in country to process an adoption. Please include the following information:
    • Petitioner's name
    • Date of arrival
    • Estimated court date
    • Child's (beneficiary's) name
    • Contact phone number

Starting in the fall of 2013, U.S. Embassy Kampala will hold monthly sessions for prospective adoptive parents to explain the adoption process in Uganda and discuss how you can best work with the U.S. Embassy. These are general overview sessions, and we encourage all in-country families to attend, regardless of where you are in the adoption process. Email KampalaAdoptions@state.gov to RSVP for the next session.

Please understand that we cannot intervene with any Ugandan legal processes, to include the court process and obtaining civil documents such as birth certificates and passports. We are also unable to assist you with filling out required paperwork for the I-600 petition filing and immigrant visa application processes.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Uganda, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphanunder U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

Ugandan law places restrictions on the ability of foreign citizens to adopt Ugandan children. The Children's Act states that a foreign citizen may, in exceptional circumstances, adopt a Ugandan child if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years and if the foreigner has also fostered the child for 36 months. However, recently High Court judges have made some exceptions to these three-year residency and fostering requirements on a case-by-case basis if it was deemed to be the best interest of the child. It is unclear whether this is a permanent change in the interpretation of the law. 

Ugandan High Court judges have also exercised discretion in approving legal guardianship decrees (which may permit the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad) in certain cases where the prospective adoptive parents were unable to meet the requirements for adoption in Uganda.

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Uganda:

  • Residency: Unless a judge waives the fostering requirements, prospective adoptive parents must reside in Uganda with their prospective adoptive child for three years. This means that a foreign citizen may adopt a Ugandan child if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years, and has also fostered the child for 36 months.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Applicants must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they plan to adopt. In the case of a married couple, it is sufficient for one spouse to meet these requirements.
  • Marriage: Married couples must adopt jointly. Single parents may adopt, but they may not adopt a child of the opposite sex (unless an exception is made). While Uganda does not specifically prohibit adoption by LGBT individuals or couples, political and cultural perspectives in Uganda may mean that same-sex couples may not be approved for adoption by Ugandan courts. Single gay and lesbian applicants may face additional scrutiny or not be approved if the courts become aware of their sexual orientation.
  • Income:There are no specific income requirements for Ugandan adoption, although prospective adoptive parents must be able to prove financial stability.
  • Other: Foreign adoptive parents must demonstrate they have no criminal record, and that they have been approved by their country of nationality to adopt.
Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Uganda has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment: The consent of both biological parents, if known, must be obtained and may be withdrawn prior to the execution of the adoption order. Under U.S. immigration law, if both biological parents for a child are living, they must independently release their child for adoption and emigration abroad, prior to U.S. prospective adoptive parents being identified. The irrevocable releases must be in writing in English and the biological parents' native language.
  • Abandonment: The police and Probation and Social Welfare Officers have the authority to certify a child as abandoned. 
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Children who are 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption. Adoptive parents must be at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted. Uganda does not have an upper age limit for adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Sibling adoptions are possible and do not have any unique requirements.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None

    Waiting Period or Foster Care: Ugandan law requires adoptive parents to have been resident in Uganda for at least three years and to have fostered the child for at least 36 months under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer. High court judges have the discretion to waive these requirements.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children's homes are adoptable. In many countries, including Uganda, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children's home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)'s adoption.

Additionally, many birth parents agree to intercountry adoption without fully understanding its ramifications. They often believe the child(ren) will return to Uganda and to their birth families at age 18.

How To Adopt

Uganda's Adoption Authority

The Department of Youth and Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development is the body charged with overseeing inter-country adoptions. Legal guardianship or adoption orders can only be granted by the High Court.

Uganda's Children Act is the legislation governing all aspects of the fostering, legal guardianship, and adoption process.

The Process

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

  1. Choose an adoption service provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt or obtain custody of the child in Uganda
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Uganda is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.

    Uganda does not authorize specific adoption service providers (ASPs) for the purposes of intercountry adoption. U.S. ASPs are able to operate in Uganda without formal approval by the Government of Uganda. Adoptive parents should be advised however that very few have permanent staff in country rather they partner with one or more local orphanages and/or lawyers.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    In order to adopt a child from Uganda, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Uganda and U.S. immigration law.  You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt, as part of the petition filed for to adopt, with the High Court of Uganda.

    The eligibility of prospective adoptive parents is evaluated as part of the adoption process through the High Court of Uganda. Please read section 4 for more information about filing a petition to adopt with the High Court.

    To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you should file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.

    Please note that the Ugandan regulations require prospective adoptive parents to present evidence of approval by their country of nationality to adopt as part of their petition to adopt with the High Court.  Therefore, prospective adoptive parents should ensure they have received their I-600A approval notice before filing with the High Court.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, your adoption service provider, the central adoption authority or another authorized entity in Uganda will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Uganda’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

  4. Adopt or Obtain Legal Custody of Child in Uganda

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

    • Role of Adoption Authority: The Department of Youth and Child Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, Labour, and Social Development oversees Probation and Social Welfare Officers. Probation and Social Welfare Officers monitor and record the progress of the adoptive family during the 36-month fostering period. When exceptions to the fostering/residency requirement are made, they assess whether the intercountry adoption is a suitable option for the child. Prospective adoptive parents work with the Probation and Social Welfare Officers in the region where the child resides.
    • Role of The Court: The High Court is the sole authority that can grant adoption and guardianship orders for the purposes of intercountry adoption. Local magistrate courts process adoptions only when the prospective adoptive parents and the child are all Ugandan citizens. Ugandan-Americans should pursue legal guardianship only with the High Court. Judges have considered dual nationals to be both foreigners and Ugandans in the past. Prospective adoptive parents should ensure they work only through the High Court for intercountry adoptions as orders by the magistrate courts are not sufficient for purposes of immigration.

      Ugandan High Court judges have exercised discretion in granting legal guardianship in some cases, which permit an orphan to emigrate from Uganda for full and final adoption abroad before completing the 36-month fostering requirement in Uganda. For U.S. citizens, this means the prospective adoptive child may qualify for an Immediate Relative 4 visa (IR-4) for the purpose of emigration and adoption in the United States. To file for an IR-4 visa for the child, the legal guardianship order and the accompanying court ruling cannot limit the custody arrangements of the parents, or prohibit the child's ability to leave Uganda. Once the child immigrates to the United States, the legal guardians must file for adoption with a U.S. state court.
    • Role of Adoption Agencies: At this time, there are only American adoption agencies that provide adoption services in Uganda, although there are a number of Ugandan nongovernmental organizations and interest groups that advocate for children's rights. Some of these groups are encouraging Uganda's accession to the Hague Adoption Convention and may also provide adoption-related information.

      Orphanages (also termed baby homes and children's homes) must be accredited by the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Social Development, and Labour in order to refer children in their care for international adoption. Generally, these homes work with one or more ASPs to make the referrals to prospective adoptive parents. At this time, very few U.S. ASPs have permanent staff in country. Children who will be referred to prospective adoptive parents must first be evaluated by a Probation and Social Welfare Officer to determine whether intercountry adoption is suitable for the child.

      Prospective adoptive parents should consider hiring a qualified Ugandan attorney to assist with the legal aspects of the adoption. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend the services of any specific attorney, and most law firms in Uganda indicate that they provide adoption services. A list of attorneys practicing in Uganda can be found here.
    • Adoption Application: Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in Uganda are required to file a petition with the High Court of Uganda after they have identified a child they wish to adopt. When filing the petition, prospective adoptive parents should ensure the petition states clearly their intention for the child to immigrate to the United States and that they seek subsequently to adopt the child in the United States. Please see the documents required section for what should be included with this petition. Prospective adoptive parents are required to appear in person, and the court requires that the local Probation and Social Welfare Officer overseeing the case submit a report with his/her recommendation. In certain cases, the court may also request that other individuals or authorities submit a report or affidavit(s) related to the adoption petition. For instance, in many cases orphanage directors are requested to submit information about children that were placed in their care. Living relatives are generally asked to provide affidavits about the child's circumstances and, in most cases, must appear in court.
    • Time Frame: Prospective adoptive parents should allow sufficient time to complete the necessary processing of the case both with the Ugandan High Court and the U.S. Embassy. The court process takes, on average, one to three weeks from the initial court appearance to the execution of the adoption or legal guardianship decree, and to the issuance of a written court ruling. Ugandan immigration authorities generally require the court documents and clearance from the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development before adjudicating a passport application submitted on behalf of a child being adopted by foreign parents. The average processing time for a Ugandan birth certificate and passport is about four weeks, and these processes can only begin after the court ruling has been issued. Once the passport is obtained, the child can have his/her medical exam with the panel physician (see Section 6). When this is completed, the prospective adoptive families can begin the U.S. Embassy process.

      Some families may find it easier to make two trips to Uganda - one to appear in court and one to file the I-600 petition and apply for the immigrant visa. In this scenario, your Ugandan based lawyer or adoption agency would assist in obtaining the birth certificate and passport on your behalf.
    • Adoption Fees: Court fees are less than $100.00 and may vary according to the number of documents that require notarization. Average attorney's fees can range from $500 to $2,000.  Uganda birth and death certificates cost $2 and Ugandan passports cost $32. The U.S. Embassy in Uganda discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, for example, "donations" or "expediting" fees.  These may be requested from biological parents, children's homes, or individuals offering to assist with procuring civil documents.  Such fees may have the appearance of "buying" a baby and could put all future adoptions from Uganda at risk.
    • Documents Required: The following documents must be submitted to the Ugandan High Court:
      • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents;
      • Police clearances from all countries of residence;
      • Proof of financial stability (e.g., tax returns and bank statements);
      • A report from the Probation and Social Welfare Officer, or a U.S. home study if the prospective parents do not reside in Uganda;
      • The child's full orphanage file if the child has been in a children's home. This must include:
        • Proof of registration of the children's home with Ugandan authorities;
        • Proof of the children's home's approval by the Ministry of Gender, Social Development, and Labour to refer children for intercountry adoption;
        • A care order for the child issued by the local magistrate's office;
        • Police report(s), if applicable;
        • Probation and Social Welfare Officer's reports on the child's situation;
        • Affidavit from the children's home director or social worker;
        • Affidavits from birth relatives or persons who know about the child's background or circumstances;
      • The High Court of Uganda must issue an adoption order or legal guardianship decree for the purposes of emigration and full and final adoption abroad for the child to be adopted by the parent(s);
      • Assurance that the adoptive parent(s)'s country will respect and recognize the adoption order or legal guardianship issued by the Ugandan Court. The U.S. Child Citizenship Act of 2000 meets this requirement.

    • Note: Additional documents may be requested.
    • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Uganda, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

    In some cases prospective adoptive parents will file the I-600 petition in the United States and will only apply for the immigrant visa in Uganda. If this applies to you, please refer to USCIS' filing guidelines and skip to Section 6 for immigrant visa information. 

    For those who will file the I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, in most cases, you will be able to schedule your appointment for the I-600 petition and the immigrant visa at the same time. For families who will do this, please read sections 5 and 6 in their entirety and ensure you have all required documents before scheduling an appointment.

    Scheduling an Appointment

    You will schedule two appointments: one to file the documents and a second for the visa interview. Beneficiaries of immediate relative petitions are interviewed by appointment only. The consular section has dedicated immigrant visa interview hours on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. These appointments are made directly with the Consular Section once prospective adoptive parents are documentarily qualified.

    Before scheduling an appointment, prospective adoptive parents must have the following documentation in hand. These are the U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt:

    To schedule an appointment, please contact KampalaAdoptions@state.gov. We will give you an appointment for a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday morning to file your paperwork and to ensure you are documentarily qualified. At this appointment you will receive the appointment date/time for the interview associated with the I-600 petition and the immigrant visa applications. The consular section has dedicated immigrant visa interview hours on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

    Once an appointment has been finalized, the prospective adoptive parents should make sure to bring these documents/individuals to the interview:

    • Original adoption order (or legal guardianship order for the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad)
    • Original court ruling issued in conjunction with the adoption order or legal guardianship order
    • The petition filed by the prospective adoptive parents before the High Court
    • Evidence of the petitioner's (prospective adoptive parent’s) identity
    • Orphanage file, if the child came from a home, including:
      • Proof of registration of the children's home with Ugandan authorities;
      • A care order for the child issued by the local magistrate's office;
      • Police report(s), if applicable;
      • Probation and Social Welfare Officer's reports on the child's situation;
      • Affidavit from the children's home director or social worker;
      • Affidavits from birth relatives or persons who know about the child's background or circumstances;
    • Death certificates of the biological parent(s) (if deceased);
    • Presence of living birth parents at the interview;
    • Immigrant visa application fee ($230);
    • I-600 petition filing fee ($720, only required if you did not file I-600A previously).

    The official long-form birth certificate for the child as well as death certificates for the biological parent(s), if applicable, can be obtained at:

    Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
    Plot 5 George Street, Georgian House
    P.O. Box 6848
    Kampala, Uganda
    URSB General Line:  256-414-233-219
    Registrar General:   256-414-235-915
    Fax:   256-414-250-712
    Email: ursb@ursb.go.ug
    Website:  http://www.ursb.go.ug

    Ugandan passports can be obtained from the following office:

    The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration
    Passport Control Office
    Plot 75 Jinja Road
    P.O. Box 7191
    Tel: 256-414-342-561

    We cannot schedule appointments until all of the above documents and people are available. Appointments are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. During busy periods of the year (summer, winter holidays), the wait time for an appointment may be up to two weeks. 

    The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. and Ugandan holidays; the consular section is closed to the public on the first Friday of each month. Prospective adoptive parents should keep this in mind when trying to schedule orphan interviews and immigrant visa appointments. Please view the schedule of holidays for 2013 and 2014.

    Purpose of the appointment
    The purpose of the appointment is to allow the Consular Officer to conduct an orphan investigation (I-604) as part of Form I-600 processing. If that investigation determines that the I-600 is clearly approvable, an immigrant visa interview can occur at the same time. The orphan investigation is necessary to determine whether the child can be classified as an "orphan" under U.S. law. As the term investigation implies, this may require further inquiry into the child's history. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the orphan investigation can range from an interview and document review to a full field investigation by Embassy personnel. In rare cases, this can take several weeks. It is important for families to prepare themselves for the possibility of a long delay and refrain from only giving themselves a few days between their interview date and their return to the United States. 

    The Department of Homeland Security has delegated some authority to the Department of State, allowing consular officers to approve I-600 petitions only when they are clearly approvable. If there are any unresolved questions that arise during the I-604 orphan investigation and/or the I-600 is not clearly approvable, the consular officer must forward the petition to USICS for adjudication.

  6. Bringing Your Child Home

    Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

    Please understand that the Embassy cannot intervene on behalf of private citizens in any Ugandan procedures related to adoptions, including the court process and obtaining civil documents such as birth certificates and passports. We are also unable to assist you with filling out required paperwork for the I-600 petition filing and immigrant visa application processes. 

    Birth Certificate
    If you have finalized the adoption in Uganda, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. 

    If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name. The birth certificate you obtain will list the names of the birth parents, if they are known.

    The official birth certificate for the child, a long-form birth certificate, as well as death certificates for the biological parent(s), if applicable, can be obtained at:

    Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
    Plot 5 George Street, Georgian House
    P.O. Box 6848
    Kampala, Uganda
    URSB General Line: 256-414-233-219
    Registrar General:  256-414-235-915
    Fax: 256-414-250-712
    Email: ursb@ursb.go.ug Website:  http://www.ursb.go.ug

    Uganda Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Uganda. Ugandan passports can be obtained from the following office:

    The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration
    Passport Control Office
    Plot 75 Jinja Road
    P.O. Box 7191
    Tel: 256-414-342-561

    U.S. Immigrant Visa

    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

    Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes two business days, and it will not be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala before making final travel arrangements.

    You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy Kampala's website:  http://kampala.usembassy.gov

    Medical Examination:
    As a part of the immigrant visa process, the child must undergo a standard immigrant visa physical examination conducted by U.S. Embassy Kampala's panel physician. After obtaining the child's passport, please email KampalaAdoptions@state.gov to arrange a time to pick up a form authorizing the medical examination.

    Once you have this authorization form, applicants should schedule the physical examination with:

    IOM (International Organization for Migration)
    Plot 40 Mackenzie Vale, Kololo
    P.O. Box 11431 Kampala, Uganda
    Telephone: 256-414-236-622 or 256-312-261-179

    IOM's working hours are:
    Monday to Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm
    Friday 8:00am to 2:00pm

    Please contact IOM at the above phone number to schedule an appointment and ensure that you take the following with you to your appointment:

    • Two (2) passport photos of the applicant (size 2" x 2")
    • Valid photo identification for all present at the appointment
    • Previous medical reports (if any)
    • Immunization records (if any)

    On completion of the medical examination, IOM will forward the medical paperwork to the Consular Section for review and further processing. This takes 3-5 business days.

    Visa Interview:

    When appearing for the immigrant visa interview the applicant should present:

    • A valid passport, valid for at least six months beyond the expected date of travel;
    • Four color photos, 2” x 2”, full-face on an off-white background.  Face must cover 50 percent of the photo and the hairline and ears should be visible;
    • A completed DS-230 immigrant visa application, available online at: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_1342.html;
    • An I-864 Affidavit of Support and I-864A if applicable completed and signed by the petitioner, available online at: www.uscis.gov (under forms, instructions for completing the I-864, I-864A, and I-864W are also available on the USCIS website);
    • The petitioner's most recent income tax return, and, if applicable, other financial evidence demonstrating the ability of the petitioner(s) to provide for the immigrant as detailed in the I-864 instructions.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*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.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. 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 a Visa to Travel to Uganda
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may 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 affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Uganda, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. 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 enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Uganda, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

Once the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents must register the adoption with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in Kampala. URSB informs the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the adoption. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will maintain the adopted child's records, which will remain available to the child.

Almost all High Court judges will include provisions in the legal guardianship ruling that the child will retain Ugandan citizenship until age 18 and that post-placement reports are filed with the Ugandan authorities annually. Some judges include additional requirements such as requiring the adoptive family to bring the child back to Uganda every five years until the child is 18 and/or that the child must retain his/her Ugandan name until age 18. 

We strongly urge you to comply with Uganda’s 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 positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

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

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Uganda
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 7007, Kampala
Uganda
Telephone: 256 414 306 001
Email: KampalaAdoptions@state.gov
Website: kampala.usembassy.gov/

Uganda’s Adoption Authority
The Department of Youth and Child Affairs
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Simbamanyo House, Plot 2
Lumumba Avenue
Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: 256-413-478-545
Fax: 256-41-256-374
E-mail: ps@mglsd.go.ug
Website: mglsd.go.ug/

Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
Plot 5 George Street, Georgian House
P.O. Box 6848
Kampala, Uganda
URSB General Line: 256-414-233-219
Registrar General: 
256-414-235-915
Fax:
 256-414-250-712
Email: ursb@ursb.go.ug
Website: http://www.ursb.go.ug

Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 16th Street, NW,
Washington DC 20011
Tel: (202) 726-7100
Fax: (202) 726-1727
Email: info@ugandaembassyus.org
Website: ugandaemb.org 

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email: NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov