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Adopting in Rwanda

Update Regarding Temporary Suspension of New Applications for International Adoptions from Rwanda

Rwanda has temporarily suspended new adoptions, and is in the process of putting in place the structures, mechanisms, and tools necessary to implement the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption.  Adoptions that were filed prior to August 31, 2010, are still being processed normally.  

Quick Checklist for Adopting in Rwanda:

(For more detailed information please review the links above.)

  1. Complete Home Study in the US (not available in Rwanda as of 8/2008).
  2. Send documents to Rwandan Embassy in DC to be verified, send dossier to Rwandan Ministry of Family & Gender (MIGEPROF) to apply for  permission to adopt. 
  3. Once approval is received from MIGEPROF, file an advance I-600A petition to adopt an orphan overseas from your local US Customs and Immigration office (under Department of Homeland Security). See more details at the link above.
  4. Once I-600A approval notice and fingerprint clearances are received from DHS in the US and you are matched with a child, travel to Rwanda.
  5. Take child to local hospital for medical exam, obtain the “Acte d’Adoption” from sector officials, obtain “homologation” (court order) at town court for custody of the child.  (Documentation of orphan status of child is required from police / orphanage officials.) 
  6. Have all documents notarized at the Ministry of Justice for presentation to MIGEPROF and Rwandan Immigration. Obtain “A Qui de Droit” letter from MIGEPROF granting permission for child to leave Rwanda.  Obtain Rwandan passport for the child.
  7. Make an appointment with U.S. Embassy Kigali during American Citizen Services hours with your complete dossier to have your I-600 approved.  (Note: both parents must have signed the completed I-600 and at least one must be physically present - the absent parent should sign before a notary.)
  8. Proceed to the US Embassy in Nairobi or Kenya for the immigrant visa medical exam and interview: 
    • Arrive at US Embassy any day Mon-Thursday at 0800 to pick up visa application forms and schedule an appointment for a medical exam with one of the Embassy panel physicians. 
    • Ensure you have your original citizenship, identity, and adoption documents; passport and photos for the child; home study and recent tax return; and I-604 / I-600 paperwork from Kigali.  Documents should be certified by translator. 
    • Visas should be ready within 5 days if no documents are missing.  Note: Consular Sections close early on Fridays.
  9. Take your adopted child home to the US; if you have seen the child before the adoption and he / she has "IR-3" status, he / she will naturalize at the Point of Entry. If "IR-4" (never seen before the adoption), you will file for citizenship once you are back.