Adopting from Benin

The official flag.




Quando Market in Porto Novo.

Street scene.

Notice: As of July 14, 2014, all individuals and agencies facilitating international adoptions must be in compliance with the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act.

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

About Benin

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975. To learn more please read About Benin.

Benin Adoption Alert

There have been several adoption alerts for Benin. To learn more please read the Benin Adoption Alert page.

Hague Convention Information

Benin is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the 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).

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of Benin. U.S. citizens adopting children from Benin, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Benin who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of Benin to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.

The type of adoption in Benin that resembles U.S. adoption practice most closely is adoption plenière ("Plenary Adoption"). Adoption pleniere provides the same rights and privileges to an adopted child as biological children of the adopting parent(s). Benin may have particular requirements on the age, marital status and family size for prospective adoptive parents, as well as requirements for which children can be adopted. Prospective adoptive parents should verify these requirements directly with the adoption authority of Benin.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, with the intention of returning for the child when they are able to do so. In such cases, the birth parent(s) rarely would have relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Benin and the U.S. Embassy Cotonou website for information on consular services.

How to Adopt

Adoption Authority


Ministère de la Famille et de la Solidarité Nationale Direction de la Famille de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence (D.F.E.A.) Address: 01 B.P. 2802 Cotonou, Bénin Tel: (229) 21 31 67 07 / 21 31 67 08 / 21 30 03 33 Fax: (229) 21 31 64 62 Email: / Internet: Ministere de la Famille et de la Solidarite Nationale


Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information