Adopting from Gabon
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El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009) following independence from France in 1960. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in December 2002 and the presidential elections in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, new elections brought Ali BONGO Ondimba, son of the former president, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.
Hague Convention Information
Gabon 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).
Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of Gabon. U.S. citizens adopting children in rare adoption cases from Gabon, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Gabon who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of Gabon to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.
Potential adoptive parents begin the process by sending a letter to the Ministry of Social Affairs explaining why they would like to adopt and providing a description of a child they are seeking to adopt. Preferably, the potential adoptive parents reside in Gabon. If not, they will need to travel to Gabon to meet the child. The potential adoptive parents can spend time with the child on weekends and school holidays. After the police have approved the parents and the social worker has determined that the potential adoptive parents and the child have developed a strong relationship, the court can finalize the adoption.
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, 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.
THE GABONESE REPUBLIC'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministère de la Famille et des Affaires Sociales B.P. 50, Libreville Phone +241 76 35 90
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=gabon