Adopting from Sierra Leone

The official flag.




A school in Koindu.

Njama village, Kailahun District.

The road from Kenema to Kailahun District.



Students celebrate the opening of a newly rebuilt school with traditional dancing in Koindu, Kailahun District.

A busy street in Freetown.


Woman and baby in Lunsa.

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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 Sierra Leone

Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about a third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country's stability. To learn more please read About Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Adoption Alert

There have been multiple alerts for Sierra Leone. To learn more please read the Sierra Leone Adoption Alert page.

Hague Convention Information

Sierra Leone is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Sierra Leone did not change.

Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Sierra Leone, you must be found eligible to be an adoptive parent by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more on Who Can Adopt. To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from Sierra Leone.

Who Can Be Adopted

Sierra Leone has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Sierra Leone unless he or she meets multiple requirements. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from Sierra Leone.

How to Adopt

Adoption Authority

Sierra Leone Adoption Authority

Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Sierra Leone 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 the Child in Sierra Leone
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bringing Your Child Home

To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt form Sierra Leone.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Sierra Leone. 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. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Sierra Leone.

After Adoption

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Adoption Services Support Group for Adopting Persons

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy

Consular Section 2160 Freetown Place Washington, DC 20521-2160

International Mailing Address: Consular Section American Embassy P O Box 50 Freetown, Sierra Leone


Consular Section U.S. Embassy Leicester Freetown, Sierra Leone Tel: (232) 22 515 000 or (232) 76 515 000 Fax: (232) 22 515 355 Email: Internet: U.S. Embassy Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's Adoption Authority

Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs New England, Freetown Sierra Leone Tel: (232) 22 241 256

Embassy of Sierra Leone

1701 19th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009 Telephone: (202) 939-9261 Fax: (202) 483-1793

Office of Children's Issues

U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/CI SA-17, 9th Floor Washington, DC 20522-1709 Tel: 1-888-407-4747 E-mail: Internet: U.S. Department of State

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)


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