Botswana and the Hague Convention

The official flag.

Botswana 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).

NOTE: The Ministry of Local Government maintains a list of families (currently over 200 families, both citizens and foreigners) who wish to adopt children. Currently, this list is much longer than the number of available children and families can wait many months or years before being matched.

Prospective adoptive parents must foster a prospective adoptive child for a period of six months in Botswana before they may conclude a full and final adoption. Once a child is legally adopted in Botswana, the adoptive parents must remain in Botswana with the child for a period of 12 months before they can legally remove the child to a different country. The Ministry of Local Government will grant exceptions in cases where there is a compelling reason (such as employment or schooling) for the adoptive family to depart Botswana. This legal requirement makes intercountry adoptions from Botswana extremely difficult for anyone other than long term residents. In traditional Setswana culture, adoption is neither common nor a preferred option for orphans or abandoned children. Extended families usually assume the role left to the state in many other countries. The Government of Botswana does not prefer these unofficial arrangements, and is currently re-writing the Adoption Act of 1952 in order to implement clear and compulsory legal procedures for custody, guardianship, and adoption of minors.


To bring an adopted child to the United States from Botswana, 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 orphan under U.S. law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Back to Adopting from Botswana