Central African Republic and the Hague Convention
The Central African Republic 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 the Central African Republic. U.S. citizens adopting children in rare adoption cases from the Central African Republic, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in the Central African Republic, who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of the Central African Republic to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.
There are two types of adoptions in the Central African Republic: simple adoption and plenary adoption (adoption plénière). Plenary adoption severs the familial relationship between the child and the birth parents. This adoption gives the adopted child the same rights as a child born to the adoptive parent. In a simple adoption, the biological parents (if living) retain inheritance rights and other privileges over the child, and must be consulted if the adoptive parents want to change the child's name or make significant changes in the life of the child. A simple adoption does not meet the requirements of U.S. immigration law and therefore cannot be the basis for granting an immigrant visa to an adopted child.
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 the Central African Republic and the U.S. Embassy Bangui’s website for information on consular services.