Final Documents for Adoption from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Once your adoption is complete, you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States.
Birth Certificate If you have finalized the adoption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
Congolese birth certificates may be obtained at the commune where the child was born. The price for Congolese birth certificates can range from $20 to $50 and takes up to five days to issue. The child may retain his or her own name; however, if the adoptive family wishes the child to acquire their name, the change can be ordered in the court’s Jugement d'Adoption. The Jugement can be provided to the commune as a basis for adoptive parents or their representative to seek an amended birth certificate.
Adoptive parents are advised that the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa does not accept Attestation de Naissance documents for immigration purposes because the Attestation de Naissance is a report of birth used for administrative purposes. It has no juridical value and is only valid for three months. Adoptive parents, their local agency representatives, or their local attorneys should make sure they acquire one of the following accepted civil documents as proof of the adopted child’s birth:
The birth certificate (Acte de Naissance) or an official copy (Copie Integrale d’Acte de Naissance): Birth registrations that must be issued within 90 days of the birth and which remain valid for the child’s lifetime.
If the Acte de Naissance was not issued within 90 days of the child’s birth, the applicant needs to get a Jugement Supplétif from the court having jurisdiction over the child’s place of residence. The Jugement will help the applicant obtain a valid birth certificate.
The replacement birth document (Extrait d'Acte de Naissance), which is issued when an Acte de Naissance was lost or stolen.
If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.
Congolese Passport Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Adoptive parents or their lawyers should go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to apply for a Congolese passport for the adoptive child. The application and passport cost approximately $170 dollars. Passport issuance takes approximately two weeks.
U.S. Immigrant Visa After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.
The U.S. Embassy Kinshasa’s Consular Section schedules all interviews for adoption cases only after the required investigation into the child’s orphan status has been completed. If the Form I-600 was filed in the United States or with a USCIS office overseas, the Consular Section will conduct a field investigation to verify the child’s orphan status under U.S. immigration law following receipt of the approved Form I-600 petition. If the Form I-600 petition was filed at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, the Consular Section will conduct an investigation to verify the child’s orphan status under U.S. immigration law upon receipt of the Form I-600 petition and all supporting documents. Please note that these investigations take approximately three to six months to complete, or longer if children come from an area experiencing civil unrest where the security situation impacts the travel of Embassy staff, or if the investigation uncovers facts that require additional inquiries.
The Consular Section will contact the petitioner, and his or her designated representative, to schedule the visa interview once the required investigation is complete. Interviews are held on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.
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