Adopting from Kiribati

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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

The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. To learn more please read About Kiribati.

Hague Convention Information

Kiribati 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 Kiribati. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Kiribati should contact the Kiribati High Court to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Kiribati who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact the Kiribati High Court. See contact information below.

There are no adoption agencies or non-government lawyers in Kiribati. Attorneys resident in Suva, Fiji occasionally handle cases in Kiribati.

There are two government lawyers in Kiribati, known as "People's Lawyers," who are on volunteer contracts with the Kiribati government. The People's Lawyer may be contacted at:

Office of the People's Lawyer

Post Office Box 501 Betio, Tarawa Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific Tel: (+686) 26312

Prospective adoptive parents may have to seek the assistance of the People's Lawyer. Alternatively, prospective adoptive parents may seek assistance from the Attorney General's office.

The Attorney General's contact information is:

Office of the Attorney General

Post Office Box 62 Bairiki, Tarawa Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific Tel: (+686) 21242

NOTE: Seek legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General and/or the People's Lawyer well in advance.

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 nearest immigrant visa issuing U.S. embassy is in Suva, Fiji. Once prospective adoptive parents receive the Form I-171 Notice of approval of relative immigrant visa petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the embassy requests that U.S. prospective adoptive parents begin and maintain contact with the Immigrant Visa Unit. Their contact information is: and (679) 331-4466 (telephone) and (679) 330-2267 (fax).

NOTE: The U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji cannot issue visas on the same day of the visa interview. Prospective adoptive parents should expect a minimum of two days for the visa to be issued. U.S. families should make their travel plans accordingly, including allowing for the possibility of computer difficulties or other problems that could potentially further delay visa issuance.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Kiribati and the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji’s website for information on consular services.

Who Can Adopt



Only persons domiciled in Kiribati may adopt Kiribati orphans. Kiribati has no indigenous legislation on adoption. The U.K. Adoption Act of 1958, as modified and applied to meet Kiribati circumstances, governs adoptions in the country.

Adoption Authority


Kiribati High Court Post Office Box 501 Betio, Tarawa Tel: (+686) 26451


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