Mali and the Hague Convention

The landscape.

Mali is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Mali.

Types of adoption in Mali: Malian law distinguishes between two types of adoption. It is imperative that prospective adoptive parents understand this distinction and obtain the correct type of adoption in order for the child to be eligible to immigrate to the United States.

  • Adoption Protection gives the prospective adoptive parent custody over the child and obligates the custodial parent to provide for the child's food, shelter, schooling, and medical needs. In the interest of the child, Adoption Protection can be terminated at any time by the custodial party/parties, the Malian government, or the biological parent(s). Under certain circumstances, Adoption Protection can form the basis to obtain a visa to bring the child to the United States and finalize the adoption in a U.S. state court. Prospective adoptive parents must obtain an attestation from the Direction de l’Enfant et de la Famille verifying that the Adoption Protection was obtained legally in order to secure the release of the child for emigration and adoption. Please consult the U.S. Embassy in Dakar before pursuing the Adoption Protection route for intercountry adoption.

For guidelines on Adoption Filiation, please read the information below.

The Government of Mali gives priority to Malian citizens for adoption of Malian children, but can consider applications from foreigners wishing to adopt Malian children as well.

NOTE: The Malian government has not authorized any U.S. adoption service providers to provide services in Mali.

NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about [ Transition Cases].


To bring an adopted child to the United States from Mali, 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 Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 immigrant visa.

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