Disclaimer: The following is intended as a very general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child from a foreign country and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of the child’s country of birth govern all activity in that country including the adoptability of individual children as well as the adoption of children in country in general; and 2) U.S. Federal immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States.
The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of a child’s country of birth and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.
PLEASE NOTE: Immigrant visas for adopted Mauritian children are issued at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information on scheduling a visa appointment, please see the immigrant visa page on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/wwwhins1.html.
PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: In the last five fiscal years no immigrant visas have been issued to Mauritian orphans.
ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN MAURITIUS:
National Adoption Council (NAC)
3rd Floor Govt Centre
Tel: (230) 201 3549; fax: 210 8151
Contact: Mrs. Baccha or Mrs. Purryag
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the child. Adoptive parents may be single or married.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no residency requirements to complete an intercountry adoption in Mauritius.
TIME FRAME: The approval of the application takes approximately of 60 days, during which time the NAC checks the biological parents' story about the child, the actual home situation in which the child is living, at times and when necessary gets back to the adoption service provider of the home study of the prospective parents to verify information. There is an additional 15 days needed to complete court procedures for an adoption. If prospective parents are residing outside Mauritius, they may ask to be interviewed by phone, but the Mauritian authorities view this as the exception rather than the rule. Adoptive parents will need to come to Mauritius at the time the adoption is brought before the judge for a decision.
ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS: A lawyer may be needed to expedite matters. The U.S. Embassy in Port Louis has a list of attorneys who have indicated a willingness to work with U.S. citizens that can be made available upon request. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Department of State assumes any responsibility for the quality of services provided by these attorneys or their employees.
Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.-based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and/or the licensing office of the appropriate state government agency in the U.S. state where the agency is located or licensed. Please see Important Notice Regarding Adoption Agents and Facilitators at our Web site travel.state.gov.
ADOPTION FEES IN MAURITIUS: A non-refundable 5,000 Mauritian Rupees (MRs) application fee together with a guarantee fee of MRs 20,000, refundable upon completion of the adoption, must be sent with the application and supporting documents to the NAC.
ADOPTION PROCEDURES: The Mauritian National Adoption Council (see below) does not match adoptable orphans with prospective adoptive parents. Adoptable children are located through personal contacts with families who are unable to care for their child and are willing to give up their child for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to verify ahead of time that their Mauritian prospective adoptive child meets the definition of “legal orphan” as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 101(b)(1)(F). (Please see the flyer “How Can Adopted Children Come to the United States” at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site travel.state.gov for more information on the U.S. immigration definitions of adopted children and orphans.)
The application for adoption is filed with the NAC. Once it is approved, the case is brought before a judge. The judge must approve the adoption. Adoptive parents are advised to consider retaining the services of an attorney to handle the judicial proceedings. Prospective adoptive parents must attend the adoption hearing in Mauritius.
DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAURITIAN ADOPTION:
- An application form for adoption must be filed at the National Adoption Council (NAC), along with the following documents:
- 4 photos of the child duly endorsed by a lawyer (the lawyer confirms the photo is a true photo of the child being adopted);
- Birth certificate of the child;
- 2 comprehensive medical certificates for the child from two different child specialists;
- Birth and marriage certificate(s) of the biological parents(if applicable);
- Divorce decree of the biological parents, if applicable;
- Medical certificate(s) of biological parents, if applicable;
- 2 recent passport size photos of the biological parents;
- Birth certificate(s) of prospective adoptive parents;
- Marriage certificate of prospective adoptive parents, if applicable;
- A home study from an adoption services provider in the United States;
- Documentation of financial means of prospective adoptive parents;
- If applicable, documents of ownership of a house/estate;
- Report of any criminal record from the U.S. (U.S. state level will suffice);
- If either of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to have a child, medical certificate documenting this fact must be submitted;
- Guarantee that in case of an accident, a specified third party will take care of child;
- Progress report of a Mauritian child adopted by applicants, if applicable. Note: This is a one time report if a previous adoption was done for a Mauritian child, and it is to be submitted upon application for the second Mauritian child.
AUTHENTICATING U.S. DOCUMENTS TO BE USED ABROAD: The language describing the process of authenticating U.S. documents to be used abroad is currently under review. Please click on the following link for more information until the new language is finalized: http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/.
MAURITIAN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED STATES:
Embassy of the Republic of Mauritius
4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 441
Washington DC 20008
Tel.: (202) 244-1491/1492
Fax : (202) 966-0983
E-mail: [email protected]
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS
Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adopting Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. The USCIS publication is available at the USCIS Web site. The Department of State publication International Adoption can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site, travel.state.gov, under “International Adoption.”
Before completing an adoption abroad, prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to read the requirements for filing Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. Please see the flyer “How Can Adopted Children Come to the United States” at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site travel.state.gov.
U.S. EMBASSY IN MAURITIUS: Americans living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the country of travel. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Section is located at:
4th floor, Rogers House
John Kennedy Avenue
Port Louis, Mauritius
Email: [email protected]
APPLYING FOR A VISA AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA:
If adoptive parents have an approved I-600A form then they will need to contact Nairobi DHS-USCIS office at 363-6111 schedule an interview to get an approved I-600. After DHS issues the I-600, then adoptive parents can contact the consular section for the visa.
If adoptive parents already have an approved I-600 form, then please contact the consular section at (country code 254) 20-363-6492 to schedule an interview. Parents will need to come in first to pick up a medical exam form that will need to be completed by a physician in Nairobi certified by the embassy to perform exams.
Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.
ACQUIRING U.S. CITIZENSHIP: The language describing the acquisition of U.S. citizenship for adopted children is currently under review. Until the new language is finalized, please click on the following link for further information: ../info/info_457.html.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Specific questions about adoption in Mauritius may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis. Questions about U.S. immigration procedures for adopted Mauritian children should be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.
Useful information is also available from several other sources:
- Toll Free - For information on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction, call Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
- U.S. Department of State Visa Office - recorded information concerning immigrant visas for adopting children, (202) 663-1225.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - recorded information for requesting immigrant visa application forms, 1-800-870-FORM (3676).
- Adoption Information Flyers: The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at: http://travel.state.gov/ contains intercountry adoption information flyers like this one and the International Adoptions brochure.
- Consular Information Sheets: The State Department has general information about hiring a foreign attorney and authenticating documents that may supplement the country-specific information provided in this flyer. In addition, the State Department publishes Consular Information Sheets (CISes) for every country in the world, providing information such as location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, political situations, and crime reports. If the situation in a country poses a specific threat to the safety and security of American citizens that is not addressed in the CIS for that country, the State Department may issue a Public Announcement alerting U.S. citizens to local security situations. If conditions in a country are sufficiently serious, the State Department may issue a Travel Warning recommending that U.S. citizens avoid traveling to that country. These documents are available on the Internet at: http://travel.state.gov/ or by calling the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizen Services Toll Free at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-202-501-4444.
- USCIS web site - http://uscis.gov/.