The State Department Office of Children’s Issues recommends that prospective adoptive parents reconsider plans to adopt in Nigeria. The Department previously issued notices to highlight concerns about practices that may place children and families at risk and result in difficulty immigrating an adopted child to the United States. In addition to these ongoing concerns, the Department has continued to observe evidence of systemic fraud and corruption throughout the country, including organized illegal adoption through imprisonment of pregnant women, coercion, bribery, and child-buying.

Due to systemic fraud, poor record-keeping and unreliable or non-existent documentation of the child’s background and birth parent consent, processing times for adoption cases are significantly delayed. Many adoptees have been found ineligible for an immigrant visa following the denial of the underlying orphan petition (I-600) because the child did not meet the definition of orphan under immigration law. In cases where the immigration petition is denied, even if the adoption is legally completed in Nigeria, Consular Officers in Nigeria will not be able to issue the child a visa to immigrate to the United States.

U.S. Department of State Nigeria Intercountry Adoption Information

Information updated as on June 30th, 2023.