The State Department periodically issues notices to inform agencies and prospective adoptive parents about on-the-ground developments in particular countries.  

A notice last week concerning adoptions in Ethiopia reminds adoptive parents “that before an immigrant visa may be issued to an adopted child, a U.S. consular officer must ensure that the adoption is legal under Ethiopian law and that the child is qualified under U.S. immigration law to immigrate to the United States.”  The notice strongly encourages prospective adoptive parents to work with an adoption service provider rather than attempting to arrange an adoption directly with an orphanage or family member. 

Another notice issued this month cautions American citizens not to initiate adoptions in Kenya at this time, noting that although the country acceded to the the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention in 2007 it does not yet have Hague-compliant procedures in place, and stating that for this reason “the Department of State cannot issue the documentation required for Convention cases to permit issuance of a U.S. immigrant visa for an adopted child.”