If you’re thinking of adopting a child, whether as your first child or to extend your existing family, adopting from Africa might be something you’ve considered. Some African American individuals or couples have made the choice to welcome a child into their home and lives forever, and maybe you might follow in their footsteps.
In this article, we’ll give you plenty of information and resources so you can check out whether adopting a child from Africa is a decision you and your family might take.
Why Adopt A Child From Africa
There are so many reasons why adopting a child from Africa could be a good thing.
Of course the obvious one is that you would be able to bring a new member of your family home, and become a parent to a child that needs one. The joys, struggles and deep bond of parenting are too lengthy to talk about here, but that is the first reason most parents are drawn to adoption in the first place.
Secondly, there are many children in Africa that need adopting. Because of the war and disease outbreaks in certain African countries, a lot of children are raised without their birth families, perhaps in orphanages.
Thirdly, some African Americans think it is a perfect way to reestablish a connection with Africa. African Americans finding about their origins is becoming increasingly popular, especially with the rise of DNA testing. Adopting a child from Africa could give you the opportunity to learn more about their country and culture as you go through the adoption process. Plus, many families take regular visits back to the child’s birth country.
Which African Countries You Can Adopt From
There are many African countries that allow inter-country adoptions. Each of them has different criteria for adopters, and has a different adoption process.
Some countries that are popular with adopters are:
- South Africa.
Ethiopia is by far the most popular with adoptive parents from the US.
There used to be more African countries that accepted international adoptions, but due to concerns with the process, some have closed for applications. These include countries like Sierra Leone and Swaziland. Some countries, such as Liberia, have put a moratorium on new cases in place, meaning they may open up in the future.
If you have a particular country in mind, internet research can show you whether or not this country is accepting new applications for inter-country adoption.
Who Can Adopt A Child From Africa
Every country has their own rules on what criteria prospective adopters need to meet. The main criteria they look at are:
- Marital status (though some countries accept single adopters).
- Number of marriages (more than one does not necessarily discount you).
- Financial status.
- Number of children already in the home.
- Health, both physical and mental.
Keep in mind that many countries also expect you to spend time living in the country from which you plan to adopt. This is so that you can understand the country and culture where the child is coming from. Different countries have different stipulations on how long you’ll need to visit. In Uganda, for example, you have to stay for a year or more to be considered eligible to adopt.
Whereas to adopt from Ethiopia, you would need to visit the country twice, but only for a few days at a time. See more about Ethiopia adoption requirements here.
Before you set your heart on any particular country, do your own research to find out if you match the eligibility criteria.