Child Adoption Process In Uganda
Adoption is the action or fact of legally taking another’s child and bringing it up as one’s own, or the fact of being adopted.
Child Adoption Process In Uganda
Uganda’s Adoption Authority
The Department of Youth and Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development is the body charged with overseeing inter-country adoptions. Legal guardianship or adoption orders can only be granted by the High Court.
Uganda’s Children Act is the legislation governing all aspects of the fostering, legal guardianship, and adoption process.
The process for adopting a child from Uganda generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an adoption service provider
- Apply to be found eligible to adopt
- Be matched with a child
- Adopt or obtain custody of the child in Uganda
- Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
- Bring your child home
1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
The recommended first step in adopting a child from Uganda is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.
Uganda does not authorize specific adoption service providers (ASPs) for the purposes of intercountry adoption. U.S. ASPs are able to operate in Uganda without formal approval by the Government of Uganda. Adoptive parents should be advised however that very few have permanent staff in country rather they partner with one or more local orphanages and/or lawyers.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
In order to adopt a child from Uganda, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Uganda and U.S. immigration law. You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt, as part of the petition filed for to adopt, with the High Court of Uganda.
The eligibility of prospective adoptive parents is evaluated as part of the adoption process through the High Court of Uganda. Please read section 4 for more information about filing a petition to adopt with the High Court.
To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you should file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.
Please note that the Ugandan regulations require prospective adoptive parents to present evidence of approval by their country of nationality to adopt as part of their petition to adopt with the High Court. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents should ensure they have received their I-600A approval notice before filing with the High Court.
3. Be Matched with a Child:
If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, your adoption service provider, the central adoption authority or another authorized entity in Uganda will provide you with a referral. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Uganda’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.
4. Adopt or Obtain Legal Custody of Child in Uganda
The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtain legal custody) in Uganda generally includes the following:
Role of Adoption Authority: The Department of Youth and Child Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, Labour, and Social Development oversees Probation and Social Welfare Officers.
Probation and Social Welfare Officers monitor and record the progress of the adoptive family during the 36-month fostering period.
When exceptions to the fostering/residency requirement are made, they assess whether the intercountry adoption is a suitable option for the child. Prospective adoptive parents work with the Probation and Social Welfare Officers in the region where the child resides.
How long is the adoption process from application to referral?
Depending on the gender and age of the child desired, generally referrals are made within 8-9 months of application.