Who Can Be Adopted from Burkina Faso

A large family.

Because Burkina Faso is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Burkina Faso must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Burkina Faso have determined that placement of the child within Burkina Faso has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Burkina Faso’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.


Relinquishment: If the child’s biological parents are known, there must be a consent act, a family council report, or a declaration of abandonment.

  • Consent Act: Parents willing to relinquish their rights must introduce a request in court. They must sign a legal act giving their consent for the child to be adopted. In most cases, the child is already in foster care or in an orphanage.
  • Family Council Report: The family council report is issued in cases where a parent is unfit to make decisions regarding his/her child or when the parents are deceased. At least four family members make up the family council. They must go before a court clerk to sign a document stating that they give their consent for the child to be adopted.

Abandonment: Under local law, children can be considered abandoned when they are taken into care by someone else, a private or public institution (nursery or orphanage), and their parents have had no contact for more than a year. A Declaration of Abandonment is confirmed through a home study by the local social action office and the final document granting parental authority is issued in court. In such cases, the parental authority is given to the institution or the person/family that is fostering the child.

Age of Adoptive Child: Under local law, children can be adopted up to age 18. If the adoptive child is aged 15 or older, however, he/she must give his/her personal consent before the adoption can take place. Important Note: U.S. citizens considering adopting a child aged 16 or older should contact the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou prior to initiating the adoption process; U.S. law requires a child to be under the age of 16 at the time the petition is filed to qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa, unless the child is the natural sibling of another child who was adopted by the same parents while under the age of 18.

Sibling Adoptions: Sibling adoptions are encouraged. In the case of twins, sibling twins will be placed with the same adoptive family.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: In the cases of special needs children and those with serious medical conditions, priority is given to parents who are specifically willing and ready to adopt children with the same needs or condition. On the initial application form addressed to the Office of Placements and Adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must specify whether they seek to adopt a child with special needs such as a blind or physically handicapped child.

Waiting Period: It usually takes 12 to 18 months to finalize an adoption from the time the application is received by the Central Authority to the time the final decree is issued. The local social action offices maintain lists of adoptable children from local orphanages and nurseries under their jurisdiction. Home studies are conducted on potentially adoptable children and submitted to the Central Authority only when there is no possibility to adopt locally. The Central Authority matches these cases with prospective adoptive parents. The timing for each child can vary widely.

Foster Care: Adopted children are often placed with host families but can also remain in the public or private institution in which they were placed (nursery, orphanage, etc). Children can be placed in foster families from the time the Central Authority issues the Article 16 Report and has received the prospective adoptive parents’ agreement to proceed with the adoption. The Article 16 Report specifies that medical and maintenance fees will be covered by the prospective adoptive parents. Prospective adoptive parents, or their adoption service provider, may contact the Office of Placements and Adoptions for more information about the child.

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