Who Can Be Adopted from Uganda

Woman in Ruwenzori

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Uganda has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

Relinquishment: The consent of both biological parents, if known, must be obtained and may be withdrawn prior to the execution of the adoption order. Under U.S. immigration law, if both biological parents for a child are living, they must independently release their child for adoption and emigration abroad, prior to U.S. prospective adoptive parents being identified. The irrevocable releases must be in writing in English and the biological parents' native language.

Abandonment: The police and Probation and Social Welfare Officers have the authority to certify a child as abandoned.

Age of Adoptive Child: Children who are 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption. Adoptive parents must be at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted. Uganda does not have an upper age limit for adoption.

Sibling Adoptions: Sibling adoptions are possible and do not have any unique requirements.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Ugandan law requires adoptive parents to have been resident in Uganda for at least three years and to have fostered the child for at least 36 months under the supervision of a probation and social welfare officer. High court judges have the discretion to waive these requirements.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children's homes are adoptable. In many countries, including Uganda, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children's home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)'s adoption.

Additionally, many birth parents agree to intercountry adoption without fully understanding its ramifications. They often believe the child(ren) will return to Uganda and to their birth families at age 18.

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