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Program Highlights


Children Available

In Uganda children available are infants, toddlers and children up to 15 years of age.
Both boys and girls are available for intercountry adoption. Sibling groups and older children are always available. Relatively healthy and special needs children are ready for adoption in Uganda.
Families can select unrelated children in an Ugandan legal guardianship, however, those guardianships can become complicated with different timelines, and different court dockets happening on each case, which could cause delays.

Adoptive Parent Criteria


Single adoptive Parents must be at least 25-years-old. Uganda requires a 21 year difference in parent and child for a Ugandan Adoption. Single women and Married Couples are allowed to adopt. Couples preferred to be married for a minimum of 1 year at the time of dossier submission. Adoptive Parents must be in good health and be able to show sufficient income to parent the child. There are no restrictions regarding the number of other children in the home to adopt from Uganda.
After the dossier is submitted, families wait up to 9 months for the adoption or guardianship process to be completed.

Wait times in the Ugandan program are fluid and determined by many factors: (no true discernible pattern can be noticed yet in this program because each case has unique factors in the timelines):

  • Age of Child Requested
  • Gender of Child Requested
  • Number of Children Requested
  • Child's Medical Exams
  • Unrelated Siblings Cases
  • Special and Medical Needs the Family Will Accept
  • Homestudy completion
  • Orphanage/Attorney Legal Paperwork
  • Cooperation of the local officials
  • Biological family ability to make appointments
  • Region the child lives in
  • Background of the child
  • Political upheaval
  • High Court Judge assignment



Wait time for referrals is usually short in this program if requesting a child 3 and up. Wait time depends on age of the child to be adopted. 0-6 months is a typical time frame for a child referral. Families will be matched to a child available for adoption, and will receive pictures and medical information on that child. Children have brief medicals and social history if known. Typical delays seen with orphans are expected, however, with the state of economy the children are undernourished, some have parasites and other treatable conditions and children usually go without proper medical care typically prior to arrival at the orphanage. Families are given the option to accept the child referral they receive. You will be given two weeks in which to accept the referral.


Legal Guardianship and Adoption in Uganda

Once a family has been aproved to adopt on the US side, and their dossier of paperwork is submitted to the legal counsel in Uganda, the time fram varies depending on the age, social background and location of the child the family wants to adopt.

There are two different ways to adopt in Uganda. A family can go through an adoption process in Uganda in which they must reside in Uganda for 3 years before adopting a child. There is another process in which a family is granted legal guardianship of a child to the adoptive parent through the high courts of Uganda, allowing the full adoption to be completed within the United States under the family's home state laws

Almost all families seeking to adopt in Uganda are going through the legal guardianship process which grants parents the guardianship and custody of the child. Parents will return home and do a complete US re-adoption process in their state of residency. The success of the adoption process on a legal guardianship is dependent on the Courts of Uganda and the US Consulate providing an exit visa. In the past there were some delays in the process of visa issuance, however, things seem to be ironed out and guardianship rulings have been going smooth through the exit visa at the US Embassy



Both parents or single parent must travel and attend court, however it is possible for only one parent remain in country while one returns to the US after the court is conducted. Both parents must attend court hearing together. Parents must arrive 2 weeks ahead of court to start the bond with the children. Judges are becoming more concerned about families not properly bonding and are delaying decisions based on the proper time to bond with the child. Families are currently spending 4-8 weeks in-country to complete the legal guardianship. Two shorter trips are also possible. Please know that in the past families under some circumstances have been given little advanced notice of travel. Families must be completely flexible with travel plans, they must possess adventurous spirits and go with the ability to spend plenty of time in Uganda to process their legal guardianship.



The dossier guide you will be given will give you detailed instructions as to what documents are necessary to adopt in Uganda. The entire documentation process takes a few months after you are accepted into the program. Once you have immigration approval and your dossier is done, and you have selected a referral, your dossier will go through the legal channels in Uganda.


After Returning Home

Children entering on an IR-4 visa (Legal Guardianship Process), are entering as permanent residents and do not qualify for automatic citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). These families are required to finalize their adoption (re-adoption) in the court in their State or county of residence. Through the finalization process, your child becomes an automatic citizen. Although the child will be a US citizen after the adoption is finalized, you will not receive a Certificate of Citizenship unless you apply for citizenship through US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) by filing the N-600 form and will require re-adoption. You can apply for a US passport after the finalization without filing the N-600. However, families should do both. USCIS issues the Certificate of Citizenship. The US State Department issues the US passport. As separate entities, each group has its own mission and enforcement powers. USCIS is the group that declares your child to be a citizen and the Certificate of Citizenship is proof that the child’s status is changed to citizen in the USCIS database. In this day and age.



Adoptions Forever
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