How to Adopt a Child From Haiti

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with approximately 10,000 children living on the streets of Port-au-Prince and another 200,000 children living in orphanages throughout the country. Although the need is great, the adoption process from Haiti can be long and arduous.

Children, ranging from infants to school-age children, are available for adoption. In most cases the adoption process from Haiti takes two to thee years. The detailed list below should help you get through the adoption process as smoothly as possible.

  1. Compile a complete dossier about yourself and your family. The dossier should include a statement of intent explaining why you want to adopt, reference letters, financial statements and photographs of yourself and family members.
  2. Locate a child you want to adopt. You can either hire a reputable adoption agency or you can find a child by contacting orphanages in Haiti.
  3. Contact the justice of the peace in the child's jurisdiction and obtain a release from the child's parent or legal guardian. Include the release in your dossier.
  4. Submit the complete dossier to the Institut du Bien-ĂȘtre Social et de Recherches in Haiti, the authority responsible for adoptions from Haiti. Be prepared to wait up to 20 months for approval. The length of waiting time varies due to legal and political problems.
  5. Receive an Authorization of Adoption. You will receive this once your adoption application has been approved.
  6. Travel to Haiti and present yourself and the Authorization of Adoption to the court in the jurisdiction in which the child lives. The court will finalize the adoption and give you an Adoption Act. You can have a representative take of this.
  7. Apply for a Haitian passport for your new child, to enable him/her to leave Haiti and enter the United States.
  8. Apply to the United States Embassy for an immigrant visa for the child. Bring the child's new passport, birth certificate, Authorization of Adoption, Act of Adoption and two photographs with you to the interview. Once the child receives the immigrant visa, you'll be on your way.

[sources: Child Found, Haiti Adoptions]