25 Factors To Consider When Adopting From Uganda
Click on each factor to learn more. Current as of January, 2018. In May 2016, Uganda’s Children Act was amended, requiring perspective adoptive parents to foster their child in Uganda for 12 months, with exceptions made for children with special needs. This information is subject to change; therefore, check with an agency that places from this country for the most current information.
- Families are given guardianship of their child by the court in Uganda, finalize the adoption in their state of residency within a year of returning to the US and then apply for their child’s citizenship.
- The child’s adoption must be registered at the Ugandan Embassy in the US once it is finalized.
- There are particular judges in Uganda who prefer not to grant legal guardianships to families that do not meet the residency requirement. Therefore, there is a risk that legal guardianship for a particular child would not be granted.
- Because children enter the US on an IR-4 visa (Legal Guardianship Process), they do not qualify for automatic citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). Once the adoption is finalized in the US, the child becomes and automatic citizen, but families still have to apply for citizenship through the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Due to allegations of misconduct in Ugandan adoptions, the Department of State requires that a consular officer conduct an orphan investigation (I-604) to verify the child’s orphan status before issuing a visa. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this investigation may take up to one month. If there are any unresolved questions during the investigation, the case if forwarded to USCIS Nairobi for final adjudication, which can take up to an additional 30 days. To avoid these problems, make sure to discus with the adoption agency how they qualify orphan.
- Many orphanages prefer families who are Christian and require a reference from a family’s church or pastor.
- Children 14 years old and up must consent to their own adoptions.
- Uganda prefers families who are currently not taking any psychotropic medications. Families with a history of substance abuse are not accepted.
- The child will retain their Ugandan citizenship until they are 18. Some judges might require that the family bring the child back to Uganda for a visit every five years or that the child retain their Ugandan name until they are 18.
- As of July 2014, the Universal Accreditation Act requires all American adoption agencies, whether they work with Hague countries or not, need to be accredited under the same standards that apply to Hague Convention adoption cases. This has the potential to effect adoptions from Uganda, including kinship and independent adoptions. Listen to this Creating a Family show for more information on how the Universal Accreditation Act will effect international adoptions.
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