On March 2, 2016, the Parliament of Uganda unexpectedly passed the 2015 Children’s Act Amendment Bill. The bill is now pending President Museveni’s approval prior to becoming law. Some drafts of this Bill contained significant changes to legal guardianship laws concerning intercountry adoption. The Department of State has issued the following notice and will continue to issue updates as more information is obtained. Program Coordinator Allie Hamel spent time in-country immediately following the Parliamentary vote, and continues to gather the most recent updates from contacts in-country. She is happy to speak with families about adopting from Uganda!
Uganda Adoption Overview
Uganda Program Sheet
Program Coordinator: Allie Hamel
Children Available: 6 months-7 years old at time of referral
Parent Requirements: 25 to 55 years old. 55 and over considered on a case-by-case basis. Couples married at least 2 years or single women. Orphanages and the court require a religious statement and a referral from the family’s place of worship.
Travel Requirements: One trip to Uganda, at least 6 to 12 weeks long. In some cases it may be possible to make two trips – the first 2-3 weeks long and the second 1-2 weeks long. This depends on the policies in place at your child’s baby home.
Adoption Timeline: 6 to 12+ months from dossier submission to referral of a child. Approximately 6 months from referral to travel dates.
More Details: Uganda Adoption with Carolina Adoption Services
Eligibility Guidelines for Uganda Adoption
Married couples and single women, aged 25-55 years old, are eligible to adopt from Uganda. Couples must be married at least 2 years. There must be at least a 21-year age difference between the parent(s) and child. Families must be practicing Christians and a church reference is required by Ugandan baby homes and the court.
Our Uganda Adoption Program & Process
Allie Hamel is the Uganda Program Coordinator at Carolina Adoption Services. She will help you complete your adoption dossier. This paperwork is for the adoption attorney, the orphanage and the Ugandan Government.
Carolina Adoption Services works directly with partner orphanages in Uganda. We continue to develop adoption partnerships and Orphan Care initiatives in Uganda with individual baby homes. The baby homes care for babies and children of all ages and provide basic medical care and schooling. Waiting Children
may sometimes be available.
Dossiers are reviewed in the order they are submitted. The wait for an adoption match may be 6 to 12+ months depending on the children available and your preferences for a match. Once you accept your match, paperwork is sent to the adoption attorney in Uganda.
Uganda Adoption Travel
Families adopting in Uganda should prepare for one trip to the country, at least 10 to 12 weeks long. Families may have the option of making two shorter trips. This will depend on the requirements of your child’s orphanage. During your trip to Uganda you will meet your child, attend court, and spend time bonding with your child.
The goal of our staff in both the United States and Uganda is to make your trip as smooth as possible so you may enjoy the time with your child and enjoy learning about their home country.
Before you leave, your Program Coordinator at Carolina Adoption Services will educate and prepare you for every step of your adoption travel in Uganda.
While in Uganda, you will be in the caring hands of a local guide, who is available to assist you with any needs. Carolina Adoption Services recommends that you stay close to the orphanage. Some of our partner homes have guest houses on-site or nearby where families are encouraged to stay. Doing so affords you a wonderful opportunity to gain a first-hand experience of the Ugandan culture and to see what life is like for children at the orphanage.
Uganda Adoption Legal Process
Carolina Adoption Services works with a respected Ugandan adoption attorney who will guide you through the court proceedings and other legal processes.
After a court decision is reached, you will obtain legal guardianship, then apply for and receive your child’s visa. Legal guardianship provides legal authority to care for your child. When you return home to the United States, you will be able to finalize the adoption in your state of residency and then apply for your child’s citizenship. Carolina Adoption Services is available to assist families living in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia with the finalization process. US Citizens living abroad must plan an immediate trip to the US to finalize their adoption and apply for their child’s citizenship.
Uganda Adoption: The Country
The Republic of Uganda is a country in East Africa bordered by the nations of Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital city of Kampala is a port on Lake Victoria, one of the three largest freshwater lakes in the world, and the largest in Africa.
Uganda is a unique and special country for wildlife, attracting tourists from around the world to its national parks. Endangered mountain gorillas, elephants, lions and chimpanzees are among the special wild species here that not just Ugandans, but also the United Nations are working to protect.
The Republic of Uganda established its independence from Great Britain in 1962. There are more than 2 million orphans in Uganda, the highest number of any country in the world.
Ugandans have a varied ethnic background, though a large majority (84%) are Christians. English is one of two official languages (Swahili is the other) and is used in courts and taught in schools.