The D.R. Congo has endured more than a decade of constant war and horrific internal violence.
It is currently described as the second poorest nation on earth. Sexual violence, starvation,
and disease are rampant.
DR Congo adoption program is a newer program for ABI and
things are progressing quickly and
smoothly. Even though this program is relatively new to ABI, our counterparts in Congo have
been processing adoptions for over 5 years (approximately 120 cases) and are very
familiar with the process. Children have already come home!
The children who are a part of our
Congo adoption program
are usually healthy by third world standards meaning
they may have moderate to severe malnutrition, parasites, and a history of malaria and/or typhoid
fever, but generally do not have diagnosed special needs. Unfortunately, there is little to no
access to specialized health providers that allow for accurate assessment of the child’s physical
and developmental status, so families must be open to what may come.
Please visit our waiting children on our
All of our children whom we place live in foster care during the Congolese legal process
and U.S. Immigrations process.
Prior to being placed in foster care, the children may have been abandoned and living
on the street for a period of time, or they could have been taken immediately to an
orphanage. Generally, when a child arrives at an orphanage that we partner with and
is determined to be eligible for adoption, the child is immediately moved to foster
care. Once in foster care, we have the child taken to the doctor to get them any
treatment needed if they are sick. We also run a standard panel of tests for
HIV, Hep B/C, typhoid fever, and malaria.
We allow only minimal child preference requests. Families may not request a
particular gender unless they are already “gender heavy” in one direction and want
to request the opposite gender (i.e. 2 girls at home and requesting a boy).
All families need to be open to a child up to 2 years in age as we cannot accept
infant only requests at this time. For children older than 2 years, families may
request an age span that they would like to adopt. We request the age span be at least
2 years and may be larger (i.e. 3 - 5 years or 2 - 6 years).
Families meeting the following criteria may be suitable to
adopt from the D.R. Congo
- RESIDENCY: No requirements.
- AGE OF ADOPTING PARENTS: Prospective adoptive parents
must be at least 15 years older than the intended adoptee. This “15-year rule”
may be waived if the adoptee is a biological child of one of the parents.
There is no maximum age limit for adopting parents.
- CHILDREN IN THE HOME: Families may have any number of biological
children and/or children adopted from other nations in the home. Families may
not adopt more than three children from the D.R. Congo.
- MARRIAGE: Adopting parents may be married, single, widowed or divorced.
Persons in the last three groups may not adopt a child of the opposite sex
unless the court grants an exemption. Couples should have been married for
at least five years.
- INCOME: No requirements. (USCIS requires that
income must be 125% above poverty level, based on household size)
- TRAVEL: As of August 2013, the Congolese government is
requiring both parents to travel to Congo. After the issuance of the child's Visa,
both parents must travel to Congo for approximately 3 to 4 weeks to get an exit
letter from the Congolese government and bring home their adopted child.
- OTHER: Gays and lesbians or same-sex couples are not permitted to adopt by the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. Any person who has a prior history of child abuse is also not
permitted to adopt. No couple may adopt more than three children from Congo unless
a subsequent prospective adoptee is the biological child of one of the parents.
No adoptive parent may marry the adopted child. There is no medical ineligibility
for adoptive parents.
Please note that exceptions to these requirements have been made by Congolese officials, however All Blessings
cannot guarantee or authorize any exception to these requirements or any other requirement that
may be put in place in the future by the Congolese government at their sole discretion. If you
do not meet one of these criteria, you are welcome to contact ABI to discuss further.
We will provide you with the information available to us so you can make the best
decision for your family.
A typical timeline for an adoption from the DR Congo might progress as follows:
- From completion of a family's adoption dossier to referral: 0-6 months
- From referral to issuance of Congolese Adoption Decree: 3-6 months
- From Adoption Decree to travel to the DRC: 3-9 months
- From travel to return to the U.S.: 3–4 weeks
Please note these are only estimates to help you with your planning.
Congo is a third world country and travel by at least by both adoptive parents is required for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. For information on Congo,
please visit the Department of State's website