All Blessings' D.R. Congo Program is temporarily on hold. New applications are not being accepted at this time.
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.
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: According to DRC law, a waiver is required for any family with more than 2 children already in the home. Families may not adopt more than three children from the D.R. Congo.
- MARRIAGE: Adopting parents must be married. Single applicants are not accepted for this program. 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 both adoptive parents is required for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. For information on Congo, please visit the Department of State's website