Below are some of the questions that we have been asked by people considering adoption. If you have a question that isn’t answered here or would like more information about adoption, please call Pamela on 0776110304 or email email@example.com.
What is adoption?
Adoption is the act of taking somebody else’s child into ones family and become the new legal parent(s). The former biological parents lose all their rights and obligations concerning the child.
Adoption of a child should be based on the best interest of the child. The legal framework is laid out in Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Why should I consider formally adopting?
Full legal adoption has a range of advantages:
- Your child has full legal rights within your family
- The child is safe and secure in your care
- The status of the child as your son/daughter is protected for the long term
How do I know the child is available for adoption?
When a child is admitted to an approved babies’ home, it is the statutory duty of the Probation Officer or social worker to carry out extensive tracing to try and find any relatives who could provide a safe and secure home for the child. Social workers conduct investigations in the community where the child was abandoned and place newspaper and radio adverts within 48 hours of admission.
If no relatives come forward in 6 months, the child is approved by the National Adoption Panel and matched with an approved adoptive family.
Am I eligible to adopt?
You can adopt if you are:
- A Ugandan citizen
- A non-national with proof of residence in Uganda and willing to stay for at least 1 year to foster the child until an adoption order is obtained.
- 25 years or older, and at least 21 years older than the child you wish to adopt
- Married or single (except, single applicants can only adopt children of the same sex as themselves, by law)
- Willing to undergo assessment by a Social Worker and Probation Officer
- Able to meet the needs of a child
- Adoptive parents need to be in good health and willing to undertake a medical assessment.
How much does it cost to adopt a child?
Ugandans Adopt does not charge any fees for processing the adoption.
I am a single parent, can I adopt?
Yes. The regulations on adoption in Uganda allow both joint and sole applications for adoption.
Can I choose my child?
You will be asked if there is a particular age and sex of child that you feel would fit best in to your family. After your social worker finalises your assessment, their recommendation and your preference(s) will determine the child(ren) you will be matched with.
What does the adoption process involve?
If you are interested in adopting, please get in touch with the Ugandans Adopt Team who will send you an ‘expression of interest’ form for you to complete. A social worker will undertake an assessment. This assessment will take 3-6 months and will involve 4-9 home visits to write an in-depth assessment on you and your family, your reasons for adoption, ascertain you can financially provide for a child.
You will also need to provide:
- Three references
- A health assessment
- Local Council (LC) letter of recommendation and proof of residence
- Completed Foster Parent’s Case Record (Form 3) completed by Probation Officer
The stages of the adoption process include:
- 2-5 interviews with you and your husband/wife, separately and together, and any children and other adults living in the household
- References and interviews with three referees
- a one-day preparation course
- a second opinion visit from another social worker
- presentation of your application to the National Adoption Panel who make the final decision about your application
Once these stages have been satisfactorily completed, you will be ready to receive your child. This may happen quickly or you may need to wait a few weeks, or even months, for an available child to be matched with your family.
What are the requirements for the National Adoption Panel?
As you go to attend the Panel, you will need the following documents prepared in advance:
What do I need to obtain a Court Adoption Order?
As soon as the one-year fostering period has passed, parents can file immediately and secure a court date for hearing their application for an Adoption Order. Local adoptive parents attend a Chief Magistrates’ court while Non-national adoptive parents attend the High Court. It is discretionary that a social worker or Probation Officer accompanies the applicant.
Non-national adoptive parents will need to secure a new letter of good conduct from Interpol (Letter valid only for 6 months). All paperwork for court needs to be copied 4 times (originals for judge, copies for lawyer, government archives and parents).
Other paperwork to attach to the adoption application by both national and non-national adoptive parents include all the required court paperwork received by the adoptive parent from the organization/agency during placement of the child;
Documents provided by adoption agency/organisation placing the child
and those that should be obtained by the adoptive parent(s) listed below:
How do I obtain a short Birth Certificate?
Obtain a National Identity and Registration Authority (NIRA) form to comply with The Registration of Persons (births and deaths) Regulations, 2015. This form can be picked from the KCCA office from the applicants division, which is the same office as where the Probation Officer is located.
The NIRA form needs to be filled in by the Officer in Charge of the Police Station where the abandoned child was reported. The NIRA Form needs the accompanying paperwork, as follows:
- A copy of the ID of the police officer who competes the form/declares the child’s birth
- A copy of the police report of the abandoned child
- A copy of the Foster Care order
- A passport photo of the child.
The NIRA form and paperwork are to be submitted to the KCCA Division Office who will produce a short birth certificate.
How do I obtain a letter of good conduct from Interpol?
Non-national adoptive parents living in Uganda must secure a letter of good conduct from Interpol for the adoption assessment and to secure an adoption order. Interpol letters must be in date and are only valid for 6 months.
To obtain the letter, go to Interpol offices (Plot 12 Mabua Road, Kololo) with a copy of your passports and 2 x passport photos. Collect pay slips from Room 5 and pay at Stanbic Bank (Forest Mall Branch, Lugogo, Kampala).
Return to the Interpol office and hand in proof of payment. The administration fee is UGX 3000 and you should receive a receipt. Interpol will take your finger prints and write a letter of application. The process to get a certificate of good conduct will take 4-5 working days.
The costs are (at the time of writing):
UGX 51,300 for the certificate
UGX 10,300 for the finger printing
For further information visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/security/police-cert/africa/uganda.asp
Why is the Ugandans Adopt process so detailed?
Children placed for adoption are amongst the most vulnerable in Uganda. We need to be sure that the families who wish to adopt such children are ready and able to meet their needs and understand that these children may suffer from insecurities that affect their behaviour at different stages of their childhood. When you successfully go through the process with us, you will have:
- The certainty that you are working with an organisation that implements best practice, working within current Ugandan legislation on adoption and the United Nations’ International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The knowledge that our comprehensive tracing and background research on abandoned babies is effective in more than 60% of cases in finding the child’s own birth family and resettling the child in it. This will reduce your worry that the child you are hoping to adopt may be taken away during the fostering period when the birth family can claim their child.
- A child who has been specially matched to you and your family and about whom you are given as much information as we have.
- Support from our social workers throughout the assessment, placement and fostering stages.
- Contact and support, if you want it, with other adoptive parents.
What are the Dos and Don’ts of adoption?
- Be honest with your social worker about your own and your family’s circumstances.
- Be patient; a social worker will need to meet you a minimum of 4 times in the period between your expression of interest and your approval at the National Adoption Panel, and this may take several weeks or a few months.
- Be available for the social worker; they work a full week and will not be able to fit all your appointments in at weekends.
- Understand that your social worker will have to ask personal questions about your background, financial circumstances and health – all information is held in strictest confidence.
- Understand that the more flexible you are regarding the gender and age of your child the quicker and more likely will it be for a child to be placed with you after you have been approved.
- Consider whether you could offer a home to a child with health or developmental problems.
- Be put off by the adoption assessment process described above; we will work with you to make it as straightforward as we can.
- Be put off by the process for obtaining the necessary documents from officials.
- Expect an instant addition to your family but work with the social worker to make this happen as quickly as it can.
- Hesitate to ask your social worker about anything that is of concern: they are there to help and support you. They can also put you in touch with other people who have successfully completed the process and have a new child in their family, for mentorship and experience sharing.
Should children be told they have been adopted?
Once your child is secure in your care, you should let them know they have been adopted into your family. You may wish to talk through some of the issues around their particular background if this is appropriate.
Tackling the issues can seem daunting but it is better that the child grows up regarding adoption as an act of love than is told by someone else when it may come as a greater shock. Your social worker can help and advise you on the best ways to talk to your child about their origins and help them understand what adoption means.
I want to adopt. What next?
If you are considering adopting a child you may find it useful to look through the information below. We would be very happy to answer any further questions you may have. Please call Pam on +256 76110304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.