Democratic Republic of Congo Adoption Information
Adoptions from Democratic Republic of Congo are currently CLOSED.
See our CURRENT PROGRAMS page for open programs.
Process of Adopting from Democratic Republic of Congo
As with all of our adoption programs, you must first participate in a general information meeting prior to contracting with the agency. This can be done via telephone for families who reside outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Once this meeting has taken place, and you have signed the contracts and paid the initial agency fees, we immediately begin working on your home study, foreign dossier, and USCIS approval. Our agency strives to offer the fullest level of support and services possible – even sending for apostilles and document authentications on your behalf in order to complete your adoption dossier in the quickest manner possible. While there are many aspects outside of our control with adoption and foreign adoptions in particular, we have found during our years of experience that our hard work on things we can control – paperwork, preparing and authenticating dossiers, etc. – usually quickens your overall adoption process.
After your home study has been completed and approved and you are waiting to receive USCIS approval, we begin work on your dossier. Once you have an approved I600a and your dossier has been completed, we will forward the documents to our foreign coordinator who will work on translating the dossier and then submit it to Ministry of Social Affairs in DRC. At this point you are ready to receive referral information about a child who is available for international adoption from the Ministry of Social Affairs in DRC. You will receive all referral information, translated into English, made available to us (usually at least a picture and information about the child’s medical and physical condition, along with any known social information). We will require you to have the information evaluated by a doctor skilled in evaluating international adoption referrals. You will also be given the un-translated documents so you can obtain your own translation if you desire. Once your doctor has given you their evaluation of the child’s referral information you will notify us if you are comfortable proceeding with an adoption of this particular child. Barring extenuating circumstances based on the child’s need for a more immediate response, you will have at least two weeks to consider the referral information.
Once you are comfortable proceeding, the coordinator will submit for approval of your “match” with this child from the Ministry of Social Affairs. Once the Ministry of Social affairs gives consent to your “match” then the child can be moved to private foster care if you choose. You can also decide if you plan to travel to visit the child before the adoption court hearing; you choose the timing and if you are willing to make two trips. It is required that you appear in person for the final approval in DRC. Hope International will assist you with travel arrangements (if needed) and with preparing for your trip to DRC. You will need a Visa to enter DRC, the Yellow Fever vaccine is required by DRC, and there are other immunization shots recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
Following the match you will wait for the paperwork to clear the appropriate governmental departments – Justice, Foreign affairs and Gender, Families and Children. It is important that you understand and respect that foreign governments take the question of international adoption very seriously, and there are many steps involved before you can bring your child home. After court approval of the adoption, the foreign representative will be working to obtain the following for your child: adoption certificate, a new birth certificate, a medical examination, Congolese passport. You must then file the I600 either in Congo or in the US to receive a visa to enter the US. The US Embassy staff will do a thorough investigation that could potentially take 3-6 months. After your child receives their US Visa the Congolese Immigration services (DGM) must issue an approval letter. Currently the DGM requires at least one of the parents to attend this exit interview at the DGM. As your agency, we know the wait can be frustrating and stressful, and we are here to support you through this time. You will be notified as soon as you can make plans to travel to DRC to bring your child home.
Upon Returning Home
When you return home, and for the first six months following placement, Hope International or your home study agency will provide post adoption supervision as required by the State of Texas and/or your state of residence. Hope International or your home study agency will prepare these reports and forward them to DRC. At the completion of the initial six-month post adoption period, you will be ready to proceed with your Registration of Foreign Decree or Re-adoption. Hope International will help facilitate this process for Texas families. If you reside outside of Texas, we recommend that you contact a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) regarding the completion of a registration of re-adoption in your state.
Qualifications for Adopting from Democratic Republic of Congo
- There must be a difference of at least 15 years between the adopting parent(s) and child.
- DRC law does not specify a maximum age for adopting parents.
- Marriage Requirement: Adopting parents may be married, single, widowed or divorced. Persons in these 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. A waiver can be requested but may not be granted.
- Children of any age are eligible for adoption in DRC. Please note that a child must be under the age of 16 in order to qualify for an U.S. immigrant visa.
- No couple may adopt more than three children unless a subsequent prospective adoptee is the biological child of one of the parents. Parents may not already have more than two children in their home when they adopt.