Nigeria Adoption Information

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Download Program PDF

Process of Adopting from Nigeria

IN COUNTRY PROVIDER: none; Hope does not have local contact in Nigeria and does not offer referrals to local child welfare officials or attorneys. Hope is not authorized to work with clients who have adopted children in Lagos or Ogun states.

TIMEFRAME: A home study usually takes 2-5 months to complete, the I600 petition takes another 2-4 months to process, and the I 604 investigation part of the visa application can take 4-9 months.

THE CHILDREN: Hope only works with clients who have adopted relatives who meet US “orphan status” definition. Hope does not refer clients to orphanages or local child welfare ministries.

Process of Adopting from Nigeria

As with all of Hope’s adoption programs, you must first participate in a general information meeting/phone call prior to contracting with the agency. Once this meeting has taken place and you decide to work with Hope International, you will submit an application. Next the Executive Director will prepare your contracting documents. Once you have reviewed and signed the contracts and paid the initial agency and service fees, Hope immediately begins working on your home study and USCIS approval. Hope 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 Hope’s control with adoption and foreign adoptions in particular, Hope has found during years of experience that hard work on things that can be controlled – paperwork, preparing and authenticating dossiers, etc. – usually quickens your overall adoption process.


  1. Completion of an International Home Study – For families that live in Texas, Hope International will conduct the home study. If you live outside of Texas, Hope will assist you to find an agency to conduct your home study. Hope International will supervise this agency, and the agency must meet the standards for an exempted provider and use employees to conduct the home study. Your final USCIS approval is contingent upon the recommendation for approval given by your home study agency. Your completed home study is valid for 12 months; an update will be necessary annually until a child is placed in your home and is also required if your living circumstances change prior to your adoption, such as change in health or residence. You are also required to obtain a physical, at least ten hours of pre-adoptive training, and to have both criminal and child abuse background checks. Hope will assist you with referrals for this training and in obtaining the clearances.


  2. Apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – USCIS must pre-approve you as potential adoptive parents regarding an international adoption. Hope International will assist you by reviewing and submitting an I600A application to USCIS with your completed home study. USCIS must approve your ability to provide proper parental care for a child. Your USCIS approval will be valid for 18 months, however, your fingerprints are only valid for 15 months and must be valid at the time of the child’s visa appointment.


  3. Document Review – even though your adoption process is already complete in Nigeria, Hope will be responsible to verify and confirm the documents you have obtained from the ministry and court. Hope will guide you in gathering the documents need for the submission of the I600 petition. Hope can guide you through the visa application process if you are not working with an immigration attorney.


  4.  Preparing to Travel – You must have a valid U.S. Passport. Some immunizations are recommended by the CDC to travel to Nigeria.


  5. Post-Adoption – When you return home, Hope International or your home study agency will provide post-adoption supervision as required by the State of Texas (or your state of residence) and Nigeria. Some Nigerian states may require status updates on the child until the child’s 18thbirthday. Hope International or your home study agency will prepare these reports for you to submit to the appropriate Ministry. At the completion of the initial six-month post-adoption period, you will be ready to proceed with your Registration of Foreign Decree.  Hope International will refer Texas families to local family law attorneys. If you reside outside of Texas, Hope recommends that you contact a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) regarding the completion of a registration or re-adoption in your state.

Qualifications for

Adopting from Nigeria

U.S. Requirements:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen. If you are married, your spouse must also be either a U.S. citizen or in legal status in the United States.
  2. If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old.
  3. Department of State now requires children immigrating to the US to have received COVID vaccinations if available for the child’s age.
  4. You cannot currently be on probation or parole or have any pending criminal proceedings.

Texas Requirements:

  1. You cannot have a felony conviction against a person
  2. You cannot have a child abuse referral with a finding of “sustained or unable to determine”

Nigeria Requirements:

  1. Minimum Residency: There is no specific minimum residence requirement to be eligible to adopt in Nigeria, however, prospective adoptive parents may be required to stay in Nigeria for a minimum of a few months to two years to bond with the child before petitioning a court to adopt. Each state determines the length of time for the required bonding period.        
  2. Age of Adopting Parents: In Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and 21 years older than the child. For married couples, at least one parent must meet the age requirements.
  3. Marriage: Both single individuals and married couples may adopt. Note that a single person will not be allowed to adopt a child of the opposite sex except in extraordinary circumstances. In most states, married couples must adopt jointly. If married, both members of the couple must be Nigerian citizens (with the exception of Lagos and Ogun states). In a case where only one member of a married couple adopts the child, only the adoptive parent’s name should be listed on the Nigerian birth certificate and the other parent’s name should be left blank. Same-sex married couples are explicitly not allowed to adopt children in Nigeria.
  4. Minimum Income: Nigeria does not have any income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

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