Ethiopia Adoption Program
Age: Children new-born to 15 years of age. Cases must be filed with USCIS before
the child's 16th birthday.
Gender: Both boys and girls are available for adoption. Parents should be flexible
in regards to gender selection.
Health: Children are generally healthy, but may have parasites and other treatable
conditions caused due to living conditions. Children are tested at minimum
-- for HIV/AIDS, VDRL, Parasites and Hepatitis. Special needs children
Adoptive Parents Requirements
Marriage: Married couples may apply. Couples must be married at least one year.
Applications cannot be accepted from pregnant women. Previous divorce
is allowed. One parent must be a US Citizen.
Single: Single women may also apply to adopt in most cases, with the understanding
that the Ethiopian regulations could change at any time and prohibit them
from adopting. Single men may not adopt.
Age: Parents must be at least 25 years of age. Those 25-49 may adopt an infant.
Those over 50 may adopt an older child. In most cases there must be a
17 year age difference between the adoptive parent and adoptive child.
Children: Ethiopia has no offical limit on the number of children already in the
home at this time, but has discussed setting a regulation. Families with
over 4 children in the home will be considered by IAN on a case by case basis.
Travel is two trips, approximately 5 days each and comfortable accommodations
are available. Clients are facilitated while in country by our bi-lingual
facilitator and staff in Ethiopia.
Depending on the processing of case by USCIS and the Ethiopian authorities
it will take approximately 9-12 months to complete the adoption from match
to bringing the child home. The time frame will depend greatly on the
type of case and the paperwork needed for the child's adoption.
The family will be placed on our waitlists based on their preferences.
Most wait lists right now are looking at wait times of 18-24 months, sometimes
longer if you have narrow preferences. Once you are at the top of the
list and we have a referral available, the family will be provided with
photos, lab results, and brief medical/social history. Please note that
social history is scarce and frequently incomplete due to many factors.
Alternatively, families could decide to adopt a waiting child from our
site. Most of these children are 8 years or older, or may have special
needs. In this case families will skip the wait list portion of the adoption.
Once the family signs up, we will work to get all the adoption paperwork
together to make the match. Once the match is made, the processing times
are generally the same as any other referral.
Ethiopia Information Resources:
CIA World Factbook - Ethiopia
USCIS (for Adoption Petition Forms)
US State Department - Ethiopia Travel
Ethiopian Embassy in USA
History, Culture and Facts of Ethiopia
For more detailed information on the program, process or fee schedule,
International Adoption Net or at
Ethiopia: Adoption Process
What does the process of adopting from Ethiopia look like? See the step-by-step
1. Sign up with an Agency:
Online Application or Print/Mail Application - IAN will review your application
and get back to you within 24 hours.
2. Begin Homestudy and IAN policy paperwork.
Your Adoption Coordinator can help you find a Hague accredited agency in
your area to complete your homestudy. We will also send you our agency
policies to start your file.
3. Complete Homestudy and Dossier Draft to be placed on the waitlist.
You will be working with a Social Worker who will help you through this process.
Once the Homestudy and Dossier draft are complete, you will be added to
the waiting list(s).
4. File I-600A with USCIS:
You will receive instructions from IAN/Home Study agency about how to apply
after your homestudy is completed.
5. Parents may accept referral!
Your Adoption Coordinator will call you with information on your referral.
6. Start the PAIR (i-600) process and finalize Dossier for Ethiopia.
We will send in all the child's adoption paperwork to USICS, and the
that will be reviewed there, and at the US Embassy in Addis. This review
can take 3-6 months. During this time you will work with your coordinator
to complete your dossier and send that to DC to be authenticated, and
then over to our Ethiopian team to be prepared for court.
7. Get PAIR approval and start court process in Ethiopia.
PAIR letter will be sent for seperate Authentication in DC and dossier
is submitted (in Ethiopia) to the Ethiopian Federal First Instance Court
to be reviewed. Cases will be given a first court date for the birth families
to relinquish or for abandonment cases to be reviewed. After that, the
Ethiopian Ministry of Womens, Youth and Children's Affairs (MOWA)
will also reivew the case and give its opinion. Please note there is always
a chance that the family or child's case may not be approved by USCIS,
COURT or MOWA. The court process can take 2-4 months or longer.
8. Adoptive family Court!
Once court and MOWA both give the green light, the adoptive family's
court date will be scheduled! Families will travel to Addis for one week
to meet their child and attend court. Both parents must attend court.
Trip is about 5 days.
9. Child's court decree, birth certificate and new passport are created.
Child attends visa medical appointment.
These can take 2-4 weeks to gather. These documents will be submitted to
the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa for review.
10. U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa schedules a final interview for Adoptive Parents.
Adoptive Parents travel to Addis Ababa for their Embassy interivew (5 days).
The U.S Embassy provides immigrant visa for child to come to US.
11. Family Travels Home
The family returns to the U.S with their adopted child!!
Travel in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Government requires Adoptive Parents to make two trips to
Ethiopia for their adoption. Exceptions can be made if both parents are
unable to travel for both trips.
Accommodation: Addis View:
For the family's safety and for the convenience of the IAN staff and
families, we work with one guest house in Addis Ababa, The Addis View.
This guest house is very accommodating for IAN families. IAN will arrange
all accommodations for families. We strive to have at least two families
traveling at the same time to Ethiopia. At Addis View, families will have
the opportunity to get to know one another.
About Addis View:
Addis View is located close to downtown and near Court and Embassy for
your interviews. They love working with adoptive families and have loved
working with IAN. Their accommodations include;
Airport pick up and drop off (7km from Bole International Airport).
Clean rooms with bathrooms (with tubs and hot water) in each room.
Accommodations for children of all ages.
Full restaurant and coffee shop, room service is available.
Wireless internet included at no extra cost (computers available in the lobby).
Generator for power outages.
Ample play space (inside and outside) for children of all ages.
Drivers available if you are interested in exploring Ethiopia.
Addis View Hotel (
For the website click here)
PO Box 1485 Code 1110 Phone: 251-11-124-9766
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia FAX: 251-11-124-9765