For families in this program it is suggested families possess the following: flexibility, upbeat attitude when facing delays, tolerant of the risks involved. A family that has had some international travel experience, particularly to Democratic Republic of Congo and/or other African nations would be a blessing for this program!
In DR Congo children available for adoption are infants and children from 3 -7 months up to 15 years of age. The younger the child requested the longer the wait time to referral. Both boys and girls are available for intercountry adoption. Sibling groups and older children are always available. Relatively healthy and special needs children are ready for adoption in DR Congo. Children reside in orphanage care in Kinshasa, the Capital of DR Congo.
When you research you may hear the term "AIDS orphan." AIDS Orphan does not indicate the child's medical condition, it indicates that the child became an orphan because of parents or relatives dying of AIDS. You may also hear the term war-affected, which means that the child's social history includes a geographic connection to a former war area.
Children in DR Congo suffer from malnutrition because of poor nutritional feeding, lack of medical care and improper sanitary conditions. Some children in orphanage care have come into care through, extreme malnourishment, abandonment, abuse and neglect situations prior to their placement in the orphanage. There are many reasons for these children to be in the orphanage care. Typical delays seen with orphans are expected, however, with the state of economy most of the children are undernourished, some have parasites and other treatable conditions.
ADOPTIVE PARENT CRITERIA:
Married couples must be married for 5 years upon the arrival of the dossier to DR Congo (we can look at marriage requirements on a case by case basis) Adoptive parents must be 25 years of age. Single men and women may adopt. Families are preferred not to have more than 2 children living in their home currently but those are accepted on a case by case basis based on the best interest of the child being adopted.
LMI can work with families living outside the US, however this is on a case by case basis. Please contact us with specifics about your situation and we can advise you.
LENGTH OF PROCESS:
After the dossier is submitted, a referral can be presented, however wait times for these referrals at this time vary based on availability of children for adoption. Families wait several months for the adoption process to be completed once they accept the referral..
Wait time for referrals is usually shorter in this program. Wait time depends on age of the child to be adopted. Families will be matched to a child available for adoption, and will receive pictures and medical information on that child. Children have brief medicals and social history if known with medical tests. Families are given the option to accept the child referral they receive. You will be given two weeks in which to accept the referral. After court approval the child will be moved into a foster family until the family arrives. The foster families are selected and overseen by the Congolese attorney firm, however, they are licensed to be foster families by the Congolese Government.
ADOPTION OVERVIEW IN DR CONGO:
Once a family has been approved to adopt, and their dossier of paperwork is submitted to the legal counsel, the family is eligible for a referral. Once a referral is accepted, the child will have an approval for adoption status, then the dossier is sent to the Mayor for adoption approval, then a Tribunal court date will be set and will be imminent. After the Tribunal Court, there is a 30 day waiting period. The child's passport and birth certificate and other documents are obtained, and the family will apply for US immigration I600. This US immigration phase may take between 3-6 months. After the US immigration approval, a letter must be given by the Congolese Emigration office for the child to exit DR Congo. Travel will occur at this time. Parents must attend this meeting to have the letter presented.
Both parents or single parent must travel and visit the DR Congo Emigration for the exit visa process. Families must prepare for a 2 week process in country. We do have several travel options. If families travel once before the adoption, the child will come in the US on an IR-3 Visa and not require a re-adoption process in the US. Most families travel twice to DR Congo, but one trip also is possible, but not recommended. Contact us to find out about these options. At least one parent is required to be present at DGM so escorts are no longer possible.
The dossier guide you will be given will give you detailed instructions as to what documents are necessary to adopt in DR Congo. The entire documentation process takes a few months after you are accepted into the program. Once you have immigration approval and your dossier is done, your dossier will go through the legal channels in DR Congo. Your dossier will be used as a legal framework for adoption.
AFTER RETURNING HOME:
Your child is adopted and granted a full and final adoption in DR Congo and the re-adoption process is not required unless your state requires that. Your child will enter on an IR3 Visa as a child fully adopted in DR Congo.
POST PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS:
You will be given a packet of Post Placement information and you will comply with the post placement guidelines. DR Congo and LMI will require post-placement reports to be completed by a social worker in the state of residency.
Fees schedules are set to where Parents pay in increments for the Ugandan adoption process, so all fees are not due at once. Application, Registration, Agency and Commitment Fees are non-refundable. For fee and cost information e-mail us.
To request information on our DR Congo Adoption Program please fill out our online INFO REQUEST FORM.
COUNTRY BACKGROUND AND INFO:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), formerly Zaire, is a state located in Central Africa, with a short Atlantic coastline (37 km). It is the third largest country in Africa by area after Sudan and Algeria and the twelfth largest in the world. With a population of nearly 71 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the eighteenth most populous nation in the world, and the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially
In order to distinguish it from the neighboring Republic of the Congo to the west, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is often referred to as DR Congo, DROC, DRC, or RDC (from its French abbreviation), or is called Congo-Kinshasa after the capital of Kinshasa
DR Congo has been marred by years of war and AIDS, creating a humanitarian crisis with more than 5 million orphans struggling daily in conditions of extreme poverty and famine. Child headed families are the norm here. It is said that "it takes a village to raise a child," but the villages are overwhelmed with the shocking number of children in this country that are without families. This situation leaves these children vulnerable and in urgent need of a permanent solution, a forever family.
Children die faster in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) than in all but 10 other countries in the world, according to United Nations statistics. A house-to-house survey by the International Rescue Committee found that the child death rate was four times that for Africa as a whole. If conditions remain unchanged, 515 of every 1,000 children will die before turning 5, the organization said. In developed nations such as the United States, the comparable statistic is six deaths for every 1,000 children.