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25 Factors to Consider When Adopting From Haiti

Also available in a printable version.

Current as of March, 2013.  Haiti is currently in the process of ratifying the Hauge Treaty and the adoption process could change suddenly.  Contact an adoption agency for the most up-to-date information.


Parental Age

Adoptive parent must be between 35-50. For married couples, one prospective adoptive parent may be under age 35, provided the couple has been married for ten years and has no biological children. The adoptive parent must be at least 19 years older than the child they intend to adopt.  There are possible exceptions for couples with documented infertility or parents interested in adopting an older child.

Length of Marriage

Couples must have been married for at least 10 years.


No country requirement, but some agencies impose a requirement.

Children in Family

Haiti strongly prefers childless couples; however, families with biological children can adopt from Haiti if they receive a presidential dispensation, a special exemption from the president’s office, which will lengthen the process.

Single Applicant

Single women aged 35-50 are allowed to adopt.

Sexual Orientation

Does not knowingly place with homosexuals.

Children Available

Healthy infants to teenagers at time of referral; sibling groups and special needs children are available.




Boys and girls; parents may request gender.

Adopting more than one unrelated child at same time

Yes, but some agencies impose restrictions.

Travel in Country

Most adoption agencies require two trips to Haiti, each three to five days long.  During the first trip, parents file the I-600 Petition with the U.S. Consulate in Port-Au-Prince, and then return a second time to escort their child home.  Ask you adoption agencies for specifics.

Referral Method

Standard; Social Services in Haiti reserves the right to assign specific children to families but will endeavor to honor the request of an adoptive family to work with a specific licensed crèche.

Wait for referral (after dossier submitted)

1-12 months, depending on the gender of the child, the flexibility of the family and how many parents are on the list.

Wait after referral

Parents are currently able to complete their adoption within 14-18 months after accepting a referral and submitting a dossier, although applicants requiring a presidential dispensation (special legal approval) should expect 12-24 months to complete their adoption.

Approximate Cost

$25,000 - $30,000 (includes travel)

Youngest Age Upon Arrival Home

2.5 years

Orphanage/Foster Care

Orphanages run by charitable organizations, some children in large group homes.

How children enter government care

Abandonment or relinquishment of rights due to poverty or death; there are many children who were orphaned in the 2010 earthquake.

Prevalence of FAS

Not enough placements to get a consensus from IA doctors interviewed.  Given the nature of Haitian society, agencies and families report that they have not seen many substance exposed children.

Adequacy of medical reports

Children available for adoption are typically given psychological exams that pinpoint any possible developmental delays, and each child is tested for HIV, Sickle Cell Anemia, Hepatitis B, VDRL (Syphilis), and is given a Complete Blood Count (CBC).



Unstable; after a brief suspension of adoptions, Haiti has recently introduced new adoption procedures in efforts to become a Hague Adoption Convention partner.  The current program is very new and there is not a lot of information about how adoptions will proceed under the new laws.  We are still waiting for the exact wording in the new adoption law which has yet to pass about family guidelines.  Haiti has signed and ratified the Hague but not yet implemented and must pass the new law before implementation.

Number of children placed in the US in 2012




Post Adoption Reports

Post-adoption reporting is required every six months for the first two years and annually for three additional years after the child is placed with the adoptive family.  These reports must include a medical evaluation of the child, a school report, a psychological evaluation, and a social evaluation.

Hague Treaty

Not yet, but implementation is in process.

Additional Information

  • Adoption finalized in Haiti. 
  • The US State Department periodically issues travel warnings for travel to Haiti due to political unrest. Visit their website to check the current status.
  • Delays are common in Haitian adoptions and are often outside the control of even the best agency.
  • Adopting parents are required to submit a psychological evaluation and cost should be factored into total cost.
  • May be possible to meet birth parents after adoption process is completed but not before.  Parents are not allowed to meet children prior to adoption being completed either.

Useful Links

Great Blogs

Creating a Family Sponsors

Bethany Christian Services

Carolina Adoption Services

Children's House International Adoptions

Dillon International

MLJ Adoptions

Nightlight Christian Adoptions

Holt International Children's Services

All Blessings International

Sunrise Family Services Society

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