Dominican Republic Adoptions
Introduction to Adopt Abroad, Inc. and our Dominican Republic Adoption Program
The Dominican Republic is a signee to the Hague treaty and all adoptions must follow Hague protocol. Adopt Abroad is fully licensed and Hague accredited. We are proud to say that Adopt Abroad is one of only 250 U.S. adoption agencies that have achieved Hague accreditation for international adoption.
The Dominican Republic adoption program is open to families from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Preference is given to those families with Christian backgrounds. The Dominican Republic adoption program is only available to married heterosexual couples that have been married for at least five years and are between the ages of 30 and 60. The married couple must also be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt. back to listing >>
- International Adoption Agency - Adopt Abroad's Background in the Dominican Republic
- Available Dominican Republic Children for Adoption
- Dominican Republic Adoption & Eligible Adoptive Parents
- Dominican Republic Adoption Process
- Travel for the Dominican Republic Adoption
Children from the Dominican Republic that are available for adoption are usually 3 years of age or older – the average age of eligible adoptive children is between 2 and 4 years of age. Siblings and special needs children are also available for adoption. Since the Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from the Dominican Republic must meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Hague Adoption Convention requires that the Dominican Republic first attempt to place a child with a Dominican family residing in-country prior to determining if the child is eligible for international adoption. Additionally, the child must also meet the definition of a Convention adoptee in order for the adopting family to be allowed to bring him or her into the United States.
Dominican children are of Hispanic descent and some are of a biracial Haitian mix. Most children have dark eyes, light to dark brown skin, and black to brown hair. Some children may be of pure African descent. back to listing >>
The Dominican Republic adoption program is only open to heterosexual couples that have been married for at least five years. Single individuals and unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt. Additionally, the prospective adoptive parents must be between 30 and 60 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt. Although not required, preference is given to those adoptive parents that are of Christian backgrounds. There are no limitations on the number of children currently residing with the potential adoptive parents.
Since adoptions between United States citizens and the Dominican Republic are governed by the Hague Adoption Convention, the potential adoptive parents must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). back to listing >>
The first step in the Dominican Republic adoption process is to obtain a Home Study. Adopt Abroad will perform the home study services. If the adoptive parents live outside of our home study area, we will refer them to another home study agency. Adopt Abroad partners with several agencies who can provide home study services for the adoption of a child from the Dominican Republic. All adoption agencies that place children from the Dominican Republic must be Hague accredited adoption agencies. One of the family requirements to adopt a child from the Dominican Republic is that additional coursework beyond the home study (in subjects relating to international adoption) is taken. We have several partners who offer online education courses such as Adoption Learning Partners.
Adopt Abroad will assist the potential adoptive parents with the adoption dossier. The dossier is a collection of official paperwork that will be submitted to the Dominican Republic's National Council for Children and Adolescents (Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia - CONANI). The CONANI is a State run agency that governs the Dominican Republic's adoption process. The adoption dossier will be reviewed and sent for translation to the Spanish language. Once translated, the dossier will be sent to the CONANI for review and approval. The Dominican Republic adoption takes approximately 12 to 24 months to receive a referral for a Dominican child once the dossier is submitted. The actual waiting time will depend upon the type of child that the adoptive parents are seeking to adopt. Families that are seeking to adopt a special needs or older child, will have shorter wait times.
The initial approval of the adoption dossier by the CONANI takes several months. The adoptive parents will be notified once the adoption application has been approved and their information will be entered into the CONANI's data bank. At that time, the search for a Dominican Republic child referral for the adoption begins. The amount of time it takes to get a referral will depend upon the age of the child you are seeking to adopt. We estimate the time from dossier submission to referral to be between 12 – 24 months.
Once the CONANI has identified a Dominican child meeting the adoptive parent's requirements, Adopt Abroad and the prospective adoptive parents will be notified. The amount of information a family will receive on their Dominican Republic child referral will vary. Families will have access to child background information and may request additional information if available.
The prospective adoptive parents must also comply simultaneously with a familiarization period as required by Domican Law. During this familiarization period, the potential adoptive parents travel to the Dominican Republic and reside with the child. If adopting a child under 12 years old, the required period is for at least 60 days and if the child is over 12 years of age it is at least 30 days. Once the familiarization period is completed, the CONANI will issue a certificate of suitability allowing the prospective adoptive parents to petition the Court of Children and Adolescents for the adoption. This final petition process may take up to 8 months.
The CONANI is very interested in the well-being of the adoptive Dominican children and requires the filing of annual post-placement reports by a licensed social worker for the first 5 years of the adoption. Failure to comply with this requirement places the adoption program in jeopardy and may negatively affect future adoptions for other US citizens.
A summary of the Dominican Republic adoption process is as follows:
- Wait time for referrals are 1-2 years from the time the file is received by the CONANI.
- Couples must remain open to accepting either a male or female child.
- All children are tested for HIV, TB and Hepatitis B.
- The prospective adoptive parents must travel to the Dominican Republic 4-6 weeks after accepting a child referral.
- The potential adoptive parents must complete a 30-day (over 12 years old) or a 60-day (under 12 years old) familiarization period with the child.
- The CONANI issues a certificate of suitability allowing the adoptive parents to petition for the final adoption.
- Family leaves and returns later for the final adoption process.
- The Court of Children and Adolescents approves the final adoption and new birth certificates are issued.
Adoption Travel: Upon receiving the information on the Dominican child referral, the adoptive parents will travel to the Dominican Republic to meet the child and determine if they will accept the Dominican child referred to them. The family can arrange to have independent medical evaluations performed by medical professionals who specialize in evaluating international adoptive children. Once the adoptive family has decided to accept the Dominican Republic child referred to them, our Dominican Republic facilitator will file the paperwork to begin the adoption process.
As the Dominican Republic is a Hague adoption country, the Central Authorities from Dominican Republic as well as from the United States will require various paperwork to proceed with the adoption of a Dominican child. Adopt Abroad Inc. will submit the required documentation to the US State Department/NBC, the government entity that is responsible for processing Hague adoptions. The State Department will issue an approval notice so that the process of adopting the Dominican Republic child can occur. Once the Dominican Republic adoption authorities (CONANI) have the State Department's official notification they can schedule the court date for the adoption process in the Dominican Republic.
The prospective adoptive parents must travel to the Dominican Republic within 6 weeks of being notified of a referral. Depending on the age of the child, both prospective adoptive parents must comply with a familiarization period lasting 30 days for a child over 12 years of age or 60 days for a child under 12 years of age. During this time period, both adoptive parents must reside with the Dominican child at a residence secured by the adoptive parents. If the parents choose to proceed with the adoption, they may petition the CONANI to leave the country (without the child) and return for court dates and finalization of the adoption. BOTH parents must be present to complete the adoption with the Dominican Republic Court of Children and Adolescents.
Families will have access to child background information prior to travelling. Additional information may be available upon request. back to listing >>