Albania, on Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, is a small country with coastlines on the Adriatic and Ionian seas and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps. Along its southern coast, the Albanian Riviera is known for its traditional Mediterranean villages, beach resorts and vibrant nightlife. With history stretching back to antiquity, Albania is also rich in castles and archaeological sites. The capital is Tirana. Albania is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all intercountry adoptions between Albania and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.Albanian adoptions are conducted through a collaborative effort of a Hague accredited adoption agency in the US and by the Albanian Central Adoption Authority (Albanian Adoption Committee/Ministry of Justice).
- View children available
- Both boys and girls are available for adoption.
- Children as young as 2 years and as old as fifteen are available for adoption. (wait time for a referral of a child under 4 years old can be up to 3 years.)
- Sibling groups are available.
- Children with Special Needs are available for adoption.
ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT
Applicants must be at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting. Both married couples and single women may adopt from Albania. Applicants must be in good health, own a home, and must have a positive net worth. Albania will not accept applicants with a criminal history, history of drug/alcohol abuse, or a history of pornography. Albania is reluctant to accept families with significant medical, psychological, psychiatric conditions. Families with Albanian heritage who meet Albania’s adoption requirements may experience shorter wait times for referrals.
- Make application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
- Begin your adoption homestudy and submit form I-800A to CIS.
- Begin to assemble your dossier. We will give you detailed instructions.
- Once USCIS has approved your adoption homestudy, you will receive your I-797C pre-approval notice.
- Once your USCIS approval has been received your dossier is complete, you will be registered to adopt in Albania.
- The Albanian Central Authority will add you to a list of waiting families and it can take 18 to 24 months to receive a referral.
- Upon referral acceptance, Nightlight will begin processing the family’s I-800.
- You will then travel to Albania for your first court date and to meet and bond with your child (a minimum of 2 weeks for bonding).
- At your first court hearing, you will be given a date for the 2nd hearing. It could be a few days or a few weeks later.
- After your 2nd court hearing, you and your child will meet with a psychologist who will write a report for the court. There is typically about 1 week between the 2nd and 3rd court hearing.
- The adoption is granted at the 3rd court hearing and then you must wait 15 business days to receive the court decree.
- Once you have received the court decree, the attorney will obtain a new birth certificate and passport for your child.
- The final step is to obtain the US visa for your child and returning home. Most families will remain in Albania for a minimum of 60 days for the adoption process to be completed. However, some families may choose to make 2 or 3 trips to Albania depending upon the timing of court hearings.
- The children reside in orphanages while awaiting adoption.
- Albania adoptions can take on average from 24 to 48 months to complete.
You receive a referral of a child from Nightlight Christian Adoptions through the Albanian Adoption Committee. The referral will include a brief social history of the child, and the current health and development of the child. We highly recommend that you have this information reviewed by a doctor who specializes in international adoption before you make a decision. Once you decide to accept a referral, you will be considered “matched” with the child. You will then wait for an invitation to travel to Albania for court. Most families invited to travel receive very short notice, at times only a few days advance notice is given. When you are invited to travel, you will know the date of your first court hearing. Your court date may be 3 weeks out from your invitation, but because you must spend two weeks bonding with your child prior to court, this creates very short notice for you to travel. Once you travel to Albania, you will remain in Albania a minimum of 60 days to process the adoption or you may choose to make 2 or 3 trips depending on the timing of your scheduled court dates. The first 2 weeks are spent bonding with your child. During these two weeks you will visit the orphanage daily. After 2 weeks, you will attend your first court date. At the first court date, you will be given a 2nd court date. This could be just a few days or a few weeks apart. At your 2nd court hearing, you will receive a 3rd court hearing. Between the 2nd and 3rd hearing, you and your child will meet with a psychologist and the psychologist will write a report to the court. It is at your 3rd court hearing that the adoption is granted, but you must wait 15 business days before the written decree will be issued. Once you receive the court decree, the attorney will obtain a new birth certificate and passport and begin the visa process. Both parents do not have to remain in Albania the entire time. Both parents must attend the initial two week bonding period and the court hearing.
Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to preparing families for the adoption of a child with special needs. We provide pre- and post-adoption education and information regarding medical resources.
Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your homestudy provider. Your homestudy provider will prepare post-adoption reports and submit them to Nightlight at 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months after the adoption is finalized. These reports include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing the Albanian Adoption Committee and birth families that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. Compliance with post adoption reports is also required by the Hague Convention. Therefore, Nightlight charges a fee to monitor and process these post placement reports and also requires families to pay for the cost of the post placement report in advance.
The program fee for an Albania adoption is $15,500. Additional estimated expenses of $22,060 – $35,260 will bring the total cost to approximately $37,560 – $50,760. In addition, your out-of-pocket expenses may further be reduced if you receive scholarships or other employer-provided adoption benefits. For additional fee information, please see Exhibit A.
Please call (859-263-9964) or e-mail Lisa Whitaker, LisaW@nightlight.org, or Stephanie Muth, Stephanie@nightlight.org, with any questions.