Nightlight’s Ghana program has advantages and benefits that distinguish it from other international adoption programs.
The entire process usually takes 12 months to complete if adopting an older child (3-4 years old and older), a child with special needs, or a sibling group. We are seeking applications from families who are interested in a waiting child. However, waiting children are not necessarily fully “paper ready” and often a social worker report for the child must be prepared so that the child’s adoption can be completed. In some cases, the social work report cannot be completed until the family is identified, as the adoptive family’s information is incorporated into the child’s social work report. Gathering documents for a child’s adoption, such as bio parents’ death certificates, and writing the social worker report can take several months.
There are waiting children from Ghana who can be viewed at Adoption Bridge . If you identify a child with special needs or a larger sibling group, there may be other families who are also interested in the child/ren but not yet home study approved or fully committed to the child of sibling group. For example, it would take a family with exceptional resources to adopt a larger sibling group or a smaller sibling group if both children have profound medical issues. Therefore, we can temporarily work with a family while they are getting home study approved for a sibling group; however, the home study social worker in the end may not approve an otherwise qualified family to adopt so many children. We do not remove a child or sibling group from AdoptionBridge until there is a home study approved and fully committed family. Fully committed means that the family is approved specifically for the number of children in the sibling group and for any special needs a child or children may have. In addition, the identified adoptive family will have paid the appropriate fees to enter the Ghana program.
The overall fee for adopting from Ghana is $21,500. With added expenses, including the home study, Immigration fees, and travel cost, the total amount a family can expect to spend to adopt one child is about $28,500 to $33,000. There are additional fees for adopting each sibling. The adoption tax credit can help lower the overall cost of this program to about $15,300- $19,000. For certain children, scholarships may be available to those who are eligible.
Most loving, stable families qualify to adopt from Ghana. However, certain factors could keep a family from adopting as each country has its own rules as to who can adopt. Before applying, please consult with Nightlight regarding any sensitive issues that may apply to you, such as a divorce, a mental health issue, or a criminal or abuse history.
The children in Ghana become available for international adoption by abandonment or birth parent relinquishment. Once available for adoption, the children reside in various small orphanages. Nightlight works only in certain regions where adoptions are permitted, and the children must reside in an orphanage in that region. In general, the children available for adoption are between 6 months and 15 years of age. There are waiting children who are older (more than five years old), part of a sibling group, or have a special needs, including being HIV positive. These children can be viewed at Adoption Bridge
. The wait for a referral of a younger child (6 months to -5 years old) without special needs can be 1 -3 years, which significantly slows down the process. At this time, Nightlight is not accepting applications for waiting families of younger and “healthier” children.
We are seeking families who are seeking a waiting child,an older child, or one with special needs.
As with any adoption, the family must be home study approved to be assigned a child. Putting together the paperwork (called a dossier) for a Ghanaian adoption is very simple, and the Power of Attorney for the in-country attorney is the only document that technically must be notarized for the dossier. After a child is assigned, one spouse must visit the child for about one week; this visit takes place before a child’s case can go to court. During this first visit, the adoptive family or one spouse will also meet with the attorney and go over the paperwork for court. (Adoptive parents do not have to attend court—but the attorney will go in the family’s place.)
In general, most families make two trips to Ghana—one before court and then another trip to receive your child after the adoption is completed and the U.S. Immigration visa paperwork is approved and ready. Some families choose to make the first bonding trip and then stay in Ghana until the child is ready to travel to the U.S. This length of time is unpredictable as the U.S. Embassy may then choose to investigate the case before issuing a U.S. visa for the child to enter the U.S. As noted, one parent must travel to visit the child before court. However, the child can then be escorted home once the adoption is completed and the child’s U.S. visa is obtained.
Congratulations to Liz who arrived home with Samuel on August 13, 2016!