uganda collageNightlight’s Uganda adoption program began as a pilot program in 2010 through Nightlight Christian Adoption’s South Carolina office and has since relocated to Nightlight’s Kentucky Office. When Lisa Prather, the Assistant Director of Nightlight’s South Carolina office became Director of the Kentucky Office, she brought the program with her. The fees for an adoption from Uganda are reasonable, and we estimate that the process will take approximately 2 years from application to completion depending upon the type of child you are seeking to adopt.

Nightlight has partnered with a local NGO in Uganda known as Heart of a Child Uganda to open Tender Hearts Baby’s Home. Nightlight is currently the sole supporter of this baby’s home. We make regular trips to Uganda to ensure the safety and care of the children in the home and also take mission teams to Uganda to support the work being done. Children in Uganda are often abandoned due to poverty related to social problems and the parents’ illnesses. Tender Hearts Baby’s Home is committed to providing excellent care to needy children in Uganda. Additionally, the Uganda adoption program is a guardianship, which means parents do not adopt the child in-country but receive guardianship of the child. Families travel to Uganda for court and then make a second trip to bring their child home.

Parents can choose to stay and travel only once. Families are given guardianship by the court in Uganda and then adopt their child here in the US upon returning home. Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to helping families prepare for the adoption of children from Uganda by providing educational information on possible developmental delays and health issues.


Uganda adoption is a wonderful program for families desiring to adopt children 18 months old and older. The Tender Hearts Baby’s Home cares for children up to age 7 years old. Children living in poverty and raised in institutional care often have both developmental and emotional needs. There are also children available for adoption that have minor and correctable to moderate and severe special needs. Children who would otherwise have little hope for a future can have a better life with the emotional and physical security that a loving family can offer, along with the availability of excellent medical care in the United States.


Most loving, stable families qualify to adopt from Uganda. However, certain factors could keep you from adopting in general or from Uganda in particular 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 history. Additionally, Nightlight will only accept applications from families who are open to adopting children of either gender.


  1. Make application to the Kentucky Nightlight Christian Adoptions office.
  2. Begin your adoption homestudy and submit form I-600A to CIS.
  3. Begin to assemble your dossier. We will give you detailed instructions.
  4. Once CIS has approved your adoption homestudy, you will receive your I-171H pre-approval notice.
  5. Once your CIS approval has been received and a child is available for you, you will receive a referral of a child in Uganda.
  6. Once you have accepted a match of a child, your dossier will be delivered to the attorney in Uganda who will add the child’s paperwork to your dossier and file with the court for your court date.
  7. You will receive a court date and travel to Uganda for the hearing.
  8. The ruling will come up to two weeks after your hearing.
  9. Return to Uganda for a visa appointment at the US embassy and to bring your child home!


You will receive a referral of a child from Nightlight Christian Adoptions. The referral will include a brief social history of the child, the current health and development of the child, and lab test results for malaria, syphilis, and HIV. 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. Your dossier will then be sent to Uganda to the attorney. The attorney will put together information on the child’s file and add this information to your dossier to file with the court. Once you receive a court date, you will then travel to Uganda. You are not required to remain in Uganda for the court ruling as this can take up to two weeks. The first trip can be only a few days. You will then travel to Uganda a second time to attend the visa appointment for your child at the US Embassy. Once the visa has been issued, you can return home with your child. The 2nd visit can be as little as two weeks. Families desiring to make one trip and remain in Uganda after the court hearing, can expect to be in Uganda for a minimum of 4 weeks. If the US Embassy decides to investigate a case, it can take longer—up to 5 or 6 weeks or longer.The in-country stay gives you time to visit your child daily at the orphanage and to begin the bonding process. It is amazing to see how children change while their parents are there visiting with them. The bonding process is very important, and being in the country allows your child to transition from being in an orphanage to being with you, his new family.


Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your homestudy provider. You must complete your adoption here in the US and will need to contact an attorney to file an adoption petition in your home state. Your home study provider will prepare four post-placement reports and submit them to Nightlight; two reports will be completed after the home study provider visits your home within 1 month and 6 months of your child’s arrival home and the others at 1 and 2 years after you arrive home with your child. In addition, the Ugandan courts require a self-report be provided to the court every 6 months until your child turns 18 years old. Recently, the Uganda courts have also added into the guardianship ruling that families must return to Uganda with their child every 5 years until age 18. In the event that your social work report coincides with one of the self-reports due, the social work report will supersede your self-report. These reports include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing the Ugandan government and birth families that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. 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 a Uganda adoption is $12,500. Additional estimated expenses of $14,000 – 18,000 will bring the total cost to approximately $27,000 – 31,000. 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 in our application.

Please email Lisa Prather at or Stephanie Bleuel at or call our office (859-263-9964), with any questions.

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To learn more about adopting from Uganda, you may contact us, call our KY office at (859) 263-9964, or directly email our Uganda advocates: Lisa at and Stephanie at

Uganda Adoption Program Details:

  • Uganda Adoption Program cost will range from $24,370-$27,920
  • Children will be 18 months of age and older
  • Parents age restrictions will be determined by the adoption agency
  • Referral time for the Uganda Program is typically 12-18 months

More Information on Ugandan Adoptions

Uganda Adoption Overview
U.S. Relations with Uganda
Intercountry Adoption Information on Uganda
Uganda Travel Information