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Ugandan and Rwandan adoption, for anyone who might be interested...

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

After 4 years of navigating the international independent adoption world, we finally have found our children in Uganda! We have a referral for a baby girl, almost 5 months old, and a 2.5 year old boy, and we couldn't be happier. We have found an amazing lawyer in Uganda who is caring and thoughtful, knows what he's doing, charges reasonable fees, and helped us find our children. We found an orphanage in Western Uganda where there are many (not sure exactly how many, but many is too many) children receiving the best loving care the staff can give. We found a treasure trove of beautiful photos of these kids on flickr ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snaptography/
and while we are happy to have our referrals for our two children, there are so many children in Uganda needing families!

I'm only bringing all of this up because, while we have been on this adoption roller coaster for 4 years now, adopting independently from Uganda is a relatively simple and inexpensive option for people wanting to adopt internationally. So yes, I'm recruiting!!

We were involved with Rwandan adoption for a while as well, and thanks to Jaya (ariahsmum) here on MDC, we learned so much about the adoption program there as well. It takes a little longer, and there are a few more steps with your paperwork, but it's also an inexpensive, fairly quick, and *I think* very reliable program, though it is just getting organized and sorted as there have been more families wanting to adopt from there recently.

It can be scary to get involved with lesser known countries, but there are many families who have adopted from these countries who would be more than happy to see more kiddos find their families, and would be thrilled to help someone navigate the process.

I know that there are children in need of families in every country around the world, but just in case someone out there is thinking of an independent adoption from Africa, I wanted to let you know that it is possible, and not as difficult as you may think! feel free to pm me if you want more info!
post #2 of 43
Very cool! I am definitely interested in this for the future. We have talked about doing an international adoption (Ethiopia came up) in the next couple of years as well as doing a foster-adopt. Don't ask my why we want to try each method!

So I'd love info on what is working for you.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on getting your referrals!
post #3 of 43
Congratulations on your referrals. Can you tell us more about these kids?
post #4 of 43
Thank you so much for the insight!

We're looking to adopt a girl (already have 3 bio boys). Been reading up on Uganda, blogged about a blog I've been following My blog, blogging about Katie

Amazing story, Katie's mission.
I haven't looked into the specifics of Uganda, I think we're aiming more towards domestic. Logistically easier (travel wise, etc), and we don't mind the wait that we'll most likely face.

Thanks for posting!!
post #5 of 43
And I forgot to add....the photos on your link are gorgeous!
post #6 of 43
We're a family with three boys looking in to adopting 1-2 girls from Africa. One more child makes more sense practically, but I feel very strongly that there are two little sisters out there who need our family.

We've been mostly looking into Ethiopia, but I'd be interested in learning more about how this goes for you.
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
sunday crepes, since you asked ...

our little ones are a baby girl, 4.5 months old, and a toddler boy, nearly 2.5 years old. both abandoned, no known family. they're just absolutely beautiful, and they are in an orphanage that seems to be wonderful, though I don't know much about it yet... our lawyer is wonderful, we're just waiting on one last approval and then we can get a court date (hopefully in november, if we get our approval in the next week or so) and go get them!

I know we still have a long road in front of us, but I'm just really enjoying *this* part, it feels so nice!!

I can't wait to report back how totally EFFORTLESS our process has been, so that more families will find their way towards Ugandan kids.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
sunday crepes, since you asked ...

our little ones are a baby girl, 4.5 months old, and a toddler boy, nearly 2.5 years old. both abandoned, no known family. they're just absolutely beautiful, and they are in an orphanage that seems to be wonderful, though I don't know much about it yet... our lawyer is wonderful, we're just waiting on one last approval and then we can get a court date (hopefully in november, if we get our approval in the next week or so) and go get them!

I know we still have a long road in front of us, but I'm just really enjoying *this* part, it feels so nice!!

I can't wait to report back how totally EFFORTLESS our process has been, so that more families will find their way towards Ugandan kids.

I'm really excited for you. I have a special place in my heart for you since you helped me with adoptive nursing so long ago and doubly because of Esther. I don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, but any info on how the little boy is doing attachment wise?
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
we have absolutely zero information about him as of yet... hoping to hear more this week about how he came into the orphanage, any history they have, etc. all we know is that his parents are unknown. we have been lucky enough to see video and photos of the kids in the orphanage (not sure if the photos are our kids or not, but there are a few we think might be), and they seem to have a pretty strong attachment to the main caregiver... in every photo she looks like a mama duck with a bunch of ducklings surrounding her. The kids I know of who have come from uganda have all only been home a short time, but progress with all of them has been fairly quick. I know the real attachment questions are answered when they begin growing into adults, but the kids at the orphanage we're adopting from seem to be in as good a care facility as can be expected, though there will obviously be signs of neglect, the orphanage staff just can't be a mama to all of them... I'm sometimes taken with the work involved with the baby, and then I remember how hard this will be on little guy... hopefully I'll have time to make a nice slow transition with him, and he'll save his best work for when we're home!
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
We're a family with three boys looking in to adopting 1-2 girls from Africa. One more child makes more sense practically, but I feel very strongly that there are two little sisters out there who need our family.

We've been mostly looking into Ethiopia, but I'd be interested in learning more about how this goes for you.
We're at 3 boys too, and looking at adopting a daughter. as of now focusing on domestic, but SO interested tio hear about more/different options too!!

I think that's why I found this so interesting & exciting when I first read & heard about it
post #11 of 43
Tiffani, can you tell us more about the process of adoption from Uganda? How did you decide to go the route of private international adoption? How did you find the people you are working with? Thanks!
post #12 of 43
Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene View Post
Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?
Hey, I'm also a lesbian (but I'm single) and I asked two agencies about adopting from Uganda and Rwanda. They both said the Rwanda doesn't accept single or lesbian women. Uganda will also not work with LGBT families but single women can adopt girls ages 5 and up. I was told by both agencies that the in-country stay was lengthy - about 4 to 6 weeks.

Personally, this is why I chose to do fertility treatments because its practically impossible now for single women to adopt healthy babies internationally. The only country I am aware of that allows single women to adopt healthy baby is Ethiopia and even in this country, the opportunity is drying up since many agencies are not accepting singles, have extremely long time-lines or they want singles to adopt children with severe special needs.

I don't mean to sound all "doom and gloom" but for most singles, you have to flexible on health and/or age in order to adopt internationally nowadays. If special needs don't bother you then international adoption might be perfect for you because there are many children with correctable special needs looking for families.
post #14 of 43
I Pm'ed you! Thanks for posting this!
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
Tiffani, can you tell us more about the process of adoption from Uganda? How did you decide to go the route of private international adoption? How did you find the people you are working with? Thanks!
We initially decided to go the route of independent international adoption when I was really wondering where all the money was going for Ethiopian agency adoptions. I am not saying anything, don't know anything, but it concerns me. We also couldn't afford that route when we started this journey 4 years ago, and I just envisioned US doing it all ourselves. Now I know, of course, that it's just the path we needed to take to find our kids , but was also happy to find that in Uganda and Rwanda both, an agency isn't necessary, and can actually be a detriment.

We were signed on with an agency for Ethiopia (a Canadian agency that recently went bankrupt amid really sketchy banking by the director) and pretty quickly realized that we couldn't possibly afford it. We did some research, and decided on indy adoption from Zambia. You have to stay there for 3 months, though, and we tried really hard to coordinate that, but we just couldn't get it sorted. So... we moved to New Zealand, and stumbled onto Uganda, which has been difficult for some people, but through the wonderful world of blogging, we learned the pitfalls and also made a lot of contacts, which is everything in indy adoption. You really do need experienced families to help you through the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene View Post
Does Uganda allow same-sex couples to adopt? I know most countries don't but I'm not sure of their policies. Anyone know?
I highly doubt same sex couples would be allowed to adopt from Uganda, unfortunately. Single women are allowed to adopt, and here is the blog of a woman who adopted two gorgeous, healthy babies from Uganda recently. She adopted from Sanyu, an orphanage where you have to contact the director and ask to come for a week or two to volunteer at her orphanage so she can get to know you and determine if she wants you to adopt from there or not. You also need a letter from a religious leader to adopt from there. Doesn't specify which religion, though, and nowhere does she say she will only adopt to Christian families, and I have talked with her quite a bit, and was planning a trip there at one point. "Letter of recommendation from a religious leader" is the exact requirement.

I would think your homestudy would reflect your couplehood, and that would make same-sex couples very unlikely candidates for Ugandan adoption, I'm afraid. Single women, though, are not ruled out by any stretch.

I'm not aware of any agencies in Uganda who are having a lot of success. Uganda and Rwanda both prefer to work directly with families, so getting in touch with a well-respected lawyer in either country is your best bet.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deker View Post
Hey, I'm also a lesbian (but I'm single) and I asked two agencies about adopting from Uganda and Rwanda. They both said the Rwanda doesn't accept single or lesbian women. Uganda will also not work with LGBT families but single women can adopt girls ages 5 and up. I was told by both agencies that the in-country stay was lengthy - about 4 to 6 weeks.

Personally, this is why I chose to do fertility treatments because its practically impossible now for single women to adopt healthy babies internationally. The only country I am aware of that allows single women to adopt healthy baby is Ethiopia and even in this country, the opportunity is drying up since many agencies are not accepting singles, have extremely long time-lines or they want singles to adopt children with severe special needs.

I don't mean to sound all "doom and gloom" but for most singles, you have to flexible on health and/or age in order to adopt internationally nowadays. If special needs don't bother you then international adoption might be perfect for you because there are many children with correctable special needs looking for families.
Thanks; that's so helpful!
post #17 of 43
I looked into Ugandan adoption recently and I am quite certain that to adopt from their you have to be Christian. I am under the impression it is a requirement put in place by the Ugandan government that applies to all international adoptions. So the letter from a religious leader would have to be from a Christian pastor or priest.
BUT-do not use me or anyone on this forum be your place where you get expert advice. Look into it yourself- maybe I am wrong.
post #18 of 43
If anyone feels comfortable posting this (or pm'ing me if not), what kind of cost, start to finish, is involved with an adoption from these countries? I am interested in adoption, but I don't have the slightest clue what kind of cost is associated. That's the only thing that I could see standing in the way for us.

Anyone want to pull together a guess for me??
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
It is not a government law, it's an orphanage preference, and yes, some of the orphanages there will only adopt to Christian families, but not all of them.

Thandiwe, I'll go through the costs tomorrow, I was just checking in quickly, but we're in the middle of building things and rearranging and such, so I have to run!! I'll quickly say that the Ugandan end of things is roughly $2500-$6000/kid, depending on who you use for a lawyer and how complicated the case is (ours is on the lowest end of that spectrum). travel, airfare, etc, plus homestudy and USCIS ($670/kid + $80 fingerprint fee per person living in your home)... international homestudy varies...

ack, I'm going to get caught!!
post #20 of 43
OMG!!! I'm soooo over the top excited for you guys! Really, travel in November? Really I can hardly believe it, I am going to pee my pants... I cannot wait for your kiddos to be home! I'm following you,mama...

Now what do I have to do to get my hands on photos of your new guys?

Jaya
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