Adoption is becoming more popular in Zambia today. With a lot of couples now open to adopting a child in Zambia today, it is essential to take a look at the necessary facts to note about the process and how much it costs. In this post, we will consider the processes involved in adopting a child in Zambia, either as a foreign citizen or a Zambian. We will also consider the cost implication.
Understanding the Cost of Adoption in Zambia
Adoption, a noble and life-changing decision, comes with its own set of challenges and costs. In Zambia, the adoption process is governed by the country’s laws and regulations, and understanding these can help prospective parents navigate the journey more smoothly.
Cost of Adoption in Zambia
As you’d expect, the process of adopting a child in Zambia can be rigorous and expensive, especially for foreign citizens. It should also be noted that adoption processes vary from state to state in Zambia. In this section, we will take a look at the general process for adoption of a child by both Zambian citizen and foreign citizens.
Adoption Fees: Estimating how much it costs to adopt a child in Zambia can be tricky as various factors are involved. The fees generally include adoption agency charges, court charges and attorney fees. It also includes cost of paperwork like birth certificate. On the average, the whole process costs approximately $500 or about KW180,000.
Process of Adoption for Zambian Residents
The statutory law governs the process of adoption in Zambia. As said earlier however, adoption procedures vary per state. While there are general national requirements and standard procedures, rules vary from state to state. For instance, parents looking to adopt a child in lagos must have fostered the child for at least three months, while in Akwa Ibom and some other states, adopting parents must have fostered the child for at least 12 months.
In most states, the law governing adoption of a child requires that there must be an official application for the adoption process by the parents involved and should be submitted to the registrar of the court for review. For instance, Section 116 of the Child Rights Law of Lusaka State 2015 makes establishment as to the application process for adoption which states the following documents must be included in the application form to be submitted:
- The marriage certificate (of the adopting parents) or a sworn declaration of marriage
- The birth certificate or sworn declaration of age of each applicants.
- Two passport photograph of each applicant
- A medical certificate of fitness of the adopting parent(s) from a government hospital and
In practice, the adopting parent(s) are not allowed to make this application to the court without the consensus of the government welfare agency in the state. There are different ministries responsible for such in various states. For instant, In Lusaka State, the government subdivision responsible for such divorce process is the Ministry for Youth and Social Development located in in the state capital in Ikeja.
Once they have received the application, the court will then order the Social Welfare Officers in such jurisdiction to conduct a thorough background investigation and get basic information regarding the adopting parent to assess the aptness of the adopting parents and the child to be abducted. In addition to this, the court may decide to appoint a guardian to represent the child to be abducted during the whole process. The guardian representing the child to be abducted will serve as the welfare officer in charge of the zone where the juvenile resides.
Process of Adoption for Foreign Citizens Looking to Adopt a Zambian Child
Unlike for resident citizens, the process of a foreign citizen adopting a Zambian child can be a little more tasking. Apart from the fact that this costs more, the involvement of the Government is also more pronounce here. To simplify the process, here are the basic steps to follow for adoption of a Zambian child by a foreign citizen.
Decide on an Adoption Service Provider to use: This is the first and one of the most crucial steps when it comes to adopting a child from Zambia. It is essential to consider which licensed adoption service provider in the United States to use for the whole process. It should be noted that the U.S. region in which they operate must license the adoption service provider you are looking to use. To get this information, you can easily contact the Department of State via its website.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt : Not all foreign citizens can adopt a child in Zambia. As to not waste your time, you need to meet some basic requirements of Governments of both United States and Zambia immigration laws. You are required to submit an application to confirm you are eligible to adopt a child that resides in Zambia. This can also be easily achieved by filing out an I-600A, which represents the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This will confirm you are eligible to adopt a child that resides in Zambia.
Matching Stage : After you have checked and confirmed that you are eligible to adopt a child in Zambia, You will be provided a referral by the central adoption authority in Zambia. The child must be eligible for adoption in accordance with the Zambia requirements as defined in the “Who Can Be Adopted” section. In addition, the child to be adopted must meet the basic requirements and definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.
Adopt the Child : This is the final stage involved. This involves settling with the adoption authorities, court and adoption agencies involved.
The Adoption Process in Zambia
Adoption in Zambia is a legal process that transfers parental rights from biological parents to adoptive parents. It involves several steps, including application, home study, court proceedings, and post-placement visits.
The first step is to submit an application to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. The application should include details about the prospective adoptive parents, their motivation for adopting, and their ability to provide for a child.
Once the application is approved, a social worker conducts a home study to assess the suitability of the home environment. The social worker also interviews the prospective parents to understand their parenting style and readiness to adopt.
The court proceedings involve a judge reviewing the application and home study report. If the judge is satisfied, they issue an adoption order. The adopted child then becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with it.
After the adoption, the social worker conducts post-placement visits to ensure the child is well-adjusted and cared for.
Fees Associated with Adoption in Zambia
The cost of adoption in Zambia varies depending on several factors, including legal fees, court fees, and travel expenses. On average, the total cost can range from $20,000 to $40,000.
It’s important to note that these costs are estimates and can vary depending on individual circumstances. For a more accurate estimate, it’s recommended to consult with a legal professional or adoption agency.
International Adoption from Zambia
International adoption involves adopting a child from a different country. In Zambia, international adoptions are subject to both Zambian and international laws.
Process and Cost of International Adoption
The process of international adoption is similar to domestic adoption but includes additional steps such as immigration paperwork and compliance with the laws of the adoptive parents’ country.
The cost of international adoption is generally higher than domestic adoption due to additional expenses such as travel and immigration fees. On average, international adoption from Zambia can cost between $20,000 and $40,000.
Tips for a Successful Adoption Process in Zambia
Adopting a child is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some tips to help you navigate the adoption process in Zambia:
Legal Requirements for Adoption in Zambia
Understanding the legal requirements for adoption in Zambia is crucial. These requirements include age limits, marital status, and residency requirements. It’s recommended to consult with a legal professional or adoption agency to ensure you meet all the legal requirements.
Preparing for Adoption: What to Expect
Adoption is a journey that involves emotional highs and lows. It’s important to prepare mentally and emotionally for the process. This includes understanding the adoption process, being patient, and being open to learning and growing as a parent.
Conclusion: Making the Decision to Adopt in Zambia
Adoption is a life-changing decision that brings joy and fulfillment. However, it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. Understanding the cost and process of adoption in Zambia is the first step towards making an informed decision.
Remember, adoption is not just about providing a home for a child; it’s about providing love, care, and a nurturing environment that allows the child to grow and thrive. So, if you’re considering adoption, take the time to understand the process, prepare yourself emotionally, and make the decision with love and care.