D.R. Congo

NOTICE:
Our Congo program is no longer open and has been closed due to the environment in the DRC. Existing clients will be served to finish their adoptions, but no new clients will be taken.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

 congoThe Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa, and the eleventh largest country in the world.  Home to 75 million people, it is the fourth most populous country in Africa and 19th most populous country in the world.  It is the most populous Francophone country in the world.

To the north, DRC borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan, on the east Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, the south Zambia and Angola, and to the west Republic of Congo, Angola exclave of Candida, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998 and continuing through 2007, devastated the country and is sometimes referred to as the “African World War” because it involved nine African nations and twenty armed groups.  More than 5.4 million people died during the conflict, mainly due to malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition, aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions that lacked access to shelter, water, food, and medicine, with almost half of the deaths being children under five. Conflict for control of the mineral wealth is behind some of the most violent atrocities.

Rape and violent sexual crimes in DRC are the worst in the world. One in seven children die before the age of 5 (as reported by UNICEF), vaccination rates are approximately 47% and nearly half of school aged children are uneducated, with more than 25% of children ages 5-14 working.

ADOPTION FROM THE DRC

REQUIREMENTS:  Families must have a completed home study and I600a approval.  Couples must be married five or more years with no more than two children currently in the home.  Exceptions are sometimes made on a case by case basis.

PROCESS: Families submit a home study and Dossier to the Central Authority in DRC. Referral wait time is approximately 6-15 months depending on the age of the child requested. After a referral is accepted, preliminary documentation is obtained (including Consent, which takes approximately 1-2 months) and the case is then presented to Court. Court approval takes roughly 2-4 months followed by a 30 day Non-Appeal period and finalization of documents. Once all documents are complete, US Immigration approval (I600) is needed. This process takes 1-3 months. After Orphan status has been determined by USCIS, the case is submitted to the US Embassy in Kinshasa for an I-604 orphan investigation. The current wait time is 3-6 months for Visa issuance. Once a Visa is issued, the final step is to travel to DRC to meet your child and receive an Exit Permit.

TRAVEL: Current travel time is approximately 2-4 weeks.

TIMELINE: The current timeline to complete a DRC adoption is 12-24 months, but can be shorter or longer.

US STATE DEPARTMENT LINK:  http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=alerts&alert_notice_file=democratic_republic_of_congo_6

***(DGM has currently suspend Exit Letter issuance)

***Upon request, AAS will provide prospective adoptive parents with: the number of adoption placements per year, number of placements that have remained intact and those that have been disrupted or dissolved, how many families who have applied for adoption, the number of eligible children for adoption and awaiting an adoptive placement referral.

SAMPLE CONTRACT: DRCContract0214              Brittnelle 5x7

SAMPLE RISK WAIVER:   DRCRisk0214

SAMPLE REFERRAL ACCEPTANCE:  ReferralAcceptance0214

ESTIMATED FEE SCHEDULE:  DRC FEE SCHEDULE

AAS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:  AASPP0214