THE REPUBLIC OF NIGER
The Republic of Niger is an arid country in Western Africa. It is the largest nation in West Africa (almost 2 times the size of Texas) with the Sahara Desert covering over 80% of the country. Niger has over 17 million people living within its borders, most of whom are Islamic. Niamey, the capital city and also the largest city in Niger, has a population of over 700,000.
Niger is a land locked country. It borders Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north, Chad to the east, and Nigeria and Benin to the south.
Niger is a developing country. It has many obstacles to overcome: lack of natural resources, desert terrain, poor education and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, and poor health care. Famine has struck many times in Niger since the year 2000 as a result of severe drought. Niger reports that diarrhea, starvation, gastroenteritis, malnutrition and respiratory diseases continue to sicken and kill the Nigerien people. In addition, less than half of the Nigerien population has access to clean water.
The literacy rate of Niger is among the lowest in the world. In 2005, it was estimated to be only 28.7%. Less than 30% of Nigerien children are able to attend school. The child mortality rate is exceptionally high (248 per 1000) for children ages 1-4. This is generally due to poor health conditions and inadequate nutrition for most of the country’s children. Niger also has the 11th highest maternal mortality rate – 829 deaths per 100,000 live births. Yet, half of the Nigerien population is under the age of 15.
A sobering statistic found in UNICEF’s annual “State of the World’s Children” report revealed that the country of Niger has 970,000 orphans out of a total population of approximately 17 million people. These children are orphaned due to the death of one or both parents.
ADOPTION FROM THE REPUBLIC OF NIGER
CHILDREN AVAILABLE: 6 months-12 year old, girls and boys. In an effort to provide ethical adoptions and ensure orphan status of children, AAS makes it a policy not to actively seek adoption placements for children under 18 months old. At this time, Niger often refers children who are 6-18 months old, but only when the children are deemed orphans by that age. Families choosing our Niger program need to be open to a child over 18 months old at the time of referral.
REQUIREMENTS: Families must have a completed Hague-approved home study and I600a approval. Couples must be verified infertile by a medical professional in order for qualify for Niger – Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation do not qualify. Couples must also be married ten or more years with no more than one biological child in the home. Up to two children qualify if all/some are adopted. Each parent must be at least 35 years old. Exceptions to marriage and age and sometimes made on a case by case basis.
PROCESS: Families submit a home study and Dossier to the Central Authority in Niger. It takes up to 6 months to receive approval and a referral from the Niger Committee. After a referral is accepted, the case is then presented to Court. Court approval takes roughly 2-4 months followed by a 60 day Non-Appeal period and finalization of documents. Once all documents are complete, US Immigration approval (I600) is needed. The process takes 1-3 months. After Orphan status has been determined by USCIS, the case is submitted to the US Embassy in Niamey for an I-604 orphan investigation. The current wait time is 1-2 weeks for Visa issuance. Once a Visa is issued, the final step is to travel to Niger to meet your child and bring them to the US.
TRAVEL: Current travel time is approximately 1-2 weeks.
TIMELINE: The current timeline to complete a Niger adoption is 12-18 months, but can be shorter or longer.
US STATE DEPARTMENT LINK: http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=niger
***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: Nigercontract0214
SAMPLE RISK WAIVER: NigerRisk0214
SAMPLE REFERRAL ACCEPTANCE: ReferralAcceptance0214
AAS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: AASPP0214
For more information regarding adoption from Niger please contact Kim Rutland at gro.snoitpodaacirfanull@mik