At this time we are not accepting new applications into our Congo program due to a high volume of applicants. We will keep the website updated as to when the program will once again be open for new applicants.
Lifeline Children’s Services began a pilot program to place children from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011. As we are still in the pilot stages of this program, we will be seeking families who can be flexible, are open to varying ages and possible special needs of children, and have an understanding that because this is still a new program to expect changes in their adoption process.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country located in Central Africa with a population of 71 million, making it one of the most populous nations in the world. It is boarded by countries such as The Congo, Rwanda, and South Sudan. The official language is French and Christianity is the major religion. The Congo River is the second longest river in Africa and flows through the capital city of Kinshasa making it a city of sharp contrasts. Due to numerous African wars, much of the people of DRC have been afflicted and struggled to provide their basic needs. This has greatly impacted the number of children who are orphaned and are in need of loving homes. There is estimated to be between 50,000-100,000 children living in orphanages or considered street children who struggle to survive.
The Adoption Process
- 24 month estimated timeframe, though this can change as it is still a new program.
- Children reside in the care of an orphanage.
- The Congo’s Requirements for Adoption:
- Applicants to adopt must be at least 15 years older than the child they are adopting and be in good general health.
- Applicants must be married for at least three years.
- Both married and single applicants may adopt from Congo, but married couples are preferred by the courts.
- The Congo requires a licensed social worker to submit post-adoption reports at 6 weeks and 6 months.
- The ages of children eligible for adoption range from less than one year to fourteen years old.
- Sibling groups are eligible.
- Both genders are eligible.
- Healthy and Special Needs children are eligible.
- Referrals are made by matching prospective parents with a set of criteria the parents communicate or if an applicant has a particular child in mind from a previous visit to the country.
- The child will receive a medical evaluation from the U.S. embassy.
- All children are tested for HIV.
- Only one adoptive parent is required to travel to the Congo, however, both parents are encouraged to travel.
- The average length of stay in the Congo is 1-2 weeks.
- Adoptive families will need a translator while in the Congo and a driver/guide is strongly encouraged and will be available.
- The adoption must be finalized in your state for the child to become a U.S. citizen.