Lifeline’s experienced team of adoption specialists welcomes you as you begin the incredible journey to adopt a precious child from the Dominican Republic. Lifeline has an excellent in-country team in the Dominican Republic and established, quality relationships with local persons of contact through the Central Authority, CONANI. If you choose to adopt from the Dominican Republic, we would be more than happy to partner with you through this journey!
Who We Are
Lifeline is a state-licensed, Hague-accredited, non-profit ministry that exists to place these children in a safe and loving home and provide services to Christian families desiring to adopt. Lifeline’s vision is to help find loving, Christian homes for these precious children who otherwise might never experience the love and care from having a family of their own. Lifeline invites you to open your heart and take this incredible journey of faith to the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region and it is known for its great biological diversity and great tourist attractions. Tourists come from all over to the world to partake in activities such as; scuba diving, snorkeling, golf, windsurfing, and deep sea fishing. Nevertheless, despite all the country has to offer its tourists; unemployment and government corruption still exists as major problems for thousands of Dominican families. Many families often have to struggle to survive and provide for the basic necessities of their children. As a result, parents find themselves in positions where they are not adequately able to take care of their children. These children often end up in orphanages or worse on the streets, having to fend for themselves.
On any given day, thousands of children can be found working in the streets of Santo Domingo. Many times these children can be found on the streets peddling cheap goods, washing windows, shining shoes, and in many times taking more dangerous measures in order to make money. These children are extremely vulnerable in the life of the streets and some will find refuge in drugs, crime, or prostitution as a means to survive.
Many of these minors are either being sexually exploited, working long hours on farms or doing other forms of manual labor. Others are reported to work as “divers” scavenging at the garbage dumps for food and items that they can sell. However, it is difficult to give an accurate number of how many children on the streets are true “orphans” because these children live such transient, instable lifestyles; frequently moving from place to place to look for safety and shelter.
Additionally, many children that end up in orphanages come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect, which often leaves children scarred emotionally and with a poor sense of self and worth. It is reported that the Dominican Republic has an estimated number of 190,000 orphans accounted for in their orphanages. Many times the workers of the children’s homes have to go out on to the streets to find abandoned children and bring them to the homes to provide them with food and shelter for the night. Due to a lack of resources for the children’s homes or the children’s unwillingness to stay at the orphanage, it is difficult for the workers to adequately provide these children with the help and guidance that they need to get off the streets.* Regardless of the reasons why so many children in the Dominican Republic end up on the streets or in the orphanages, the need of providing these children with a permanent loving home is tremendous! Lifeline is looking to find exceptional parents to step in and meet the needs of these special children.
According to CONANI, The Dominican Republic’s Central Authority, that is responsible for the administrative phase of international adoptions, children as young as 10 months old and as old as 17 years old can be eligible for adoption, as well as sibling groups. The children who are considered for adoption may or may not have special needs; however the CONANI considers any child age 4 and older as “special needs” solely on the basis that the child is older and has likely experienced the effects of institutionalization.
The Adoption Process
The adoption process begins with a home study report. This report consists of four interviews with a social worker as well as the completion of various accompanying documents that will be gathered during the process. Lifeline will complete the home study report for families residing in one of the states in which we are licensed: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Washington State and help to refer families residing outside of these states to a home study provider in your state of residence. During the home study report process, you will apply to Citizenship and Immigration Services and begin gathering documents for your Dossier Packet. Your Lifeline social worker will help you complete your Dossier and will send it to the Lifeline representative in the Dominican Republic upon completion.
After your dossier has been approved, you will then wait to be chosen as the parents for a child who becomes available for adoption. The Dominican Republic has specific post-adoption requirements. Once you and your child are home, your Lifeline social worker will visit your family in your home to complete a post-adoption visit and report. Your social worker will submit a report on these visits attesting to the welfare and development of your child in your home.
Important Documents to Review
We’re Here To Serve You
We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Dominican Republic and help children find their forever families! Start the journey here by searching our website for valuable information that will help you through the Dominican Republic adoption process. Please give a call to Beth Stanley, our Latin American Program Coordinator, at 205-972-8382 to ask about adopting from the Dominican Republic. You can also email Beth here.