Recently, the Ugandan courts have started to include in the court rulings that a family must return to Uganda every 5 years from the date of receiving legal guardianship for the purposes of a Heritage Trip. This Heritage Trip is considered to be an educational trip in which you and your child has the opportunity to return to their country of origin and also involves an appearance before the Registrar for an informal meeting to learn about your family. Please contact Lifeline if you have any further questions about this requirement.
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered on the east by Kenya, the north by Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania.
Once described as “the Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda is a land of extraordinary contrasts: a land blessed with outstanding beauty and rich in cultural history and diversity, yet a country where the vast majority of its citizens live well below the poverty line.
Uganda straddles the equator and is blessed with mild to warm weather throughout the year. The country’s dominant feature is water from the vast blue lake of Victoria to the birth of the ever-flowing Nile river. Dramatic mountains punctuate the landscape and the modern capital, Kampala, rests on seven hills. The offical language is English and the locals are genuinely friendly and helpful.
The Adoption Process
- Uganda processes both adoptions and legal guardianships.
- Final adoption will take place in the US.
- Children reside in the care of an orphanage.
- Uganda requires that adoptive applicants must be at least 23 years of age.
- Applicants to adopt must be at least 21 years older than the child they are adopting and in good general health.
- Applicants must be married for at least one year.
- Both married and single applicants may adopt from Uganda.
- There are no restrictions for having other children in the home.
- Uganda requires a licensed social worker to submit post-adoption reports to The Ministry of Gender at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after returning home from Uganda.
- The ages of children eligible for adoption range from less than 1 year to 14 years old.
- Referrals are made by matching prospective parents with a child who meets their criteria or a applicant can have a particular child in mind from a previous visit to the country.
- Boys and girls are both eligible, however there are typically more boys than girls eligible for adoption.
- Sibling groups are available.
- Healthy and Special Needs children are available.
- The child will receive a medical evaluation from the US Embassy before guardianship is granted.
- All children are tested for HIV.
- Both adoptive parents are required to travel to Uganda to adopt their child. However, one parent may be able to leave before guardianship is granted (typically after 10 days).
- The average length of stay in Uganda is 4-6 weeks.
- Adoptive families will not need a translator while in Uganda, however a driver/guide is strongly encouraged and will be available.
- The child does not automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when they enter the United States. Once the child immigrates to the United States, the legal guardians must file for adoption with a U.S. state court (a simple process).