August 10, 2022

International Spotlight: Burkina Faso


Nightlight opened our Burkina Faso program in 2014 and we have seen this program come a long way! Burkina Faso should be of interest to any family considering adoption from Africa. Burkina Faso is signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention, ensuring protections are in place to provide oversight that intercountry adoptions are processed in the best interests of the Burkinabe children. Burkina Faso is a stable and predictable African adoption program meeting the needs of orphaned children in Africa.

Since opening the program in 2014, we have welcomed 20 children home to the U.S. to their forever families. Despite the recent pandemic, we currently have ten families who have been matched with children in various stages of their adoption process in Burkina Faso. Just this year from January to August 2022 Nightlight has received seven matches of children to waiting families. Of these matches the child characteristics and timelines families experienced are listed below. However, it is important to remember, matching timelines were greatly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, when we saw delays in all country programs, including delays in the country’s ability to match waiting children with families, and therefore these timelines are not necessarily reflective of new families entering the program.

Families in 2022 to date have been matched with children with the following characteristics and experienced the following wait times:

  • One year old girl Family waited 3 years 10 months to be matched
  • One year old girl Family waited 1 Year 11 months to be matched
  • One year old girl Family waited 2 years 8 months to be matched
  • Two year old boy Family waited 3 years 3 months to be matched
  • Four year old boy Family waited 4 years 2 months to be matched
  • One year, 7 month old boy Family waited 1 year 7 months to be matched
  • 9 year old boy Family waited 4 months to be matched (pre-identified child)

As you can see our Burkina Faso program is breaking records in 2022! Some of the children referred this year were considered “healthy”, others had mild or correctable medical needs. Of the children matched, one child had more moderate medical needs. While families may opt to wait to be matched by the central authority with a child considered “healthy”, prospective adoptive families will be matched much more quickly if they are open to children with additional needs and selecting a child from the special needs list. Burkina Faso issues special needs lists several times a year and families may opt to be considered for a child on the special needs lists if they have a submitted a dossier and it has been accepted.

Additional needs of children on this list could include medical conditions such as Hepatitis B, Sickle Cell trait, Sickle Cell disease, HIV, children born of incestuous relationships, children born to birth mothers with mental health conditions, mental handicaps, deformed or missing limbs, deaf-mute, developmental delays, malnutrition or children older than six years of age.

Once matched, families can anticipate traveling to Burkina Faso to bring their child home approximately 11-12 months later, without any unforeseen delays. Families are required to stay in country for 14 days prior to bringing their child home.

Nightlight is currently offering new families the ability to waive their application fee (a savings of $500) if entering this program. Applications must be accepted by August 31st, 2022.
Can you provide a family and forever home to a child in need in Africa? If you are interested in adopting from Burkina Faso, contact or visit our Burkina Faso webpage.

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