January 10, 2024

International Spotlight: Dominican Republic

 

The Dominican Republic (DR), a scenic Caribbean nation, not only boasts stunning landscapes but is also home to a rich history and diverse culture. Amidst the appeal of its tourism and the echoes of Christopher Columbus's historic landing in 1492, the Dominican Republic grapples with pockets of poverty, particularly in rural areas beyond the tourist havens. However, amidst these challenges, the country's commitment to ethical adoption shines through its participation in the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, making it a stable and predictable choice for prospective adoptive parents.

 

Children Available

The DR Adoption Program opens the doors to a diverse range of children awaiting loving homes. Both boys and girls, aged 1.5 to 15 years, are available for adoption. Sibling groups, a testament to the close-knit culture, also seek families willing to embrace them. Children of Hispanic, Haitian, and bi-racial descent, some with special needs ranging from correctable to significant, present adoptive parents with a spectrum of possibilities to create a forever family.

 

Eligibility to Adopt

Prospective adoptive parents must meet certain criteria to embark on this journey. Couples with a marriage history of five years or more are eligible, with both partners falling within the age range of 30 to 60 years. Additionally, adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt.

 

The Adoption Process

The adoption journey involves several crucial steps, beginning with the matching process. Once matched with a child, adoptive parents are required to make at least one trip to the DR, facilitating a 60-day cohabitation period for children under 12 and 30 days for older children. While the process typically takes 4-6 months to finalize after referral acceptance, variations may occur based on individual circumstances.

 

Travel and Post-Adoption Commitments

The travel component requires adoptive parents to attend multiple appointments, including a hearing with a judge. This period allows the child to legally exit the country and join their new family in the United States. The total travel time spans 4.5 to 5.5 months, contributing to the bonding process between the child and their adoptive parents.

Post-adoption commitments are equally significant, emphasizing the importance of the child's well-being post-placement. Adoptive parents must undergo a home visit within 30 days of returning home, followed by post-adoption reports submitted at 1, 6, and 12 months, and annually for the next 5 years. These reports, detailing the child's developmental progress and accompanied by photos, showcase the commitment of adoptive families in providing a healthy and caring environment. Compliance with these post-adoption reports is essential, not only to fulfill the Hague Convention requirements but also to demonstrate to the Dominican Republic's government and birth families that adopted children are thriving.

 

The Dominican Republic Adoption Program weaves a tapestry of hope, commitment, and love. Beyond the scenic beauty that graces this Caribbean nation, there lies an opportunity for families to grow through adoption. By adhering to ethical standards, maintaining transparency, and embracing the journey with dedication, prospective adoptive parents can play a transformative role in the lives of children from the Dominican Republic, creating a future filled with promise and love.

Contact us today to learn more about adopting from the DR. You can email liana@nightlight.org with any questions.

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