The Dominican Republic is a small Caribbean country home to approximately 10 million people, most well-known for its tourism and home to Christopher Columbus’s New World landing in 1492.  Dominican Republic’s land contains many forests, swamps, beaches, and savannas. Once ruled by Spain, Dominican Republic achieved independence in 1884.  While considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean, poverty is still an issue in the rural areas outside the areas of tourism.  The capitol is Santo Domingo.  Dominican Republic is party to The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all intercountry adoptions between Dominican Republic and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.  Hague countries have additional safeguards to ensure ethical adoptions and tend to be more stable and predictable in processing adoptions.

CHILDREN AVAILABLE

  • Both boys and girls are available for adoption; gender preference may be specified.
  • Available children range in age from around 1.5 to 18 years.
  • Sibling groups are available in the Dominican Republic.
  • Children are of Hispanic, Haitian, and bi-racial descent.
  • Children with special needs, including those with known needs ranging from correctable to severe, are available for adoption, including older children, some with and some without correctable to severe special needs (6 and older).

ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT

Couples who have been married five years or more can adopt from The Dominican Republic. Both parents must be a minimum of 30 years old and neither spouse may be older than 60 years old. Adoptive parents must also be at least 15 years older than the adopted child.

PROCESS

    1. Submit your application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
    2. Begin your adoption home study and submit form I-800A to USCIS.
    3. Begin to assemble your dossier. We will give you detailed instructions.
    4. Once USCIS has approved you to adopt from Dominican Republic, you will receive your I-797C approval notice.
    5. Once your USCIS approval has been received your dossier is translated, registered in Dominican Republic.
    6. You will be added to the list of waiting families and it can take 18-24 months to receive a match from the central authority.
    7. Complete official referral review with Nightlight’s Social Services Department
    8. Upon referral acceptance, Nightlight will begin assisting you with processing of your I-800.
    9. Upon provisional approval of your I-800, Your file is submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Dominican Republic and the Article 5 letter is issued.
    10. Your legal adoption process is completed in Dominican Republic.
    11. You will then travel to Dominican Republic for a period of 1-2 months to meet your child and complete a cohabitation period to begin the finalization process.
    12. The final step is to obtain the US visa for your child, obtain exit approval, meet with the central authority and judge, then return home with your adopted child.
    13. The children reside in orphanages while awaiting adoption.
    14. Dominican Republic adoptions will take approximately 4-6 months to be finalized after a referral is accepted.

TRAVEL

  • Often these countries require an official referral and bonding trip. You may be required to complete a home study by the country, of the home you will be residing in while completing the bonding Countries vary in this requirement although many require 3-6 months of bonding prior to the court approving a guardianship or adoption.
  • If only guardianship was given by the child’s country, upon arriving back in the U.S. you will need to complete a legal US adoption if your child entered the country under an IR4 VISA and Once you have completed the legal adoption, you can apply for Citizenship for your child. If your child travels home under an IR3 VISA, the child will receive the Certificate of Citizenship within 6-9 weeks after you go through US Immigration when you enter the USA following your adoption.
  • After being matched with a child, the adoptive parents are required to take at least one trip to Dominican Republic. The trip is a required 60 days’ cohabitation period for the adoption of a child younger than the age of 12, and 30 days for a child over 12. However, this can be waived in special circumstances. When traveling, the adoptive parents are united with their child and attend multiple appointments, including a hearing with a judge. These appointments allow a child to exit the country and return to the U.S. with their new family. Total travel time is 60-90 days.

NIGHTLIGHT’S COMMITMENT

Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to preparing families for the adoption of a child with special needs. We provide pre- and post-adoption education and information regarding medical resources.

POST ADOPTION

Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your home study provider. Your home study provider will prepare post-adoption reports and submit them to Nightlight at 6 months and 12 months from the date of placement and then annually from the date of placement for the next 5 years after placement, with at least ten printed photos to include pictures of the whole family and pictures of the child alone. Reports must be notarized and apostilled.  These reports will include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing the Dominican Republic’s government and birth families that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. Compliance with post adoption reports is also required by The Hague Convention.  Therefore, Nightlight charges a fee to monitor and process these post placement reports and also requires families to pay for the cost of the post placement report in advance.

Please contact Lexis Kaminski, [email protected] ,  (502) 423-5780 with any questions.

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To learn more about our Dominican Republic Adoption Program, you may contact us, call our office at (502) 423-5780, or email inquiries to Lexis Kaminski, at [email protected]

More Information on Dominican Republic Adoptions

Dominican Republic Adoption Overview and Fees
Dominican Republic U.S. Relations
Intercountry Adoption Information on Dominican Republic