Jamaica Adoption Program

On July 14, 2014, the United States Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues put into effect the requirement that all intercountry adoptions required a US Hague Accredited agency as Primary Provider. This meant that families could no longer complete an inter-country adoption without a Primary Provider Agency. Nightlight Christian Adoptions agreed to work with families who were interested in adopting relatives or completing an inter-country adoption through the UAA process. As the countries are varied and across the globe, the adoption process varies according to the country. Many of the countries provide for a ‘guardianship’ process with the actual adoption taking place and being finalized in the US. Each situation is evaluated on a case by case basis to determine whether Nightlight can assist the family with their adoption. Some of the countries are signatories of The Hague and others are non-Hague countries. It is expected that the adoption process may take anywhere between 12 – 18 months. The Jamaican Adoption Authority is the Child Development Agency or CDA.

Children between the ages of 6 weeks and 18 years are eligible for adoption through the Jamaican Adoption Authority. However, according to US regulations, USCIS will not process the adoption of a child if the I-600A has not been submitted prior to the child’s 16th birthday. We can only assist families who are planning to adopt children under age 16 and they are able to complete their home study and submit USCIS I-600A prior to the child’s 16th birthday.

  • Applicants must be at least 25 years of age.
  • At least 18 years age difference between prospective adoptive parents and the adoptive child.
  • Both single and married individuals can adopt.
  • Income: Must meet US standards of 125% over poverty
  1. Complete our online application (Pay application fee $500)
  2. Complete our International Adoption Services Contract (Pay Orientation fee of $2500 and Monitoring and Oversight fee of $500 per child being adopted). The Monitoring and Oversight fee is paid to IAAME, the accrediting entity designated by the US Department of State/Office of Children’s Issues, the US Central Authority.)
  3. Orientation meeting with Nightlight Staff, reviewing the intercountry adoption process through Jamaica. Review and return Service Plan.
  4. Collect all required child documents and provide to Nightlight coordinator (proof of orphan status; parent death certificates or relinquishment of rights; medical evaluation; school and social report).
  5. Begin your Home Study with Nightlight or an approved Hague Accredited agency that is identified and approved by Nightlight.
  6. Complete your pre-adoption application form to the CDA Child Development Agency, the Adoption Authority for Jamaica.
  7. Once your Home Study has been completed, Nightlight will review the Home Study and assist you with preparing your I-600A Advance Processing of Orphan Petition for US Immigration (Pay $2000 to Nightlight for second program fee, $945 to US Immigration for I-600 processing and live scan [fees estimated for a married couple, no additional adults in the home]) https://www.uscis.gov/i-600a
  8. Jamaica Dossier: Nightlight will assist you in putting together the packet of documents required by the Jamaican Adoption Authority.
  9. With a relative adoption, the process in Jamaica can move fairly quickly and you may not be required to complete the in-country residence of 3 months for bonding.
  10. Receive approval of the I-600A (average length of time for processing is 9 weeks).
  11. Nightlight Clinical staff will review specific child referral – medical, social, psychological reports with the family, recognizing the child is often well known to the family and the family likely provided the staff member with the referral information.
  12. Complete I-600 application and submit to USCIS – NBC for review. Nightlight will assist with this process. (Submit final program fee to Nightlight – $500)
  13. After the approval of the I-600, the parents will travel to Jamaica to complete the guardianship/adoption. This trip can be 2-6 weeks. Before traveling, confirm with the CDA that they have approved your process.
  14. You will receive either a full adoption order or guardianship from the Jamaican court. If you have a choice, request a full adoption order as that would be recognized in the US and would not require an additional US adoption. If you receive guardianship on your child, you will need to complete a US final adoption once you return home with your child.
  15. Complete US VISA process at the US Embassy (Guidance is provided by Nightlight staff).
  16. Complete a minimum of 3 post placement reports with your Home Study provider once you return home.
  • An official referral and bonding trip may be required by the CDA. Jamaica requires a 3 month period although often waives this for those adopting relatives or who carry a Jamaican passport.
  • If only guardianship was given by the child’s country, upon arriving back in the U.S. you will need to complete a legal U.S. adoption. In this case, your child would have received an IR-4 VISA. You will need to complete the U.S. adoption before completing the N-600 Application for U.S. Citizenship
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.

Please call (502) 423-5780 or e-mail Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn.howard@nightlight.org with any questions.

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To learn more about adopting from Jamaica, you may contact us, call our office at (502) 423-5780, or email inquiries to Lynn at Lynn@nightlight.org.

Jamaica Adoption Program Details
  • Typically we work with relative adoptions only.
  • Parents age must be at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting.
  • Parents must be at least 25 years old.
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