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.
ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT
- 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
- Complete our online application (Pay application fee $500)
- Complete our International Adoption Services Contract (Pay initial program fee $1500 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.
- Orientation meeting with Nightlight Staff, reviewing the intercountry adoption process through Jamaica. Review and return Service Plan.
- Begin your Home Study with Nightlight or an approved Hague Accredited agency.
- Complete your pre-adoption application form to the CDA Child Development Agency, the Adoption Authority for Jamaica.
- 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 $1500 to Nightlight, $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
- Jamaica Dossier: Nightlight will assist you in putting together the packet of documents required by the Jamaican Adoption Authority.
- 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.
- Receive approval of the I-600A (average length of time for processing is 9 weeks).
- 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.
- Complete I-600 application and submit to USCIS – NBC for review. Nightlight will assist with this process. (Submit final program fee to Nightlight – $500)
- 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.
- 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.
- Complete US VISA process at the US Embassy (Guidance is provided by Nightlight staff)
- 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
The post adoption reporting varies and is dependent on the final determination by the Jamaican court. A minimum of 3 post placement or adoption visits are required by Nightlight to insure and support your adoption process. The first report should be completed within 1 month of your arrival home. The following 2 reports should be completed at 6 months and 1 year of your arrival home. These summary reports should be submitted to Nightlight after each visit. The State where the family resides may determine a need for additional reports in order to complete a U.S. adoption. The Jamaican court can also require additional reports.
The cost for a UAA/Kinship adoption from Jamaica is $500 application fee and $3500 program fee for a total of $4000 to oversee the adoption. There is an additional ‘Monitoring and Oversight’ fee for the accrediting entity, designated by the US Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues. They charge $500 per child being adopted and required the adoption agency to collect this fee for them. This fee is due when the adoption services contract is signed and the fees are then forwarded by the adoption agency to IAAME, the current accrediting entity. This does not cover any fees for the home study, post placement, post adoption, immigration fees, country attorney, travel, documents or communication. Please see the fee schedule.
Please call (714-693-5437) or e-mail Rhonda Jarema, [email protected] with any questions.
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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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