uganda collage

The Nightlight Uganda adoption program began in 2010. Uganda is a beautiful country in Africa often referred to as the “Pearl” of Africa. The fees for adoption from Uganda are reasonable, and we estimate that the process will take approximately 18 months to 2 years from application to completion depending upon the type of child you are seeking to adopt.

Nightlight Christian Adoptions has partnered with a local Non-governmental organization (NGO) in Uganda known as Heart of a Child Uganda to open Tender Hearts Baby’s Home. Children in Uganda are often abandoned due to poverty, which is related to societal problems and parental illness. Tender Hearts Baby’s Home is committed to providing excellent care to needy children in Uganda.

Due to changes in Ugandan law in 2016, Uganda is no longer a guardianship program. Families traveling to Uganda to adopt their children will receive a full and final adoption decree from the Ugandan courts. Under the new law, families must obtain an exception to the adoption residency restrictions, which currently require the adopting family to live in Uganda for 12-months. The exceptions typically apply to children who have special needs. Families seeking an exception due to their child’s special needs will generally be making 3 trips to Uganda. Nightlight is committed to helping families prepare for the adoption of children from Uganda by providing educational information on possible developmental delays and health issues.


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There are children around the world waiting for a family like yours. Tell us a little about yourself and receive periodic e-mails featuring waiting children.
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Do you have questions about which adoption program is right for you? We have answers. Complete this brief inquiry form. It’s the first step in getting started with your adoption today!
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To learn more about adopting from Uganda, you may contact us, call our KY office at (859) 263-9964, or directly email our Uganda advocate: Lisa Whitaker at

Uganda Adoption Program Details:

  • Uganda Adoption Program cost will range from $35,740 – $37,890
  • Children will be 18 months of age and older
  • Parents age restrictions will be determined by the adoption agency
  • Referral time for the Uganda Program is typically 12-18 months


View children available for adoption.  Uganda adoption is a wonderful program for families desiring to adopt children 2 years old and older. Tender Hearts Baby Home cares for children up to age 7 years old. Children living in poverty and raised in institutional care often have both developmental and emotional needs. There are also children available for adoption that have minor and correctable to moderate and severe special needs. Children who would otherwise have little hope for a future can have a better life with the emotional and physical security that a loving family can offer, along with the availability of excellent medical care in the United States.


Most loving, stable families qualify to adopt from Uganda. However, certain factors could keep you from adopting in general or from Uganda in particular, as each country has its own rules as to who can adopt. Uganda recently instituted a 12-month residency requirement for adoptive families. The law does allow for exceptions to be made. Families wishing to apply for an exception will need to adopt children with a special medical need. Parents must be 21 years older than the child they wish to adopt. Before applying, please consult with Nightlight regarding any sensitive issues that may apply to you, such as a divorce, a mental health issue, or a criminal history.


  1. Make application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
  2. Begin your adoption home study and submit form I-600A to CIS.
  3. Begin to assemble your dossier. We will give you detailed instructions.
  4. Once USCIS has approved your adoption home study, you will receive your I-171H pre-approval notice.
  5. Once your USCIS approval has been received and a child is available for you, you will receive a referral of a child in Uganda.
  6. Once you have accepted a match of a child, you will be asked to travel to Uganda to meet your child face-to-face. You will be expected to remain in Uganda fostering your child for at least 2 to 4 weeks. At this time your dossier will be delivered to the attorney in Uganda to file for a court date.
  7.  You will receive a court date and travel to Uganda for the hearing. This trip will generally take about 1 week.
  8. The ruling will be issued anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks after your hearing. (This varies by the judge.)
  9. The attorney will apply for your child’s passport and file the I-600 on your behalf with the US Embassy. The orphanage will then take your child for her visa medical appointment.
  10. Return to Uganda for the US Embassy appointment, pick up your child’s visa, and bring your child home!


You receive a referral of a child from Nightlight Christian Adoptions. The referral will include a brief social history of the child, the current health and development of the child, and lab test results for HIV. We highly recommend that you have this information reviewed by a doctor who specializes in international adoption before you make a decision. Once you decide to accept a referral, you will be considered “matched” with the child. You will then travel to Uganda to meet your child and your dossier will then be given to the attorney in Uganda. The attorney will put together information on the child’s file and add this information to your dossier to file with the court. You will spend time bonding with your child during the first trip and then return home to wait for a court date. Once you receive a court date, you will travel again to Uganda. You are not required to remain in Uganda for the court ruling as this can take several weeks. The first trip is about 6 weeks and the 2nd two trips will be about one to two weeks. After the court order is issued, the attorney will file your I-600 with the US Embassy and the orphanage will take your child for their visa medical appointment. Once these things are approved, the US Embassy will invite you to travel for your child’s visa appointment. On this last trip, you will bring your child home.
The time you spend with your child in-country allows you to begin the bonding process. It is amazing to see how children change while their parents are there visiting with them. The bonding process is very important, and being in the country allows your child to transition from being in an orphanage to being with you, his new family.


Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your home study provider. Your home study provider will prepare three post-placement reports and submit them to Nightlight; one report will be completed after the home study provider visits your home within 6 months of your child’s arrival home and the others at 1 and 2 years after you arrive home with your child. In addition, the Ugandan courts require a self-report be provided to the court every 12 months until your child turns 18 years old. In the event that your social work report coincides with one of the self-reports due, the social work report will supersede your self-report. These reports include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing the Ugandan government and birth families that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. 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.


The program fee for a Uganda adoption is $14,500. Additional estimated expenses including travel of $21,240 – $23,390 will bring the total cost to approximately $35,740 – $37,890In addition, your out-of-pocket expenses may further be reduced if you receive scholarships or other employer-provided adoption benefits. For additional fee information, please see Exhibit A and A2.

More Information on Ugandan Adoptions

Uganda Adoption Overview
U.S. Relations with Uganda
Intercountry Adoption Information on Uganda
Uganda Travel Information