Information About Jamaica Adoptions
Jamaica is an island country located in the Caribbean Sea. Jamaica is a beautiful country with a tropical climate with beautiful scenery, and thousands of different species of plant life, forests, and even very dry desert areas along the south coast of the island. The indigenous people originally called Jamaica the land of wood and water. Many of the people of Jamaica people originally came from Nigeria and Ghana and were most likely slaves brough to the Island by the British colonialists. The official language of Jamaica is ‘Jamaican English’ and ‘Jamaican Patois’. English is used in the governmental system but the primary spoken language is Patois. High unemployment and poverty remain the most pressing issues for the people in Jamaica.
Who Can Adopt?
Adopting relative children from Jamaica is possible and our adoption program in Jamaica is designed to help relatives living in the U.S. adopt from Jamaica. Most relative adoptions are finalized in Jamaica and these adoptions are usually completed in about a year after the formal adoption process begins.
Adopting non-relative children is possible, however, the estimated wait time for a referral is about 7 years.
It is rare for a prospective adoptive family to be denied eligibility from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) to adopt from Jamaica. There will likely be two trips to Jamaica required, once to meet with the CPFSA before the adoption process begins and again when it is time to apply for the adopted child’s U.S. visa.
What are the requirements to adopt from Jamaica?
Under Jamaican law, all prospective adoptive parents must be approved by CPFSA before going forward with an adoption. Both single and married couples can adopt from Jamaica, although Jamaica does not allow same sex couples to adopt. One of the prospective adoptive parents must also be at least 18 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
Under US immigration law, at least one adopting parent needs to be 25 years of age.
Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is a foreign-born child who:
- does not have any parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents
- has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child, consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country, and who has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.
You must file an orphan petition before the child’s 16th birthday or before the child’s 18th birthday if the child is a birth sibling of another child whom you have also adopted and who immigrated (or will immigrate) as:
- an orphan based on a Form I-600 petition filed before the sibling’s 16th birthday
- an “adopted child” as defined in Section 101(b)(1)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided the actual adoption took place before that sibling’s 16th birthday
How to Begin
Contact the CPFSA in Jamaica for pre-approval to adopt. For relative adoptions you must prove, through original documentation, that you are related to the child.
The Adoption Process
Apply to the CPFSA in order to be found eligible to adopt a child from Jamaica. The pre-adoption application asks for detailed information on the prospective adoptive parents, which the CPFSA uses to assess the parents’ suitability to adopt under Jamaican law.
Once you have been found eligible to adopt by the Jamaican CPFSA and you have applied to WIA adopt your relative child, the following things will need to take place:
- Sign contracts with Wasatch International Adoptions.
- Begin the home study process.
- A home study completed by an approved adoption agency in your state of residence must be completed.
- If you live outside the state of Utah, we can assist you in finding an approved agency in your area that can help you with your home study.
- Once the home study is completed, you then will file an I-600A application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in order to be approved by the U. S. government to adopt a foreign born child and bring that child into the U.S. Again, our Jamaica Program Coordinator will help you with this task.
- You can then begin the adoption process in Jamaica. In order to begin the adoption process most adoptive families obtain the services of an attorney in Jamaica. WIA can assist you with finding an attorney who can represent your case in court. At this point adoptive families will be asked to provide pertinent adoption documents to the court. The following is a list of documents usually required by the court:
- An application form available from the CPFSA.
- Three copies of the completed home study.
- Results of a medical examination for each adoptive parent and for the child being adopted.
- An income statement
- Two personal reference letters
- One must reside in Jamaica
- A Letter of Undertaking
- When the adopting parents have been approved by the court to adopt the child, normally the adoption is finalized in Jamaica. After the finalization of the adoption, the adoptive family can apply for their child’s Jamaican passport and will then submit a USCIS I-600 form to USCIS. Your Jamaican Program Coordinator will assist you with this process.
Once the U.S. visa is approved, you can bring your child home to the U.S.
|WIA Application Fee||$1,000|
|WIA Program Fee||$6,000|
|Utah Home Study||$1,500|
|Home Study Review out of State home studies||$250|
|WIA Coordinator Fee||$1000 1st, $875 2nd, $500 3rd Child|
|Placement/Finalization Fee||$5,000 1st , $2,000 2nd child|
|Post Placement Reporting Fee||***$1,200 Utah $800 Non-Utah|
|Post Adoption Reporting Fee||***$1,050 Utah $800 Non-Utah|
|Child Care||NOT APPLICABLE|
|3rd Party Fees|
|USCIS Biometric Fees||$85 per adult|
|Documents||≈$150 to $300|
|Visa for Child||$325|
|Exit Medical Exam for Child||$110|
|Airfare||≈$500 to $800 per person|
|Accommodations and Food||≈$175 per day|
|In Country Transportation||≈$50 per day|
|Point of Entry Visa for Parents||$140 per person|
|Adoption Finalization Fees||If, required varies from state to state|
*These fees are required by the agency, Wasatch International Adoptions.
**These fees are required by the foreign country.
***These fees may vary from dossier to dossier depending on the number of documents (for example a single person’s dossier will be smaller than a married couple’s dossier). Expenses also may vary depending on when you travel, where you travel in country, and where you stay. Country Fees are never to be considered a stable or set fee as it is not determined nor in the control of WIA. WIA makes every effort to stay current as to fees but third party and country fees may change without notice or reason.
**Note: Upon request, WIA will disclose the following: Service policy Contracts, the number of adoption placements per year for the prior 3 calendar years, the number of placements that remain intact, the number of families who apply to adopt each year, and the number of waiting children eligible for adoption. To obtain this information please call our office.