After two years of research, collaboration and travel, MLJ Adoptions is excited to officially open a new African adoption program in the country of Burkina Faso!
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in West Africa with the capitol being Ouagadougou. It has been estimated that 980,000 Burkinabe children are living without parental care in Burkina Faso. Children in Burkina Faso are orphaned due to abandonment or relinquishment by biological parents as a result of poverty, disease, HIV/AIDS and childbirth out of wedlock. In a country where the majority of the population exists on less than one dollar a day, poverty is a key component to the continued rise of orphaned children. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the children in need of families in Burkina Faso and to partner with the families who want to adopt them.
Burkina Faso is party to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. As such, Burkina Faso is considered a Hague Convention Country, meaning there are additional safeguards by which Burkina Faso operates to ensure adoptions are both ethical and in the best interests of the children. Hague Convention Countries tend to be more stable and predictable in processing adoptions and are less likely to be reactionary and make quick decisions that negatively impact the adoption process. Furthermore, Hague Convention Countries are more likely to have a process and procedure in place in the event the country elects to make any changes to its adoption process. While there are currently few adoptions between Burkina Faso and the United States, Burkina Faso has a history of adoptions with European countries, such as France and Italy.
For families seeking to adopt from Africa, Burkina Faso may be the option for you to adopt a child in need and expand your family. Families must meet the following requirements to adopt from Burkina Faso:
- Adoptive parents must be married for a minimum of five years (singles are not permitted to adopt); the marriage requirement cannot be waived under any circumstance
- At least one parent must be between 30 – 53 years old; parents must be 15 years older than the child
- No more than one child currently in the home; for families wishing to adopt two children, no children in the home
- Parents wishing to adopt special needs children or children 6+ years or older may have the parental age and number of children in the home requirements waived
- Parents must be in good physical and mental health
Burkina Faso is a new program for MLJ Adoptions and, because of this, is considered a “Pilot Program.” Prospective adoptive families assume increased risk in Pilot Programs, as compared to well-established programs, due to the fact that the process is new to MLJ Adoptions and the foreign service providers assisting in the process. Risks include possible changes in the adoption process, increased legal risk, increased financial risk, and possible changes to anticipated timeframes and travel requirements.