What Happens After My Court Process is Completed in Burkina Faso?


african children_credit neededMLJ Adoptions is celebrating with our first family to have finalized their legal adoption process in Burkina Faso! This family represents our first family in the Burkina Faso country program to become legal parents of a Burkinabe child! Following up to our last installment of what happens after you receive a referral, we detail here what happens after your court process is completed. Burkina Faso is signatory to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (or Hague Adoption Convention) and therefore adheres to a very structured and ethical adoption process.

The legal court process in Burkina Faso can take an average of 6 – 8 months to complete, depending on many factors. These timelines, though, are averages and cannot be guaranteed. Families should remember that many things can influence your adoption timeline and every adoption will vary. Once the Judge rules in your favor to grant the adoption, you will receive an Adoption Act from the Court. Following the issuance of the Adoption Act, families are required to wait during a four-week mandatory appeal period. If no one appeals the Court’s decision of adoption, a Certificate of Non-Appeal or CONA as it is commonly known, is issued. Once the CONA is issued, the final document sealing the decision of adoption is the Adoption Order, making the adoption final. Your court process is over and you are now the legal parents of your adopted child! Congratulations!

Once all your legal paperwork is obtained, it is time to begin applying for your post-adoption birth certificate. This document is needed to obtain your child’s Burkinabe passport which will be your next step following the birth certificate. Timelines for the birth certificate and passport are approximately one to two weeks, but again can be influenced by many factors and are not guaranteed.

After referral and during your court process, your referred child will reside either in an orphanage or in foster care. For MLJ client families, children referred to date have resided in foster care homes, and MLJ’s foreign staff providers have provided monthly updates, photos, videos, as well as an opportunity for Facetime over the holidays for one family with their referred child once the adoption was finalized. This was an especially heartwarming experience both for the family and the child to experience over the Christmas holidays! MLJ client families have also been allowed to send care packages to their referred children during the legal process while they wait for their adoption to be completed, giving an outlet for a generally stressful and anxiety-ridden time for adoptive parents.

Once you have entered your CONA period, families can begin discussing travel dates with their program director. Families are required to stay in Burkina Faso no less than 15 days and their time in-country is very structured. MLJ is very excited to share that our first family is anticipating travel in the month of March to bring their child home! Please watch for our next installment: What Happens During Travel to Bring Our Adopted Child Home?

For more information on adopting from Burkina Faso, contact us.

Photo Credit: Lead Beyond

Interested in adopting from Africa? MLJ Adoptions' Burkina Faso program could be a great option for your family.

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.