Burkina Faso Africa Adoption

11924350_1008539322519350_8937161185057842087_oWelcome to Burkina Faso adoption!  

Burkina Faso is a Hague Convention country and adoption is conducted through the Central Authority, in compliance with regulations on international adoption.  We will gladly provide information on all ICF adoption program outcomes, waiting families and children.

Burkina Faso Children Referred for Adoption

Under the local laws, children who have been in institutional care, private or public, for a period of more than 12 months can be considered eligible for adoption. Sibling adoptions are encouraged. Priority is given to prospective adoptive parents willing and ready to parent special needs.

ICF offers grants for the adoption of older children!  Please refer to the fee schedule.  Families adopting related children (nieces, nephews, siblings) are obliged under the Hague Convention to follow the same procedures as those adopting unrelated children.

ICF does not charge additional agency fees for sibling adoption; however, there will be additional document, translation and travel costs.  If the children are not living in the same state or region, there may be additional court and/or foreign representation costs.

Family Eligibility to Adopt

  • There is no residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents residing outside of Burkina Faso.  There is a two-year residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents who live in Burkina Faso.
  • A prospective adoptive parent must be between 30-55 years old and at least 15 years older than the child sought for adoption.  If the prospective adoptee is the biological child of one of the spouses, the age difference between the child and the spouse must be at least 10 years.
  • Couples must be legally married for at least five years to be eligible to adopt.  Although not specified in law, common practice is that single applicants and same sex couples are not permitted to adopt children in Burkina Faso.  Married prospective adoptive parents without children of their own are given priority, or couples with only one child.  We do not recommend families with more than one child to adopt from Burkina Faso, due to these policies. The Burkinabe government prefers the adopted child be the youngest in the family.
  • Prospective adoptive parents are required to have sufficient funds to be able to take care of their adoptive child.  Proof of income must be submitted with the initial application.

Boys at beach Adopting parents must have an approved home study and approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adopt from Burkina Faso as well as other documents required for their dossier. Adoptive families must complete at least ten hours of pre-adoption education prior to ICF home study approval.  We encourage families to read books on adoptive parenting throughout the process and to remain in contact with our staff. Parenting is an ongoing learning process.  We recommend many adoption resources on the website and can help with medical and therapeutic resources.  We’re here to help!

Timeframe and Steps in the Process

Typically adoptions are finalized within 12-18 months from the date of dossier submission, which is when Burkina Faso learns about you—the adoptive family.  The “dossier,” which means “application” in French, includes your home study, photos, your US Citizen and Immigration Services approval, medical reports, criminal clearances and other documents establishing your readiness to adopt.  Referral time-frames may vary, depending upon your preferences.

We recommend that you be open to as broad an age range as you feel will be a comfortable fit for your family, and let us know if you are open to siblings or children with special medical needs.  Adoptive parents who have specific narrow requests, such as “girl age 2-3 years old” will predictably wait longer than a family who requests “girl or boy or two siblings of either sex age 1-7 at time of referral, with moderate correctable special needs.” All referrals are issued by the Adoption Committee of the Central Authority.

The time between referral and court adoption decree may be about 3-4 months, or longer, and then there is a 30 day wait before the court releases your documents.  Shortly thereafter it is time to travel.

While one trip is a requirement, we recommend that families (one or both spouses) consider traveling to Burkina Faso after their child referral is approved.  This creates an opportunity for the child(ren) to get to know the family and thus reduce the stress of leaving their orphanage and community.  While not required, the trip is also a way to convey to the Central Authority that US families have a genuine interest in the country and culture.

The required trip to bring your child home can take three weeks or longer to process all required exit documents before bringing your child home. In addition to applying for a U.S. passport, you may be required to apply for a visa to travel to Burkina Faso.

General projected time frame; governmental, political, regulatory and staff changes may delay adoption processing.

5 months — time to get home study and USCIS approval and prepare dossier

1 month — shipping dossier  and translation and registration at Central Authority

18+ months — referral wait unless older child, special needs or sibling group

6 months — from referral acceptance to get through court and bring child home

About 2 1/2 years.  This is not unusual these days for an international adoption.

For more information: https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/country-information/learn-about-a-country/burkina-faso.html


1) Documents in English for presentation in Burkina Faso must be translated to French and all documents in French with regards to the child and adoption must be translated to English. This adds expense and time to the adoption process.

2) Families are obligated to provide post adoption reports per the requirements of the child’s country of origin and/or their state or agency.  A minimum of four reports at six month intervals are required and then annual reports until age 18.  Reports are a legal requirement, per your Adoption Services Agreement.