All adoptions in Jamaica are determined and overseen by a centralized governmental entity, the Child Development Agency (CDA). Children available for adoption reside in children’s homes located throughout the island. According to CDA personnel, children’s homes include a disproportionate number of children that are not available for adoption. Those that are meet the criteria set forth by the Jamaican authorities that will ensure that proper child investigations have occurred and that biological parents’ rights can be legally terminated.
Every child is my child
Let’s fill their hearts with peace
A vision for the future
And boundless hopes and dreams
Child Development Agency, Jamaica
Guidelines for the age of adoptive parents in non-kinship adoptions are rather broad, from a minimum of 25 years of age or older. There are two disparate processes by which a US citizen can adopt from Jamaica, an Adoption Order or an Adoption License. Most Americans will use the Adoption License process, whereby an adoptive child will leave Jamaica under a guardianship arrangement in the custody of their future parents. The finalization of the adoption occurs at a later date in the US. In this case, up to two separate trips of a relatively short duration will suffice to complete the Jamaican adoptive process abroad.
Prospective adoptive families with Jamaican heritage, for example those who have emigrated originally from Jamaica or may still have extended family living in the country, will be prioritized by the CDA for adoption. Those that do not have Jamaican citizenship or heritage will have a higher likelihood of success and a quicker process abroad in choosing to adopt school-aged children to teenagers, including those with special needs. The US Embassy in Jamaica Consular Division processes a high number of kinship adoption visas annually for Jamaican children to emigrate to extended family members residing in the US.
Jamaican children matched for international adoption generally have a prognosis for good physical health. Coming from an institutional setting and a potentially traumatic life history can predispose a child to emotional issues that may require additional support during or after the post-placement phase.
The CDA does not go into formal arrangements with foreign adoption agencies for direct placements. Since Universal Accreditation in July 2014, the US State Department has established written guidelines for child placement agencies for responsible inter-country adoption work with Jamaica. For our Colorado families, A Family in Bloom Adoption can offer both the home study, overseeing the international adoption and post-placement from Jamaica. Post-placement requirements from Jamaica involve reports being sent back at regular intervals until finalization has occurred in the United States, which in most states spans a period of approximately 6 months.
For non-Colorado families, A Family in Bloom Adoption can act as the Primary Provider partnering with an adoption agency in your state of residence. The in-state adoption agency will always providethe requisite home study and post-placement visits plus reports. If one is obtaining an Adoption Order, whereby the adoption is finalized in Jamaica, A Family in Bloom Adoption’s fees total $3,500. If the adoption from Jamaica is granted by the courts as an Adoption License, then our agency’s fees totaled $4000, as this requires greater time and resources.
In summary, one can say that a Jamaican adoption is less expensive than many other international countries. It will involve travel of a short duration to a destination close to American borders. The risks will be that the family is operating more directly themselves vis-à-vis the Jamaican authorities for the actual match and placement of a child. One can find more information about the Child Development Agency and download an application at www.cda.gov.jm.
More about Jamaica:
The island of Jamaica is one of verdant landscapes paired with the surrounding azure seas. Avian life is a stand out colorful splendor, with the Hummingbird denoted as the national bird. The warmth and sociability of the Jamaican people is legendary. Beyond the reggae household name of Marley, music is deeply ingrained in the Jamaican cultural soul.
The history since independence from Great Britain has been marred by intense periods of political rivalries, sometimes resulting in violence, although currently Jamaica is on a much more stable course with a pro-American orientation. The educational system is exemplary amongst Caribbean nations, with the University of the West Indies considered one of the best in the region. Funding for basic infrastructure, high unemployment and poverty remain pressing issues for many in the country.
Please contact us to learn more about our international adoption services.