Nigeria Adoption

nigeriaFlagA Family in Bloom Adoption has significant experience acting as Primary Provider for adoptions from the following Nigerian States for dual citizen Nigerian-Americans: Abia, Abuja, Anambra, Benin City, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, and Rivers, with new cases pending from other regions. At least one and usually both of the adoptive parents need to be dual Nigerian-American citizens to adopt from all but Lagos State. Please see the separate Lagos, Nigeria Program page on our agency website for more information. Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers have different regulations for their adoption process than the other Nigerian States.

As is the case with all international adoptions to the US, at least one of the adoptive parents must have American citizenship and the other parent, a US permanent residency card. Nigerians adopting from their native country can adopt family members or children legally available for adoption from orphanages through the Nigerian State Adoption Authority (Ministry of Social Welfare or equivalent). In order for a child to receive a US Immigrant visa, they must meet orphan status under US law. The US Consulate can conduct their own full field investigations in order to verify the authenticity of the information provided about the child.

Our agency evaluates carefully each potential adoption case from Nigeria on its own merits. A Family in Bloom Adoption, which is based in Colorado, partners with different agencies throughout the United States who will conduct the necessary home study and post-placement work for the adoptive family.

A Family in Bloom Adoption’s Primary Provider fee for the International Adoption Administration work is $4,000 for the adoption of one child, 1.25 times that fee for the adoption of a sibling, and 1.5 times for the base fee for the adoption of non- siblings simultaneously. Our agency offers optional services of different types for additional minor fees to support families’ adoption process.

The information about the requirements for Nigerian adoption below is transcribed directly from the U.S. Department of State’s Intercountry Adoption Page for Nigeria.

Who Can Adopt

lagosIn addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Nigeria:

  • Minimum Residency: There is no specific minimum residence requirement to be eligible to adopt in Nigeria, however, prospective adoptive parents maybe required to stay in Nigeria for a minimum of a few months to two years to bond with the child before petitioning a court to adopt. Each state determines the length of time for the required bonding period.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: In Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and 21 years older than the child. For married couples, at least one parent must meet the age requirements.
  • Marriage: Both single individuals and married couples may adopt. Note that a single person will not be allowed to adopt a child of the opposite sex except in extraordinary circumstances. In most states, married couples must adopt jointly. If married, both members of the couple must be Nigerian citizens (with the exception of Lagos and Ogun states). In a case where only one member of a married couple adopts the child, only the adoptive parent’s name should be listed on the Nigerian birth certificate and the other parent’s name should be left blank. Same-sex married couples are explicitly not allowed to adopt children in Nigeria.
  • Minimum Income: Nigeria does not have any income requirements for intercountry adoptions.

Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Nigeria has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  Adoptions of children who are allegedly relinquished by their parent, who is still living, are subject to investigation as the U.S. Consulate has found that parents in Nigeria may relinquish their children to relatives living in the United States strictly in order to afford the children the ability to immigrate to the United States.
  • Abandonment:  Abandonment of a child in Nigeria is often poorly documented and may require a full investigation by the U.S. Consulate to confirm the abandonment.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  According to Nigerian law, a child must be below the age of 16 (according to the Adoption Act of 1965) or 17 (according to the Child Rights Law) in order to be adopted. The specific law governing the adoption will depend on the jurisdiction in which the adoption takes place. Important note: U.S. law requires a child to be under the age of 16 at the time the petition is filed to qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa, unless the child is the natural sibling of another child who was adopted by the same parents while under the age of 18.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  There are no specific guidelines regarding adopting siblings in Nigeria.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Adoption decrees issued in Nigeria will generally specify any special needs or address the general health of the child to be adopted.  The U.S. home study should match any specifications of special needs that are observed by the Nigerian court.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Prospective adoptive parents must have physical and temporary legal custody of the adoptive child for at least three consecutive months immediately prior to petitioning the court for an adoption decree. An applicant cannot have the child reside with another family member in lieu of living with the applicant, even if a Power of Attorney is in effect. The U.S. Consulate has seen waivers issued to parents who claimed to the court that meeting this requirement was a burden.

Please contact us to learn more about our international adoption services.