A Family in Bloom Adoption has an active adoption program in Jamaica. Our agency’s main Jamaican case manager is based in the country. Attorneys are not needed for the adoption process from Jamaica.
Unlike most foreign country adoptions, adoption from Jamaica will involve a direct relationship between the adoptive family and the Jamaican authorities. Many of our adoptive families are themselves Jamaican-Americans adopting family members with designated children from their communities in Jamaica. Adoption from Jamaica can be successful for Americans waiting on an approved match from the Jamaican government’s waiting list. Families that are seeking to adopt older, special needs, or sibling groups are prioritized and will therefore have a faster adoption process. Children less than five years old are rarely matched by the Jamaican Adoption Authority from children’s homes, except after long wait times and then usually to Jamaican-American families.
All adoptions in Jamaica are determined and overseen by a centralized governmental entity, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), previously known as the Child Development Agency or CDA. Children available for adoption reside in children’s homes located throughout the island. According to CPFSA personnel, children’s homes include a disproportionate number of children that are not available for adoption. Those that are available for adoption meet the criteria set forth by the Jamaican authorities that will ensure that proper child investigations have occurred and whose biological parents’ rights can be legally terminated.
Who Can Adopt
Guidelines for the age of adoptive parents in non-kinship adoptions are rather broad. Both married couples and single parents can adopt. The age of adoptive parents is 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. This is determined by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). The Adoption Order is primarily for Jamaican-Americans involved in kinship cases and where the adoptive parents may additionally have been assessed abroad. 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. If a child enters the US under a guardianship arrangement, then the finalization of the adoption occurs at a later date in the US. The Child Protection and Family Services Agency wants to have three trips for non-relatives adoptions for bonding with a child, although previous contacts can the counted towards the total number of trips.
Post-placement requirements from Jamaica involve reports being sent back at regular intervals until finalization occurs in the United States. In most states, it takes at least six months before an adoption can be finalized. In the case of an Adoption Order, finalization will not be needed since children enter as US citizens. The post-adoption requirements will involve either our agency’s or one’s state requirements for post-adoption follow-up.
The CPFSA does not go into formal arrangements with foreign adoption agencies for direct placements. Since Universal Accreditation in July of 2014, the US State Department has established written guidelines for child placement agencies regarding 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. 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 provide the home study and post-placement visits plus reports.
Our agency’s Primary Provider fee is $5,000 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, although the latter is exceeding rare. Our agency offers optional services of different types for additional minor fees to support families’ adoption process.
In summary, one can say that a Jamaican adoption is less expensive than many other foreign countries and from a destination close to American borders. It will require several trips to Jamaica, but usually each will be of a short duration. The risks will be that the family is operating more directly vis-à-vis the Jamaican authorities for the actual match and placement of the child. The Jamaican government does not collaborate with US adoption agencies for the match of children from licensed orphanages under their supervision. When a family does not have a kinship or designated adoption, the waiting times can be quite long for the CPFSA to assign a child to a family. One can find more information about the Child Protection and Family Services Agency and download an application at: childprotection.gov.jm.
Let’s fill their hearts with peace
A vision for the future
And boundless hopes and dreams
— Child Development Agency, 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.