Democratic Republic Of Congo
MLJ Adoptions, Inc. opened the Congo program in 2009, as the first agency in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and paved the way for agencies following in our path. To date we have brought home over 120 children! Our youngest child at referral time was one day old! Over the years this program has seen some changes, but it remains our most popular and fastest international adoption program.
Who Can Adopt from Congo?
- Married Couples**
- Adoptive parents have to be at least fifteen (15) years older than the child
- Those with less than three dependent children in the home***
- Additional stipulations may be determined by your government to apply for an orphan visa if you live outside of the United States.
Who Are the Children in Congo that need Adoption?
- Children range in ages from infancy to teens.
- Both boys and girls
- Children are of African decent
- Special needs children are waiting for families, including children with HIV and children with minor special needs
- More than one child can be adopted at a time, both siblings and non-siblings
All adoptions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are completed through a collaborative effort with a Congolese attorney, our foreign staff and the Congolese government officials of the social service offices handling international adoptions and orphan care in DRC. Our foreign staff works jointly with Congo Social Services to ensure all children are considered orphaned under Congolese law and meet the requirements for the US Orphan Visa. All children are screened for HIV upon referral.
Due to the orphan crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo there are many children waiting for a loving family. Currently referral times are 2-4 months. Adoptive parents can specify gender and age of the child they wish to adopt.
Upon acceptance of a referral, the child is placed in an interim home for care during the adoption process. Adoptive parents provide payment for interim care services, clothing, food, toys, and medical treatment if necessary.
Current time frame is expected to be 14-20 months to complete an adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo, for special needs adoptions please anticipate an additional four to six months.
Why Choose MLJ Adoptions, Inc. for your adoption from Congo?
There are many issues to consider when choosing an agency. Things of vital importance to consider are sometimes not asked by prospective parents. What things makes MLJ stand out from the rest?
- MLJ was the first American agency in the Democratic Republic of Congo to open. As a trail blazer we paved the way for other agencies to follow in our footsteps. The DRC program opened in 2009, and we began bringing children home in 2010. To date we have brought home over 120 children! As the first agency in DRC, we have worked the longest in the Democratic Republic of Congo and have the most experience and the most well respected foreign staff.
- MLJ is Hague approved, bonded and licensed. Additionally, both our foreign and domestic staff include attorneys who are well versed in the international adoption process with full understanding of both Congolese law as well as the US Federal orphan code and visa regulations. Employing the services of in house attorneys, translates to everyone involved in your adoption process understanding the requirements to obtain an adoption decree in Congo and the requirements to obtain an Orphan Visa. To date, MLJ has not had any orphan visas denied!
- MLJ domestic staff travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo once or twice a year to keep the program running well. As a result, we know firsthand the issues that are prevalent in DRC and review the program to make it more efficient. During these visits we meet with the US Embassy as well as Congolese government officials. Staying involved with everyone in the adoption process is of vital importance.
- MLJ does not run its own orphanages in the Democratic Republic of Congo. MLJ feels this is a conflict of interest. In order to ensure that children are indeed orphans, we work directly with Congolese Social Services who refer children to us. After referral, children are placed into an interim care home where they can receive better one on one care, proper nutrition and supplements, and can live in a family environment rather than institutional care. We have been praised by the US Embassy for how healthy the children ar,e and we have received many compliments from families on how well their child was cared for in interim care.
- For families who choose to travel, our foreign staff is there to assist you from the moment your plane touches down in Kinshasa. In fact, we ask parents for their own personal safety not to go anywhere unassisted and without one of our drivers and/or staff.
- Lastly, we are client focused and pride ourselves on communicating with you whether through email or phone calls to answer your questions on a timely basis. We realize we are your only link to your adopted child and process and give high priority to communication with our families.
Why choose MLJ? We were the first agency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and we have the most experience. We know the issues faced in this country and already have a proven record of successful adoptions. We look forward to working with you to make your adoption dreams a reality!
To learn more about adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo please request information. General fee information (updated February 2013) can be found here.
*Singles may only adopt a child of the same gender
** Couples married for less than 5 years will need to obtain a waiver from the Congolese government
***Those with three or more children in the home may adopt upon obtaining a waiver from the Congolese government
It is not guaranteed that a waiver will be granted. However, should you have any questions or concerns regarding waivers, please contact our office, we will be happy to address any concerns or questions.
Country information is to be considered general information and subject to change. The information is based upon state, federal, foreign, and international law, as well as our own business policies.