What Does a Referral from Burkina Faso Look Like?



Receiving a referral is a definite highlight in most families’ adoption journeys! It’s one of the most anticipated moments; waiting, waiting, waiting and then months later, the phone rings and it’s THE REFERRAL! MLJ Adoptions recently had our first family receive a referral in our Burkina Faso program. This family waited seven months to be matched with a little boy.

Burkina Faso is a Hague Convention Country, so the information this family received on their referred child was pretty comprehensive.  We expect that all families in our Burkina Faso program will receive the same information at time of referral, although there’s a chance that some of the documents may vary depending on the age of the child and where he or she lives in the country. Here is what families can expect with a Burkina Faso referral:

  • Letter from Burkina Faso’s Central Authority announcing they have been proposed a match
  • Birth Certificate for the child
  • Social Investigative Report on the background on the child. The social investigative report provides the adoptive parents with information that is known regarding the child, including historical information such as how the child became abandoned or relinquished, where the child was found, who found the child, and a timeline of what happened after the child was found. The report includes an assessment of the child, the child’s nationality, religion, and birth parents, if known. Additionally, the report will provide what is known about the child currently, where the child resides (whether an orphanage or foster home), a psychological assessment (if applicable depending on the age of the child), personality of the child, and whether or not the child is in school.
  • Placement Form
  • Medical / lab reports for the child. Medical reporting is quite extensive, including blood testing for several illnesses and diseases.
  • In some cases, a follow-up report on the child

Burkina Faso protects the privacy and safety of the child, so no photo is included with the referral information. However, once the family formally accepts the referral and their referral paperwork is processed by the Burkinabe central authority, a photo will be provided to the adoptive family.

In between the acceptance of the referral and the family’s trip to bring home their child, MLJ Adoptions’ foreign staff in Burkina Faso will do their best to provide periodic update photos so that the family can monitor the development of their child.

If your family is interested in learning more about adopting from Burkina Faso, please contact us.

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.