Recently MLJ Adoptions International was able to welcome home a family adopting a child from Bangladesh! MLJ Adoptions International assists families hoping to adopt from Bangladesh through our Primary Provider program, also known as MLJ’s Individualized Country Programs (ICP for short). MLJ has successfully assisted several families wanting to adopt a child in need from Bangladesh since beginning to offer primary provider services in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, officially, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is in South Asia between India and Myanmar (Burma) and is the eighth most populated country globally. Bangladesh declared its independence on December 16th, 1971 after a war of independence from West Pakistan now known as Pakistan today. The war of independence has allowed Bangladesh to speak their native language (Bangla) and retain their cultural identity and practice. Once a year the people of Bangladesh celebrate and remember those who had fought in this war and celebrate their independence each year on March 26th through parades, award ceremonies and varying celebration programs and events.
While Bangladesh achieved independence, socially and economically the people of Bangladesh continue to struggle and the most vulnerable are the Bengali children. Because of its dense population, Bangladesh is considered one of the poorest countries in the world resulting in half the country’s children living in extreme poverty and experiencinga high infant mortality rate. Orphaned children can become street children and are the victims of violence as well as being at risk of child trafficking or dying from preventable illnesses and hunger.
The most common religion in Bangladesh is Muslim. Due to their historical religious roots Bangladesh does not permit adoption of a child under their current laws. Rather U.S. families wanting to adopt a vulnerable child to grow their families complete a guardianship in Bangladesh, then a full and final adoption in the United States. Bangladesh requires adoptive parents or those obtaining guardianship of a child to be Bangladeshi citizens and they must be able to prove to the Family Court that they can provide financially for the child. Additional requirements also must be met which are imposed by the U.S. Department of State. Adoptive families wanting to adopt a Bengali child must meet these requirements as well as ensuring whether the child they are adopting meets the requirements imposed by the U.S. for an orphan visa. Bangladesh is not a party of the Hague Adoption Convention and therefore adoptions from Bangladesh are governed by the Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) and adoptive parents must use a primary adoption service provider to oversee their guardianship process from Bangladesh. Prior to beginning an adoption of a Bengali child, adoptive parents should consult with their chosen primary provider on whether requirements for the adoptive parents and the child qualify the child for a U.S. visa. Parents hoping to adopt from Bangladesh should not initiate a guardianship/adoption process without consulting first with a primary adoption service provider, doing so may result in obtaining guardianship of a child and then result in the denial of a U.S. visa for the child.
Bangladesh prefers adoptive parents who are married, however will consider granting guardianship of a child regardless of marital status. Additionally, while not written in their laws, the Courts of Bangladesh prefer to award guardianship of a child to childless couples. As many countries do, while not written in their laws officially the Courts have great discretion to approve guardianships based on preferred criteria.
If you are seeking to adopt a child from Bangladesh MLJ Adoptions International is happy to assist you to ensure you can be successful in adding a Bengali child to your family by complying with both Bangladeshi law and U.S. law. For additional information about MLJ’s primary provider program in Bangladesh or other countries please contact Karson@mljadoptions.com.