Update: Special Needs Adoption from Burkina Faso


Several times a year, MLJ Adoptions receives a list of children in Burkina Faso currently waiting to be adopted by families. This list is made available to the families in our Burkina Faso program, specifically those with dossiers already in country. While Burkina Faso does have healthy children under the age of six years old who need families, only families with one or no children in their home are eligible to adopt them. So, families who decide to adopt from Burkina Faso who already have two or more children already must be comfortable adopting a child from one of these lists. We referred to these lists as Special Needs Child Lists, but truthfully, there may be children on there with no special needs except for their age because they are over the age of six years old.

To summarize our most recent list that we’ve received:

  • There were a total of 18 children waiting for families.
  • Six children were three years old and younger.
  • Seven children either have the sickle cell trait and it’s asymptomatic or they have sickle cell.
  • Four children are waiting simply because of their age. They range in age from six to sixteen years old.
  • The other diagnosed medical conditions that children on the list had were: epilepsy, encephalopathy, microcephaly, and a hearing impairment.

Other lists that we’ve seen had children with Hepatitis B, children born of an incestuous relationship, children born to a birth parent who is considered “mentally ill,” children with mental handicaps, children with developmental delays, children with deformed limbs and children who are deaf-mute.

Each list has different children so we can’t completely predict the needs of children who will be on future Special Needs Lists, but we can share the patterns that we’ve seen over time. We are encouraged to see Burkina Faso prioritizing the matches of children with additional needs, no matter how old the children are. In fact, on our two most recent lists, we’ve seen quite a few children under the age of 2 years old. With the timeframes that our families are experiencing, that means that if matched with a U.S. families, these children would be home before they turned three years old!

MLJ Adoptions is eager to find families who are open to adopt children who have been diagnosed with the special needs listed above! If your family is interested in learning more about starting the adoption process from Burkina Faso, contact us.

Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

Caitlin Snyder works as the Director of Marketing and Outreach for MLJ Adoptions. Working in international adoption has given Caitlin the unique opportunity to pursue both a passion to advocate on behalf of vulnerable people and a profession at the same time.