Ethiopia Fast Facts:
- 2011 adoptions: 1,732 children
- Hague Accredited: No
- Estimated Total Cost: $20,000 to $40,000
- Profile of Children: 43% of children are from one year to four years old (2010).
- Parent Ages: Single adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old. If married, there is no minimum age. Preferably, no more than 40 years' age difference between the adopting parents and the child.
- Family Status:
Married couples that have been married for at least five years are preferred. Gay and lesbian parents cannot adopt. Single women's eligibility is currently under review; single men cannot adopt.
One or both adopting parents must travel twice to Ethiopia.
Three to 18 months from dossier submission to referral.
Ethiopia Adoption Directory
Find an adoption agency placing children from Ethiopia in your state:
Intercountry adoption from Ethiopia has undergone significant change in the last year since the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA), the government office in charge of adoption, announced in March 2011 that it would be assessing the process and would review only five adoptions per day, owing to concerns about fraud. The time it takes to adopt a child from Ethiopia has therefore lengthened considerably.
Because Ethiopia is not party to the Hague Convention, adoptions by U.S. citizens must be reviewed by the U.S. government. Once adoptive parents or their authorized agent are in possession of the final adoption decree from the Federal First Instance Court, approval letters from MOWA, and the child's birth certificate and Ethiopian passport, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa begins the process to determine if the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law. This can take several weeks or months.
For more information, visit www.adoption.state.gov.
Helpful Articles from Adoptive Families Magazine
- AF interviews Melissa Fay Greene
The author of There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children talks about the AIDS scourge in Africa, and more.
- My Rockin' Ethiopian Sons
When my husband and I dreamed of raising bilingual children, we had no idea that one of their languages would be rock and roll.
- On the Outside, Looking In
Phil Bertelson, an award-winning filmmaker and transracial adoptee, explores issues of racism and transracial adoption in an interview with AF.
- My Ethiopian Daughters
"My challenge is to balance my daughters' pride in their heritage with learning about the history of Africans in America."
- Cornrows, French Braids, and Life
As a white mom learns about her black child's hair, both come of age.
- A Million Children Waiting
In part one of this two-part series, we learn about the tragedy of Ethiopean children who have lost their parents to disease -- and their prospects for adoption.
- A Home for Helen
A mother's story of adopting a girl from Ethiopia.
Helpful Books for Ethiopia Adopters
Helpful Web Resources for Ethiopia Adopters