Adopting a Child from Morocco FAQs
Things to know about Moroccan adoption
Interested in Moroccan Adoption?
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Who are the Children in Need of Adoption?
In Morocco, children in need of kafala and adoption include:
- Healthy Infants ( 5 months to 18 months) who require a loving home and stable environment to thrive.
- Older Children (18 months and above) seeking a nurturing family and a sense of belonging.
- Children with Cognitive or Physical Needs that require specialized care and support.
- Sibling Sets should ideally remain together and benefit from the love and stability of a forever family.
More boys are awaiting kafala than girls.
What are the Eligibility Requirements?
- Religion: Lifelong Sunni Muslim(s); all household members must be Sunni Muslim.
- Age of Applicant: 25 – 49 years old; applicants 49 years to 55 must be open to a child over 3 years old. Those over 55 must be open to a child 5 and older and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Marital Status: Single women and married couples with no more than 12 years of age difference between spouses.
- Marital History: No more than one divorce for each spouse.
- Family Composition: Preference is given to families who have no children. One child in the home is permitted. Exceptions can be made for families adopting a waiting child.
- Gender Preference: Gender preference is not permitted.
- Income: Financial security.
- Parent Physical Health: Excellent health without major medical concerns.
- Parent Mental Health: Considered on a case-by-case basis; no severe conditions.
- Prior Criminal History: Minor offense older than five years considered on a case-by-case basis; no drug offenses.
What Information Can I Expect About the Child?
Receiving the child’s referral is an important milestone in the adoption process. Once a family is matched with a child, New Beginnings will prepare the referral, including the Child Background Study.
The background study includes the following.
- The child’s given name, gender, and birth date,
- Measurements of the child, such as height and weight,
- Medical reports documenting their health and well-being while in the orphanage’s care,
- A current developmental milestone assessment report of the child’s progress in various areas of development, such as motor skills, speech, and cognitive abilities,
- Photographs and videos of the child,
- The original documents, which may be in Arabic or French, are translated into English.
The referral is an exciting and anxious part of the process. New Beginnings will guide you through reviewing and understanding the background study and answering any questions.
How Long is the Process?
The duration of the adoption process for any individual case depends on many factors. Here’s a general outline of the timeline:
Application and Home Study: the home study process typically takes around 4 to 6 months to complete. Families can shorten this step by timely providing the needed items for the report.
I-600A Approval: The approval of the I-600A, which grants permission from USCIS for adoptive parents to immigrate a child, usually takes 3-5 months. During this time, working with New Beginnings, you will compile the dossier to submit to Morocco.
Referral and Travel: When the dossier is completed, the family will be on the list waiting for a referral. From when the dossier arrives in Morocco until the referral and travel, families wait approximately 15-20 months. Being open to an older child or a child with some identified conditions can shorten the time, sometimes considerably.
Remember that these timeframes are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances. New Beginnings will provide guidance and support throughout the process to ensure a smooth adoption journey.
How Long is the Stay in Morocco?
During the kafala process, families make a single trip to Morocco, typically lasting 6 to 8 weeks. Throughout your stay in Morocco, our dedicated local facilitator will guide you through the process and assist in arranging the necessary appointments for the kafala and the child’s visa.
When is Custody of the Child Established?
Good question. Once kafala is granted, the adoptive family receives legal custody of the child the following day. Custody is also called placement, referencing the Placement Date. At placement, the child is in the new parent’s care. Kafala usually takes 2-3 weeks from arrival in Morocco. During this time, adoptive parents will schedule visits with the orphanage to spend time with their child. New Beginning’s representatives will help arrange visits and travel.
Can You Tell Us More about Kafala?
Kafala, which means sponsorship or guardianship in Arabic, is a legal process where the court grants parental authority to the parents. The parents commit to supporting the child and agree to raise the child as a Sunni Muslim and maintain the child’s given name. Kafala ensures that the child’s heritage and identity are preserved while allowing the parents to provide love and care throughout their lives.
Is Morocco an Adoption Program?
Yes, it is. It is important to note that kafala grants guardianship, not an adoption. Therefore, when arriving home, the parents must finalize the Adoption in their local court. The finalization process varies based on the state but typically occurs within the first six to eight months. New Beginnings, or the family’s home study agency, provides post-adoption supervision and the reports necessary for finalization. The finalized Adoption is required for the child to obtain US citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Is Morocco Right for You?
If you are a life-long practicing Sunni Muslim, Morocco should be considered. The length of time is upwards of two years, but the children placed are under one year old. Being open to an older child or a child with an identified condition can shorten the time. Being open to such a child can be a difficult decision. During the home study process, you can explore this with your social worker and New Beginnings professional staff. The Moroccan Program is predictable, the child is matched before travel, and our foreign representatives are excellent.
Kafala offers a unique opportunity to provide a loving home while respecting the child’s background and ensuring their legal status in the United States. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. We are here to support you every step of the way.
Ramadan 2022 Seasonal Fundraiser: Help with Diapers, Formula & School Supplies Needed
With the Ramadan season of prayer and growth, please consider giving zakat to those most vulnerable and in need—-children and young adults being raised in orphanages. Our partners in Morocco do their utmost daily to provide love, shelter, food, and security for these children, but the need is great for basic supplies in addition to staffing, supplies, food, and resources.
Morocco Adoption Program News and Updates
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Waiting Children Available
For many people, a waiting child adoption is a wonderful way to add to their family. A waiting child is a child who is legally free for adoption, but does not yet have a permanency plan. We currently have waiting children from Morocco, Thailand and Korea. A family...