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Ethiopia Adoption Fast Facts

The basics about Ethiopia adoption plus  links to helpful resources and adoption agencies placing children from Ethiopia in your state.

Ethiopia AdoptionThe government office responsible for adoptions from Ethiopia is the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO), which is under the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA). The Ethiopian government currently grants approval to just over 20 U.S.-based adoption agencies to place children.

Ethiopia is not a party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. U.S. citizens adopting from Ethiopia are required by the Ethiopian government to use a licensed U.S. adoption service provider that has been authorized by the Ethiopian Government. Ethiopia participates in a Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program, which requires prospective adoptive parents to receive a preliminary determination on the child’s likely immigration eligibility in order to gain adoption approval.

Families must travel to Ethiopia at least twice to complete an adoption. Ethiopia requres families to submit post-placement reports at three months, six months, and one year after the adoption. Then, yearly reports are required until the child turns 18.

For up-to-date information, visit the Ethiopia Adoption page on the U.S. State Department’s website. Get parent-to-parent advice and support in the Ethiopia Adoptive Families group in our online community, Adoptive Families Circle.

Ethiopia Adoption Fast Facts
  • 2013 Adoptions: 993 children

  • Hague Country: No

  • Estimated Total Cost: $30,000 to $40,000 (see Ethiopia adoption cost breakdown)

  • Profile of Children: 56% of children are 2 years old or younger. 53% are boys (2013).

  • Parent Ages: For married couples, there are no minimum or maximum age limits, although the Ethiopian government limits the age difference between adoptive parents and children to 40 years. Single adoptive parents must be at least 25.

  • Family Status: Ethiopia has shown a strong preference for couples that have been married for more than five years. Single women may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Same-sex couples may not adopt.

  • Travel: One or both adopting parents must travel twice to Ethiopia.

  • Timeline: 26 months or longer.

Agency Directory for Ethiopia Adoption

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