MANY of the applications for adopting children come from overseas applicants.
According to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), most children are adopted within families, while others are taken from State care.
All overseas applicants are advised to first obtain information from the immigration directorate in their home country about the specific requirements to adopt a child from Jamaica. However, generally, a child must be over six weeks and under 18 years old. Applications for adoptions must be received by the CPFSA at least eight months before a child's 18th birthday.
The following individuals are eligible to adopt a child:
•Persons 25 years old and over; applicants who are related to the child being adopted must be over 18 years old
•A single female
•A single male (conditions apply)
•Divorcees (must submit the original decree absolute)
•Married couples as per The Children (Adoption Of) Act
A married person can adopt without their spouse once it can be proven that the:
– spouse agrees
– spouse cannot be found
– couple is separated and the separation is likely to be permanent
– spouse is physically or otherwise incapable of giving consent.
There is currently no cost for application forms in the processing of an adoption. However, there may be costs associated with home studies, DNA tests, reports (medical or police), etc. To begin the process, individuals must contact a home study provider to conduct a report. A home study is where the potential parents' home and lifestyle are assessed, which is required by law for all international adoptions.
Then they must submit all the necessary documents and a completed application form. All documents should be mailed to the CPFSA's corporate office. The process normally takes three to six months, notwithstanding unforeseen circumstances. Once the child has moved abroad, the home service provider in that country will conduct periodic checks until the adoption process is finalised.