Adopting from Guyana

Adopting from Guyana

Guyana is a small sovereign state on the Caribbean coast of Northern South America. Its total population is equal to that of Fort Worth, Texas and its area is slightly smaller than Idaho.  Sharing its western border with Venezuela, Guyana has a rich culture very much similar to that of the English speaking Caribbean.  English is its official language and is used for education, government, media, and services.  As you would expect, Guyana is a paradise for those who seek adventure and love being outdoors as its borders lay within the breathtaking Amazon rainforest. 

Guyana is not a party to the Hague Convention. This, according to Robin Sizemore, Executive Director of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. is not unusual for most countries. “While a country that is a signatory to the Hague has a Central Authority that processes all adoptions, for domestic and intercountry, most countries do not have a legal structure or the capacity to develop a Central Authority, which is required to be a Hague convention country.  Non-Hague convention countries have solid laws in place that will vary country to country, but none the less, they do have a process and it must be followed in order for the child to be declared eligible for adoption and meet the 'orphan' standard.”

Children available for adoption range from toddlers to older children.  Guyanese children are usually of African, East Indian, Amerindian or Asian descent. Many children are of mixed ethnicity, as there is quite a melting pot of different ethnicities in Guyana. Most children will have brown eyes, light brown or dark brown skin, and black or brown hair. Children are available for adoption due to neglect or abuse, abandonment, or death of one or both parents in most cases.  The most commonly available children from Guyana are healthy boys and girls 3 years and older, children with special needs and older children, as well as sibling groups.  Eligible children reside in orphanages and the care in these institutions has been observed as varied in quality. 

Travel includes two trips. Sizemore explains, “There is a first trip when the Adoption Board invites the family to be personally interviewed and to be approved.  The family returns home and upon referral presentation, the family is notified and invited to return to meet the child and proceed with the adoption.  This trip is about 3 weeks.”   If a child is identified by the Guyanese Adoption Board prior to the first trip, prospective parents will be able to spend time with the child on their first trip.

The current estimated timeframe for adoption from Guyana is estimated to be 22 to 33 months, depending on the time families take to complete their dossier paperwork, their preferences for age and special needs, and country processes. 

Parent Qualifications:

  • Citizenship: One parent must be a U.S. citizen.  Contrary to information on the outdated Department of State website, non-nationals are permitted and do adopt from Guyana. 
  • Age: Adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and at least 17 years older than the adoptive child. There should be no more than 50 years between the age of the parents and children. In special circumstances, one parent may fall within this range if the other does not.
  • Marriage Status: Married couples should be married at least 3 years, and common law married couples should be in a stable relationship for at least 5 years. There are no specific prior divorce restrictions. Single women may also adopt a child of either gender.
  • Income: There is no minimum income required. However, you need to meet the income requirements provided by USCIS for the child to immigrate.
  • Medical: There are no specific restrictions, but if you have a medical condition, please contact our adoption consultant to determine your eligibility.
  • Children in Home: No specific restrictions have been identified.

Questions? Want to request information about adopting from Guyana? Contact our agencies working in Guyana today! 

 Feature image: Stockpholio

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