The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a unique international adoption program. The adoptions are “open”, meaning that adoptive and birth families of the children have contact, and often develop a long-term relationship. Adoptive families interested in this program must be open to children of either gender and genuinely welcoming of an open relationship with the child’s birth family.
Important Cultural NoteThe people of the Marshall Islands have long standing adoption practices. They think of adoption less as a severing of a relationship, and more as the joining together of two families. Like a marriage. Although birthmothers are counseled about the legal permanency of adoption, this program is designed to fully respect the cultural practices of the families placing children for adoption. Adoptive families are most strongly encouraged to understand and embrace this cultural viewpoint.
Children Available for Adoption from the Marshall Islands: Primarily, infants are available. Some toddlers and older children may also be available at times.
- By law, single parents may apply for adoption, but may not be easily approved by the Marshallese government.
- Married couples, married over one year, may adopt.
Travel: One trip, approximately 3-5 weeks is required. Both parents must travel; one parent may depart after 2 weeks.
Timeline: Families can expect to be matched with a child approximately 6-15 months after their dossier is submitted.
Travel approximately 2-5 weeks after referral.