Jamaica International Adoption Process and Cost

Deciding that you want to become a parent is one of the most exciting changes that can happen in a person’s life. All over the world, there are children looking for families. Jamaica is one of the countries that have the lowest costs for international adoption. They also have the option for a U.S. citizen to adopt a sibling who was born in Jamaica.

International adoption from Jamaica is possible through their government. In Jamaica you can adopt a child internationally with only your U.S. approved adoption paperwork. They do not charge a country fee or agency fee making the process much more affordable for someone wishing to adopt. You can expect to pay around $10- $20,000 for the adoption.

All international adoption journeys start with a little research. If you are new to the topic, we hope to provide you with enough information and tips for you to get a clear understanding.

The adoption process brings together people who want to be parents and children who need a forever home.

Jamaica allows you to obtain a license through their government agency The CDA (Child Development Agency) to bring a child home with you to the U.S. for adoption.


What the Adoption Process Looks Like

Adoption starts with research. You’ve come to the right place! Once you have begun researching if you want to adopt a child must start the research for the process of adoption.

Start with finding an adoption agency. It helps to find one that specializes in adoptions to the country you are interested in adopting from, such as Jamaica.

From there you will start the adoption application and document gathering process. There are many documents that accompany an international adoption. Luckily in Jamaica, the process is a little easier that some countries.

Next is the home study and the dossier. The home study requires a social worker to come to your home to evaluate your home life and interview people who live there.

This is so they can make sure that the home the child is being placed in is a safe environment. A dossier is a group of documents (and government documents) and interview transcriptions that put everything you need for your international adoption together in one place for the agencies to review.

Home studies can sometimes take multiple visits from the social worker. There can sometimes be roadblocks with paperwork that the social worker or agency can help you get past as well. You may have filled one piece of paperwork out wrong or left out a needed piece of information, easily fixed once you find it.

After the home study, you will travel to Jamaica or your destination country, to meet the child and escort them back to the U.S.

This can seem like an overwhelming process, to go through the home study where you are put under a microscope, getting together a ton of documents and then also traveling? That can take a toll on anyone but stay strong you will get through this!

You oversee the lodging, transportation, and food so you would need to make sure that you find the most affordable and reliable accommodations. Do a fair amount of research on which companies are more reputable.

Once you return home with your child you will have post placement requirements. A social worker will return to your home to check on the well being of the child and the new environment.

Sometimes post placement can take more than one visit, every effort must be made to verify that the home is safe and that everyone is fitting in well. They will want to make sure that you also are adjusting well to your new child. You have, after all, become a family!

There are some more details and requirements that Jamaica asks you to complete for an adoption.

Here is a list of some of those requirements:

  • Application form
  • Certified home Study
  • Letter from supervising agency
  • Medical examination
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of income

Application Form

In Jamaica, they require that you fill out an adoption application form from the CDA. The adoption application must be made at least 6 months before the child’s 18th birthday.

You will get a response to your application within 4 – 6 weeks.

Certified Home Study

You will need to have an Adoption Agency in the U.S. supervise a certified home study. A home study is when a social worker comes to your home to make sure that it’s a safe environment.

You should make two extra certified copies of the home study.

Agency Supervision Letter

You are required to have a letter of understatement from an adoption agency who will agree to supervise the home study as well as the completion of the adoption process.

Medical Examination

You must provide records of a recent medical examination including a physical, provided by a medical doctor. You can get this from your normal doctor’s office or have it done somewhere else.

Bank Statements

You will need to provide them with recent bank statements from your bank. They will also want to know your net worth. It’s always good practice to make multiple copies of documents.

Proof of Income

You will also need to provide letters from your employers to show proof of income. Adoptions require you to be able to prove that you can care for your child and yourself financially.

This includes medical insurance and schooling for the child.


International Adoption from Jamaica

Jamaica is not part of the Hague Adoption Convention. For this reason, fewer people adopt from Jamaica, but that also makes the process a little easier and you are still able to adopt to the U.S. from Jamaica.

Countries that have fewer rules and regulations have lower fees and more relaxed systems for adoption. Jamaica is a great example of that.

They still have rules and regulations in place, and ultimately the Jamaican Government makes the final decision after you apply.

If all of your paperwork looks good and they determine that you are eligible for an adoption, you may adopt the child, there in Jamaica, gain a visa and passport for them and bring them home for the finalization of the adoption.


International Adoption Costs for Jamaica

There are many costs that go into the full international adoption process. Being financially stable is probably one of the biggest variables in the steps of adopting a child internationally.

While Jamaica has some of the lowest adoption costs, the entire process will still cost up to $20,000.

The costs from international adoptions come from different fees and costs for traveling and paperwork.

Here is a quick list of the costs and fees involved:

Adoption ApplicationThe Home Study
Dossier CostsCountr Fee
Travel CostsPost Adoption Costs
Legal FeesGovernment Fees

The biggest cost in an international adoption from Jamaica is the travel costs. You must travel to Jamaica to meet the child and escort them back to the united states.

This means you must apply for a visa for the child as well as start the immigration paperwork.

You oversee your own lodging, transportation and food costs. An agency that specializes in adoptions from Jamaica can help you put together some of the projected costs, but ultimately you are the one who will be control of the entire process.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can raise the funds for traveling and other costs of your international adoption.

Fundraising options for international adoption:

  1. Donations
  2. Charities
  3. Grants
  4. Loans
  5. Events, BBQ’s


Chances are you have shared your plans to adopt a child internationally with family and friends. That is a great place to start when asking for donations. There are many online donation services that you can use with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The more you share your online donation pages the better chances it will be put in front of the people who share your compassion for international adoption.

Donations can sometimes come from the most unlikely of places so get creative and never give up.


International adoption is a passionate subject and there a lot of people out there who also want to help children find better lives.

Look for charities in your area or online that deal with international adoption. Sometimes these charities will provide help for the traveling, as well as post placement costs of raising your child.


There are organizations that give grants to people who want to adopt children. If you have a steady job and proof of income but need a little help with the overall costs of getting the adoption completed, there may be grants available to you.

Sometimes they come from Christian organizations that have requirements such as being Christian and married.


You may decide that you want to take out a personal loan. This is only wise if you have the income to pay off these loans. While some grants don’t have to be paid back in full, loans usually do require you to pay them off over time.

There are also organizations who offer loans for international adoption. These can be a great way to get the bulk of the costs paid for without having to break into your retirement fund just yet with a chance to pay it off later.

Fundraising Events

One of the most used ways to raise money for international adoptions are fundraising events. You can easily set some of these up by yourself or ask for assistance from charities and organizations that have access to banquet halls and places to hold your events.

Events such as BBQ’s, walk-a-thons, raffle tickets and more.


Why are Adoptions from Jamaica Cheaper?

Jamaica has cheaper costs because of the fact that you do not have to pay a country fee, which can be as high as $5,000 in other countries.

Travel to Jamaica can also be cheaper than flying to countries that are harder to travel to such as Siberia.

Since Jamaica is not part of the Hague Adoption Convention, they have a more relaxed process for adopting children as outlined in this article.

We hope you will consider adopting from Jamaica. It is a beautiful country that has many children that are in need.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you want them to. Make sure you have a lot of patience when dealing with setbacks.

Have reasonable expectations and always have a backup plan for every scenario.

Some things that can go wrong:

  • Traveling to Jamaica can be dangerous as they have a lot of crime
  • Waiting lists for children can often be an inconvenience
  • You may not be comfortable traveling overseas
  • Paperwork issues can cause a lot of people to give up

There is a travel warning advisory for Jamaica because their cities have a lot of crime.

When traveling in a foreign country always use extreme caution and make sure you keep your documents safe and your money secure.

International adoptions often come with long waiting lists. If you have a particular type of child you would like to adopt (infants, healthy children) You may be put on a long waiting list.

Most international adoptions ask that you consider adopting children with special needs.

You may be someone who has never traveled overseas and worry that it will be a stressful endeavor. You may hate flying or have insecurities about what to do when you get there.

Do as much research as possible on traveling to Jamaica and know that people travel internationally all the time and that despite the crime Jamaica gets a lot of tourist traffic.

Some Interesting Facts about Jamaica

Jamaica is a country in the Caribbean. It has almost 3 million people. Kingston is the largest city as well as the capital.

They have a tropical climate and are prone to disaster-damage from hurricanes. The country is plagued with crime and people who live in poverty, but it also a large tourist attraction.

There are a lot of children who end up in foster care and are in need of finding their forever homes.

Despite the crime, Jamaica is a beautiful place to visit.

When you visit Jamaica to escort your child home with you at least you can also think of it as a mini tropical vacation!

Just do not let the sights and activities there detract you of your purpose, you are there for your little one.

Jamaica was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1494 and later came under British rule in 1655, before gaining its independence in 1962.

Christianity is the main religion of Jamaica but they are open to free expression of religion.

Jamaican Flag

Some Tips When Traveling in Jamaica

They drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica. Make sure that you have proper transportation.

You will want to convert some of your U.S. dollars into the Jamaican dollar. Always keep your money and paperwork secure. Crime is a huge problem in Jamaica, so always be alert.

They speak their native language in Jamaica (Jamaican Patois) and also Jamaican English.

Jamaica gets over 1 million tourists a year.

It helps to find lodging and transportation beforehand. Do your due diligence in finding the right people and companies to use.

And most importantly use common sense. If something seems sketchy get out and into a public area where it is safe.

What Children are Available for Adoption in Jamaica?

Jamaica allows you to adopt children from about 6 months old to 17 years old. Just like a lot of other countries you have a better chance of adopting a child that is in the age range of about 2 – 10.

Infant adoptions are less common but not impossible in Jamaica. See more about the international adoption of infants here.

There are many special needs children in Jamaica that need to find parents and homes. Consider changing the life of a child who needs special care.

The ethnics of Jamaica is predominately black. There are also many mixed people as well as some Eastern Indian.

Jamaica: Ethnic composition
Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica

If you live in the U.S. but have family in Jamaica you are allowed to adopt siblings.

Why Should You Adopt from Jamaica?

Children all over the world need to find forever homes. So why choose Jamaica? Jamaica is a beautiful country, that has many children in need. With international adoption from Jamaica, you can make a change in a child’s life, bringing love into your new family.

When you adopt you don’t just adopt a child, you adopt family relationships and heritage.

Get familiar with the Jamaican culture. Despite the crime and poverty, Jamaica is full of interesting people and awesome music.

Some Related Questions

Are there any age regulations for adoptions in Jamaica?

You must be at least 25 years old to adopt internationally from Jamaica.

They allow you to adopt children all the way up to the age of 17 and 6 months, just shy of 18, and as young as 6 months old.

Persons 18 years of age or older can adopt siblings from Jamaica.

What is the approximate cost for adopting internationally from Jamaica?

To adopt a child internationally from Jamaica you will pay a much lower amount than other countries such as China and Russia. The average approximate cost of an international adoption from Jamaica is around $10-$20,000.

Depending on the agency you use this will sometimes include the travel costs but not usually. In most cases, you will oversee your travel costs, which includes lodging, food, and transportation.

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Chad Kilpatrick

A freelance writer passionate about adoption and helping to find children in need a forever home.

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