Dominican Republic Adoption Program
Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean, and is on the eastern part of the Island of Hispaniola. The Island is shared with Haiti, which is to the west of Dominican Republic.
In October 2016, Agape Adoptions received approval from Consejo Nacional para la Nines y la Adolescenia (CONANI), the adoption authority in Dominican Republic (DR) to participate with inter country adoptions.
The DR is party to the Hague Treaty on international adoptions. CONANI handles the adoption process in conjunction with Dominican courts. Agape Adoptions is directly accredited by CONANI and works with a reputable law firm to handle all adoption cases successfully in court.
All available children for adoption must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee in order for him or her to qualify for a visa to enter the United States. For more information about the Hague Convention, please refer to the US Department of State's Adoption website.
As a Hague country, the Dominican Republic’s adoption program has a clear process.
In general, the Dominican government gives the highest preference for children under four years of age to people of Dominican descent but exceptions may be made when the child has some special needs. Children eligible for inter country adoption from DR will have special needs. Additionally, children may have been institutionalized have special needs, which may not be readily visible, such as lack of stimulation, emotional needs, and undiagnosed medical problems. Understanding the special needs of institutionalized children is a requirement of parent preparation for adoption.
The country of Dominican Republic includes many ethnic groups composed of European, Mestizo, Indigenous, Spanish, Haitian, and African backgrounds. Children available for intercountry adoption are representative of all of these ethnic groups.
Children available for adoption from DR range from young toddlers to teens; most common are toddlers and elementary aged children. Infants are not available through DR.
When adopting from the Dominican Republic, consider you will be adopting the following:
• Boys and girls 3 years to 15 years old.
• Children with special needs and older children.
• Siblings (2-3 children that are biological siblings).
Families considering adopting a child will have access to child’s background information before travel. In most cases, additional information is available upon request.
Eligibility Requirements for Dominican Republic
In addition to the USCIS eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parent(s), Dominican Republic has the following adoption eligibility requirements. If you feel you are not eligible to adopt from Dominican Republic, or you are unsure, contact us for a free case-by-case consultation regarding your adoption.
• One adoptive parent must be a US citizen.
• Adoptive parents must be at least 30 years of age. Parents can be up to age 60 years, but must be at least 15 years older than the
child they plan to adopt.
• Only heterosexual couples who have been married for five years or more are allowed to adopt from the Dominican Republic. Single
individuals and unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt. Married couples should be married at least 5 years.
• There is no minimum income required. However, you must meet the income requirements provided by USCIS for the child to
Children in Home:
• There is no limit to the number of children currently in the home.
Dominican Republic adoption eligibility requirements are subject to change per Dominican Republic adoption laws. Agape Adoptions will update these guidelines as necessary.
• Each potential adoptive parent must have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent.
• At least one applicant must be a US citizen.
• No history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or child abuse.
• No criminal violations in past 10 years.
About the Children
• Children of all ages, from infants to young teens, are available for adoption. Children range in age from one year to age 15 at time of
referral; children must be adopted prior to turning 16 years old in Dominican Republic, per USCIS immigration rules.
• Toddler and older children are waiting in Dominican Republic for adoption.
• Many children available for adoption have identified medical special needs. Some medical conditions may be considered minor in the
US; while other conditions may be more significant and even encompass multiple issues. When adopting a child with specia needs,
Agape Adoptions strongly encourages families to research the medical needs they are open to, as well as consult with their family
physician and/or an adoption medical professional for more information about the particular health issues their child might face.
Adopting from Dominican Republic
• Complete adoption application for preliminary approval by Agape Adoptions.
• Complete adoption home study report (generally 3-4 months to complete). If you live outside of Washington or Oregon, you must
select a Hague or COA accredited home study agency in your state. Once complete, your home study will be filed with the
• Complete dossier documents. The dossier is then sent to DR for officially submission with CONANI, DR’s adoption authority.
• Average time to complete adoption of a waiting child is 24-36 months; families wanting to adopt a child that is not currently waiting
should expect a 3-4 year process.
After you are matched with a child or sibling group, travel to DR will be about 2-3 months later where you should be prepared to travel and live in the Dominican Republic for a co-habitation and bonding period between 30-60 days. Both parents must participate in this co-habitation period to bond with the child. If families have a valid reason, it is possible for the co-habitation period to be reduced, however, it will never be shorter than 30 days. Once this process is complete, there are additional paperwork and court processes that must be completed. At least one parent must stay in the Dominican Republic during the finalization process.
Agape Adoptions will guide you through the post placement phase of your adoption after you return home with your child. Families are required to complete six (6) post adoption reports after arrival home. The reports are due at the following intervals: at 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years and 5 years after arrival home. All reports must be completed by a Hague accredited agency and are submitted through Agape Adoptions. Agape Adoptions will advise you throughout the reporting process. Each report is intended to communicate to CONANI and Agape Adoptions how the family is adjusting to the adoption.
More information regarding adoption from DR can be found at Adoption.state.gov/Dominican Republic
Total Agape Adoptions program costs range from $19,000-$22,000; this does not include travel or in country adoption related expenses.
Additional fees include home study and post placement fees, immigration fees and travel fees. Home study fees vary depending on your home study agency (the estimate above includes Home study services for WA and OR state families). Currently, immigration fees are approximately $945, with additional fees for biometrics if there are more than two adults living in the home. Travel and in country adoption related fees are approximately $8750-$10,445 for two people, including one child’s return ticket home.