Ethiopia hero




Processing Time

Dossier submission through arriving home with child is dependent upon child request. Approximate referral timeframe for ages 0-5 years is 48-60 months from dossier submission to referral, families with younger requests will wait the longest. The wait time is showing a trend of increasing and we expect even longer wait times for new families starting the process. Please speak with an Ethiopia program staff member to get a clear understanding of the wait time that is expected. Families adopting older children, particularly over age 7, would likely have a shorter wait time.

Children Available

Children age 1 to 15 years are available for adoption from Ethiopia. The majority of waiting children are older children and children with special needs. We currently have a long wait for children under the age of 7. Please see our agency’s blog for more information on wait times. We are actively recruiting families open to older children and/or children with special needs.

Parents' Ages

In order to adopt a child, at least one applicant must be 25 years old, and both parents must be no more than 50 years older than the child.

Marriage Status

Couples must be married a minimum of 1 year at the time of application (can apply at 1 year and submit dossier at 18 months); Referral only after 2 years of marriage. Single applicants are not accepted at this time.


Permitted, but a maximum of two per spouse. (AWAA restriction)

Children in Family

Families that become pregnant during the adoption process will be required to suspend the process until their child is at least 6 months old. Families are not eligible to receive a referral while pregnant or while their new born child is under 6 months old.


Families must be able to show they can adequately provide financially for their children. A family’s income and full financial status will be evaluated as part of the adoption process.

Criminal History

Criminal records for minor incidents, which are at least 10 years old, will be reviewed on a case-by- case basis. No multiple offenses.

Medical History

Medications and mental health diagnoses, treatment, and medications (e.g., antidepressants, anti-anxiety) are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility is determined by review of a doctor's letter detailing the normal issues: diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, effect on life expectancy, and ability to parent by adoption.

Travel to Country

Both parents must travel on the first trip. Only one parent must return for the second trip. The duration of the first trip is typically 5 - 7 days. The second trip is typically 3 - 5 days.


Be sure to visit our Financing Adoption page to learn how to reduce or eliminate your adoption expenses!


**Please refer to America World's Agency Adoption Requirements for a complete list of requirements.