The Rwandan Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion has temporarily suspended accepting new dossier applications for intercountry adoptions while they work to on implementation of the Hague. America World is still accepting applicants with the understanding that the timeframe from application to dossier submission is unknown.HISTORY
Rwanda is a verdant and beautiful country, often referred to as, “the Land of a Thousand Hills” and, “the Switzerland of Africa”. Rwanda is about the size of Vermont, but hosts a population of about ten million; its population density is the highest of any country in Africa and currently has one of the world’s highest birth rates. Unfortunately, UNICEF estimates that there are nearly one million
orphans and vulnerable children
; children are primarily orphaned due to poverty.
Originally, Rwanda was colonized by Germany in the 1880s and fell to Belgian rule after World War 1. The primary educational force in the country was the Roman Catholic Church throughout Belgian rule, which came to a peaceful, but rather abrupt end when independence was declared in 1962. Landlocked and bordered by Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the majority of its inhabitants are subsistence farmers.
As with all African nations, Rwanda has diversity in languages and cultures, yet unlike its neighbors it is primarily home to only two ethnic groups (Tutsi and Hutu). The national language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda.
Rwanda is well known to many Americans because of the tragic events that unfolded there in the spring of 1994. Much has been written about the genocide and resources are widely available on the web and elsewhere for those who wish to be informed about its history, probable causes and about the way forward. Despite this singular event and several decades of intermittent war, Rwanda continues to recover and grow.PROCESS
Rwanda does not currently recognize or license foreign agencies but does not prohibit agencies from assisting families with the complicated paperwork and process.
is still fairly new in Rwanda and the government has been re-writing many of the country’s adoption laws to formalize a consistent process. After filling out an application and receiving approval through America World’s intake process, prospective parents sign an Agreement with our agency and begin the “paper-chase”. During this stage of adoption, families assemble all the necessary paperwork for their dossier. America World assigns each family a Family Coordinator to help them compile their dossier, which includes a Home Study and approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Before a dossier is submitted to the Rwandan government’s Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, it is certified and authenticated in order for the documents to be used as a legal framework for
This is a three step process in which a document is certified by a Secretary of State, the US Department of State and the Rwandan Embassy in D.C. Family Coordinators will assist families with this process and America World’s courier service obtains certifications in D.C.
Once the dossier is in Rwanda it is processed and examined by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion. America World works with a private Consultant for all in country adoption work. The Consultant follows up with government officials and orphanages as they move to officially approve a family for
adoption from Rwanda
and then move forward to make a match between prospective parents and a child. Prospective parents can wait anywhere from 12 - 14 months after submitting a dossier before receiving an official approval and a referral. When parents receive a referral it includes a picture, medical information, and socio-biographical sketch of the child’s life. All children are tested for HIV, Tuberculosis and other medical conditions. Prospective parents are given the option to accept or reject a referral.
The in-country travel portion of the adoption is estimated to take about 10 to 16 days, with the second week of the trip taking place in Kenya or Ethiopia to finalize visas to the United States.