Jamaica Adoption

The Process of Adopting a Child in Jamaica

ABSC – The Jamaica Experts

Adoption by Shepherd Care has been an agency approved by the Government of Jamaica for several years.

Jamaica is not part of the Hague Convention. Intercountry Adoptions from non-Hague countries are approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) You can visit their website for additional information at: www.uscis.gov.

The Adoption Board is the only body that has responsibility for adoption of children in Jamaica. This service is undertaken for the Board by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) (previously known as the CDA: Child Development Center) which processes all applications. You can visit their website for additional information at: www.childprotection.gov.jm .

Answers to Your Questions

Why Adopt from Jamaica?

Our Representative/ Attorney in Jamaica coordinates all of the adoption in country. She is very knowledgeable on International adoptions. She will assist your family while in country. She coordinates appointments with CPFSA (Board by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency), all court hearing to complete your adoption. Adoption By Shepherd Care and the Jamaican attorney will coordinate details about when you receive your child, how the case is going in court and acquiring the final decree of adoption. Our staff will escort all families to each adoption required appointment.

Who is eligible to adopt from Jamaica?

Jamaican citizens and citizens of USA are eligible to adopt a child meeting the posted guidelines by the CPFSA. Applicants who are related to the child being adopted must be over 18 years, old and over. All other applicants must be at least 25 years old (no upper age limit). Both single and married couples may apply. An applicant will be approved based on the age of the child being adopted, medical conditions of applicant, and family support for the child being adopted.

How do we get to the adoption process in Jamaica?

• You will be provided with a case number and the name of your Case Worker who will advise you of appointments that will be scheduled in order to process your case.
• Arrangements will be made for an officer to visit the birth parents and complete a child Study, assessing if the child can be deemed adoptable.
• For those applicants requesting a non-identified child you will be placed on a waiting list which is arranged based on a first come first serve basis and on the specification of your request.
• After all documentation required is obtained, all consents and interviews gathered, the case is now ready for the Case Committee report to be prepared.
• A Case Committee Report will be prepared by the case worker and submitted through the Adoption Coordinator to the Adoption Board for approval.
• After a case is submitted to the Case Committee of the Adoption Board and decision is made the case will return from the Case Committee with a decision which will be relayed to applicant.
• Approved cases are then prepared for court. Applicants have to attend an interview and have dialogue with their case worker to make the necessary arrangements for Court.
• To make an adoption legal, a Court has to grant an Adoption Order or an Adoption license.
• Persons who complete the adoption of children become the legal parents of the children they have adopted, and all the legal rights of biological parents are transferred permanently to the adoptive parents.
• After the order/license is issued by the Court the Adopter will take this document to the Registrar General Department (RGD) where they will apply for the child’s adopted birth certificate. (It should be noted that once a child has been adopted their former identity is no longer admissible and their former birth record is sealed).

What information will we receive on the child?

CPFSA matches children with families based on the history and needs of the child, as well as the eligibility and desires of the family. When a child has been matched to a family by CPFSA, the family receives a referral which includes photographs of the child, medical information, social history information, and any available evaluations on the child.

How long will our trip to Jamaica be?

*There are approximately three trips you will make throughout the adoption process*.

First trip: (optional) This is to turn your Dossier and completed CPFSA application in person, as is best practice to conduct business in person in Jamaica. The CPFSA has made it known to ASC that it is not required. This is your choice.

Second trip: Once you receive a referral, you will go to Jamaica to attend the court proceeding to complete the adoption (Order/License) Currently, court dates are scheduled to be heard on Wednesday mornings only. Approximately 10-day trip. (3-4 months in-between trips).

Third trip: Once the DS-260 has been applied for, you will set up an appointment with the US Embassy to obtain the child’s visa. Approximately 10-day trip. (3-4 months in-between trips).

How does the legal process work?

Once a prospective adoptive parent is found eligible to adopt from Jamaica, the CPFSA and the Adoption Board will assist in locating a child suitable for adoption. There are currently eight government childcare facilities of which the CPFSA directly manages and offers support on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. The CPFSA also provides oversight and financial assistance to over 40 private homes. The CPFSA can assist in matching a prospective adoptive parent with a child from either a public or private home.

If the prospective adoptive parent has already identified a child they would like to adopt, the CPFSA will assess the child’s suitability for adoption. In all cases, the child must be eligible to be adopted according to Jamaica’s requirements. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

What are the Requirements After Returning Home?

Obtaining your Child’s new birth certificate

Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are several documents your child will require before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States.

  • If you have received a full Adoption Order from a Jamaican court, you can obtain the actual order on security paper from the Jamaican Register General’s Department (RGD). Once an Adoption Order is issued, the child’s previous birth record is sealed, and the Adoption Order issued by RGD replaces the original birth certificate.
  • If you have been granted an Adoption License, the birth certificate will not be amended to include your child’s new name or your name. Instead, you should obtain from the RGD the child’s original birth certificate, which lists the child’s birth parents. The Adoption License will list the same name as that on the child’s original birth certificate, as will the child’s Jamaican passport.

To obtain a Jamaican birth certificate, prospective adoptive parents apply with the Jamaican Registrar General’s Department (RGD). Parents may apply in person at any RGD office in Jamaica or by mail, including from the United States, although this is more expensive. Prices also differ based on whether the applicant can provide the RGD with a birth record number and whether the applicant requests express service. For the full current fee schedule, please visit https://www.rgd.gov.jm/ the RGD website. The main page has general contact and other information. Questions about applying for a birth certificate should be directed to the RGD.

Jamaican Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Jamaica. The child must appear in person at the Jamaican Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) unless he or she is less than three years old. The cost of applying for a passport is $2700 Jamaican (about $30 USD) for children up to the age of 18, and $4500 Jamaican (about $50 USD) for those over 18. Two passport photos must be presented along with the Adoption Order/License.

If the adoptive parents have received a full Adoption Order, they must appear with the child for the passport application. If the adoptive parents have received an Adoption License, representatives from the CPFSA will assist in obtaining the child’s passport and, in most cases, will appear with the child for the passport application without the presence of the adoptive parents.

How Can I Find Answers to my Other Questions?

This one’s easy: just get in touch! Call us or request our free Jamaica information packet today.

We know this is a lot of information. Ask questions and remember that this is a process. We will help and support you along the way. Our experienced staff is ready to come along side you in your adoption process. Fees are posted separately. Please inquire more by speaking with an adoption specialist. We look forward to working with you.

What are the Next Steps?

If you’d like to get started in the process, the first step is to schedule a one-on-one consultation, which will provide you with an overview of the process personalized to your situation. We look forward to sharing more about adopting from Jamaica with you!

Adoption Services

Adoption by Shepherd Care works with many families in situations that fall outside of our traditional domestic and Honduras programs. Some families only need a home study, others are seeking to adopt a relative in another country, and some are in need of services after adopting a child.

ABSC is a licensed child-placing agency by the state of Florida and is fully accredited to work internationally within the guidelines set forth by the Hague Convention.


For general contact, please complete the form below, and a member of our staff will get back to you to discuss further details.


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