Uganda Adoption Programlast updated: 01/15/17
LMI has suspended new applications for adoption in Uganda with the exception of families that wish to reside in Uganda fulfilling the new law requirement, or families already residing in Uganda, or families that have completed the adoption process already. We will renew the program based on the new amendments to the Child's Act.
NOTICE: June 2, 2016
Ugandan President Signs into Law Amendments to Children Act
On May 20, 2016, the Ugandan president signed into law amendments to the Children Act that include changes to guardianship and adoption laws in Uganda. Among the many changes, the amendments limit applications for legal guardianships to citizens of Uganda who have lived in Uganda for at least three continuous months. The amendments state that intercountry adoption “shall be considered as the last option” available to children in need of permanency. They also shorten the required pre-adoption residency and fostering period for foreign prospective adoptive parents from three years to one, and state that those requirements may be waived in “exceptional circumstances.” The U.S. Embassy in Kampala continues to seek further information from the Government of Uganda on the amendments’ practical impact.
The U.S. Embassy in Kampala will continue to process all intercountry adoption cases in accordance with relevant U.S. and Ugandan laws. The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, the ministry in Uganda that oversees adoptions, reports that it will publish the full text of the amendments to its website,
If you have questions about this notice, please contact the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues via email at email@example.com. Please continue to monitor our website for updates on adoptions in Uganda.
NOTICE: On May 20, 2016 the amendments to the Children’s Act were signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni. We have received copies of the new law.
NOTICE: On March 2, 2016, the Parliament of Uganda passed the 2015 Children’s Act Amendment Bill. The bill is now pending President Museveni’s approval prior to becoming law. Some drafts of this Bill contained significant changes to legal guardianship laws concerning intercountry adoption. The Department of State has issued the following notice and will continue to issue updates as more information is obtained.
Uganda adoption eligibility requirements are subject to change per Uganda’s adoption laws.
Uganda, located in Eastern Africa is a country that is like no other in Africa. If there were perfect words to describe the Ugandan people those words would be: loving and friendly and the country, tragically beautiful.
In Uganda children available are infants (very rarely), toddlers (occasionally) and children up to 15 years of age. The average age of children seen is around 3 years of age and up. Both boys and girls are available for intercountry adoption. Sibling groups and older children are available. Relatively healthy and special needs children are ready for adoption in Uganda.
Families starting this program need to understand that this is not a baby program, nor is it a good substitute for a closing or lingering baby program in another country (unless the family is willing to adjust their age expectations.) Due to recent changes in several countries slowing and families switching programs, applicant families must be willing and approved to adopt a child up to at least 3 years of age. This is not a program for families that must adopt a baby as infants and toddlers are not always available.
LMI prefers to work with only with children that have been fully abandoned (unknown parents) or have lost mother or both parents due to death. There might be exceptions to this policy with severely special needs children or other circumstances. Because of LMI restricting the children we place in Uganda, the wait for referral could be delayed.
When you research you may hear the term "AIDS orphan." AIDS Orphan does not indicate the child's medical condition, it indicates that the child became an orphan because of parents or relatives dying of AIDS. You may also hear the term war-affected, which means that the child's social history includes a geographic connection to a former war area, typically Northern Uganda.
The Republic of Uganda, home to 27 million people, is located in East Africa. It borders Tanzania and Rwanda in the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Sudan in the north, and Kenya in the east. In addition to its own citizens, Uganda hosts thousands of refugees from Sudan, Congo and Rwanda. Many speak English – the official national language – in addition to Swahili or one of the Bantu languages.
From the moment you land at the Entebbe International Airport, located 40 kms from the capital city of Kampala, you’re assured of breathtaking sights. Winston Churchill called Uganda "The Pearl of Africa" and for good reason. Sprawled across seven hills, the capital city is a bustling cosmopolitan city weaves in the natural beauty to create an effect that no other city in the world can match. For where else do you have the chance to observe the lions prowling the open plains, watch the chimpanzees through the rain forest, navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles and set off into the misty mountains to stare into the eyes of a mountain gorillas. Uganda is the smallest of the four African countries whose bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark. A network of 10 national parks, on both sides of equator, and several other protected areas offers wildlife enthusiasts a thrilling opportunity to experience Uganda’s biodiversity.
Believe it or not, there’s more to Uganda than wildlife. There is the mighty Nile, punctuated by the spectacular Murchison Falls, and the setting for some of the world’s most thrilling commercial white-water rafting. There are the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori, which provide an unmatched adrenaline rush to the dedicated mountaineers, as well as the Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon, both of which offer unmatched hiking opportunities through scintillating scenery. The islands of Lake Victoria and Bunyonyi are idyllic venues for the tourists to enjoy the laid back time of their lives.
Today, Uganda has the reputation for being ‘Africa’s Friendliest Country’. This stems partly from the tradition of hospitality common to its culturally diverse population, and partly from the remarkably low level of crime and hassle directed at tourists.
But there is a stark contrast to all of this beauty when you visit the history of the country. To say that it takes a village to raise a child is as true in an African village as it is in an American town. Especially if the children are orphans without hope of even a high school education. Uganda, has been living with social conflict, rebel conflict, violence, war and the AIDS pandemic for the past 20 years. Its growing economy is based on agriculture, with coffee, tea and cotton serving as its chief exports, yet Uganda remains one of the world's poorest countries. One of its most severe crises is the number of children orphaned each year by AIDS. Out of a population of 31 million people, one in 13 is an orphaned child. Of those, 1 million have lost their parents to AIDS, and that statistic is rising.
Uganda has an estimated over 3 million orphans, the highest number in the world, and 25 percent of all households look after at least one child orphaned by either HIV/AIDS or war. Uganda's population is very young, with 51 percent below the age of 14. The increased spiral of adult deaths in Uganda means that the number of children orphaned each day is expanding exponentially. Africa is staggering under the load. The infant mortality rate is 65 infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births.
The majority of Ugandan citizens struggle to acquire even the most basic health care. There are only 4 doctors and 28 nurses per 100,000 people.
Most Ugandans have to work 2 or 3 jobs simply to survive, often even to secure a standard of living below the poverty threshold. Moreover, one or more of these jobs are often within the informal sector which draws taxation.