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Disclaimer: The following is intended as a very general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child in Jamaica and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of Jamaica govern all activity in Jamaica including the adoptability of individual children as well as the adoption of children in country. 2) U.S. Federal immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States. The information in this flier relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of Jamaica and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

PLEASE NOTE: All prospective adoptive parents must ensure that the child they wish to adopt meets the definition of an orphan as stated in section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Children who do not qualify under this definition may not immigrate to the U.S. as an orphan even if Jamaica has no objection to the adoption. Prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a relative must take particular care to ensure that the child meets the definition of an orphan. Please see our flyer relating to relative adoptions at: http://travel.state.gov/family/adoption/notices/notices_474.html. The Department of State encourages Americans to consider if a particular child is an orphan according to U.S. immigration law and regulations before proceeding with an adoption.

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans from Jamaica.

Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued

FY 2004

51

FY 2003

36

FY 2002

39

FY 2001

51

FY 2000

39

ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN JAMAICA: The government office responsible for adoptions in Jamaica is the Jamaican Adoption Board.

Oceana Complex
2-4 King Street
P.O. Box 130
Kingston 5, Jamaica
Tel: 876-948-2841/ 876-948-2842
Fax: 876-924-9401

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Single individuals or married couples may adopt children in Jamaica. Those persons not related to the potential adopted child must be age 25 or older. If the child is a brother, sister, niece or nephew of the prospective adoptive parent(s), the age limit is 18.


The Adoption Board does not have any specified medical ineligibilities, but evaluates each potential adoption on a case-by-case basis. A medical condition of the adoptive parents may factor into this evaluation.

Credits: U.S. Department of State

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