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Building Your Family: Getting Started in Ethiopia Adoption

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Ethiopia Adoption

Ethiopia Fast Facts:

  • 2012 Adoptions: 1,568 children
  • Hague Accredited: No
  • Estimated Total Cost: $25,000 to $40,000
  • Profile of Children: 57% are two years old or younger (2011).
  • Parent Ages: For married couples, there are no minimum or maximum age limits, although the Ethiopian government limits the age difference between adoptive parents and children to 40 years. Single adoptive parents must be at least 25.
  • Family Status: Preference is given to couples that have been married for more than five years. Gay and lesbian parents cannot adopt.
  • Travel: One or both adopting parents must travel twice to Ethiopia.
  • Timeline: 26 months or longer.

Ethiopia Adoption Directory

Find an adoption agency placing children from Ethiopia in your state:


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It is common for Ethiopian children to have health problems that require treatment in the U.S. Meningitis has been a particular concern as of late. Adoptive parents are urged by the U.S. embassy to get vaccinated before travelling, and to have their children evaluated by a doctor upon return.

For more information, visit www.adoption.state.gov.

Helpful Articles from Adoptive Families Magazine

  • AF interviews Melissa Fay Greene
    The author of There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children talks about the AIDS scourge in Africa, and more.
  • My Rockin' Ethiopian Sons
    When my husband and I dreamed of raising bilingual children, we had no idea that one of their languages would be rock and roll.
  • On the Outside, Looking In
    Phil Bertelson, an award-winning filmmaker and transracial adoptee, explores issues of racism and transracial adoption in an interview with AF.
  • My Ethiopian Daughters
    "My challenge is to balance my daughters' pride in their heritage with learning about the history of Africans in America."
  • Cornrows, French Braids, and Life
    As a white mom learns about her black child's hair, both come of age.
  • A Million Children Waiting
    In part one of this two-part series, we learn about the tragedy of Ethiopean children who have lost their parents to disease -- and their prospects for adoption.
  • A Home for Helen
    A mother's story of adopting a girl from Ethiopia.