Adopting from Morocco

If you have been looking at adoption in different countries, you may want to consider Morocco as one of those options. Here is some basic information on Morocco and its adoption process. 

About Morocco

Morocco is the crossroad of Africa, Europe, and the Middle-East. This country is located in North Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, southern border with Western Sahara, and eastern border with Algeria.

Morocco's well known cities include Rabat (capital), Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, and Tangier.

Morocco is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Moroccans are predominantly Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber ancestry. The Arabs brought Islam, along with Arabic language and culture, to the region from the Arabian Peninsula during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Today, there remains a Jewish community of approximately 5,000, and a largely expatriate Christian population of 5,000, who enjoy religious freedom and full civil rights in Morocco.

Arabic is Morocco's official language, but French is widely taught and serves as the primary language of commerce and government. 

Website for links on Morocco and its history:
www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5431.htm

The Adoptable Children of Morocco

The orphans from Morocco, who are well cared for in public or private orphanages, are placed for adoption primarily due to difficult economic circumstances.

Moroccan children are available for adoption after a three month waiting period which is reserved for domestic adoptions only. Morocco permits the adoption of more than one child and has very flexible acceptance criteria. Some orphanages will only permit singe child adoptions. There are many beautiful children available, primarily boys.

The demand to adopt girls domestically is greater and therefore the wait will be longer. 

Eligible Adoptiove Parents

Moroccan adoption is open to married couples and single women. Some orphanages will allow you to adopt more than one child in a single adoption process. You may also have other children in the home, although preference is given to childless couples and those with 1-2 children. Morocco is flexible regarding the age of the adoptive parents. Families must respect the child's religious heritage

Moroccan Adoptoin Process

Families will adopt under the local adoption laws known as kafala. The Moroccan adoption process is similar to guardianship in advance of adoption. We have used the term "adoption" throughout this information, adoptive families considering adopting a Moroccan child should think of the Moroccan process more as custody in advance of adoption. In Morocco, this guardianship is referred to as kafala. Americans considering adoption of Moroccan children must obtain kafala custody from a Moroccan court and subsequently adopt the child in the United States.

Prospective adoptive parents will compile a dossier that will be submitted to the Judge of Minors Affairs in Morocco.

In the application, the family describes the child they are seeking to adopt from Morocco. Once the family has been approved, they will receive a referral, usually within a few months.

Moroccan Adoption Travel

Adoption Travel is usually 2-3 trips depending upon family circumstances and the region where the referral is from. The adoptive family's dossier will be submitted to the regional Judge of Minors Affairs. Once your Moroccan adoption application has been approved parents are invited to travel to meet the children. This first visit will be about 2-3 business days. This is a short visit to meet the child and accept the referral. In some orphanages in Morocco you may be able to have the child evaluated by an independent physician in Morocco.

After this, the in-country adoption process begins.

You will be escorted through the process by our local Moroccan facilitators who are familiar with the in-country adoption process. The second Moroccan adoption trip is approximately 6-8 weeks later, but this depends on the paperwork status of the child. This second trip is about 3-4 weeks duration leaving time for termination and paperwork. Both adoptive parents must appear for the court hearing during this visit. One parent can then leave earlier, usually 8-10 days into the trip. The Moroccan kafala adoption will be finalized in country.

Once the Moroccan judge has declared the adoptive parents to be the legal guardians of the child, the U.S. side of the adoption process can begin. Families will travel to the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca for the exit interview. Families must readopt their Moroccan kafala/adopted child in the USA, so that the child can receive U.S. citizenship.

Learn more on the US State Department Website.