Following is an extensive list of country programs which may be open to men and other adopting parents who are not in a traditional married relationship. This article was written in January 2011 and things change in the international adoption world very quickly. Please contact me with any corrections to this information so I can try to keep this article updated. Always do your own research and be diligent in your quest for correct and current information. For example, do not believe that a country program is closed to male adoption because you saw that on one website; you must investigate every possible resource by contacting every agency you can find that works in that country and contacting the governmental source of the information before crossing an adoption program off your list. Adoption.state.gov lists the adoption authority in each country and the embassy can also provide official information about adoptive parent eligibility requirements and licensed agencies in your country of citizenship. Requirements are often agency specific, so if you find an agency you want to work with which does not indicate that men can adopt – ask them to make an exception for an HIV positive orphan or keep searching.
If you are looking for a proven country program which is placing HIV+ children for adoption, choose one of the countries below which is underlined. If you have a pioneering spirit and you are open to trying a new country program, here is a starter (not exhaustive) list of countries to research further. Keep in mind that not all adoption programs are open to people residing in all countries. Please be in touch and I will help you research single father adoption further.
India is open to single men and women and definitely has HIV-positive children registered for international adoption. Try WACAP, Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services or Illien Adoptions in America or CAFAC and Children’s Bridge in Canada. Single Ichild Yahoo Group. Canadians Adopting From India Forum.
Colombia (not Columbia) is open to single men and there are HIV+ children waiting. Contact CHSFS, La Vida or Adopolis. Adopt Colombia Yahoo Group. Swedish Colombian Adoption Yahoo Group -En Lista for de som har /kommer att adoptera fran Colombia. Dutch Colombian Adoption Yahoo Group – Adoptie Colombia voor en door aspirant ouders.
Philippines allows single men to adopt according to Children of All Nations. Also see Wide Horizons for Children, maybe Crossroads, Welcome House / Pearl S. Buck Int’l, and Madison Adoption Associates indicates that families are needed for children with HIV, although they specify single women (inquire and show them other agencies which allow men as well as this site which does not restrict men). Hand In Hand has placed HIV+ children from a different country. Bethany Christian Services (experience with HIV) indicates that single applicants will need pre-approval for a waiting child. Holt International (experience with HIV) indicates single applicants are accepted for children with special needs – perhaps they would be able to locate a child with HIV lacking parental care. If you are in Canada, try Formons Une Famille adoption agency which is currently processing special needs requests only. Formons Une Famille Philippines Yahoo Group (Canada). Adoption_Phillipines (in French). Adopt Philippines International (if you are outside USA), Adopt Phillipines USA.
Uganda HIV+ children are in need of international parents and single men are allowed to adopt. Some adoption agencies you could start inquiring with include Adoption Advocates International, Americans For African Adoption (AFAA), Children of All Nations and Nightlight Christian Adoptions. Independent adoptions are also allowed. Uganda Adoptions Yahoo Group and Ugandan Adoptive Families.
Estonia is an excellent option for single dads who wish to adopt. There are currently children with HIV waiting for adoptive parents and there have been successful HIV adoptions from this country. Men are welcome to adopt Estonian children. Contact Adoption Hope International. See the Estonian Adoption group and the AdoptingFromEstonia group.
Latvia is another excellent option for adopting single fathers. Children with HIV are currently registered for international adoption. Men are welcome to adopt Latvian children. Some of the agencies to start with include About A Child, One World Adoption Services and Children of All Nations (one in process).
Bulgaria is open to single male adoption but at the time of this writing, there were no waiting children with HIV. An adoption agency in Canada such as Sunrise might be able to partner with Vesta for Bulgaria. There are many American adoption agencies working in this country, although the ones that specifically mention “singles” (opposed to “single women”) include: Lifeline, Carolina Adoption Services, Adoptions Together, Hopscotch Adoptions, About A Child, Adopolis, MLJ and Gladney. That’s just a starter list. Hopefully one of those will be able to represent you and locate an HIV+ child for you, but if not, there are other agencies to contact such as OWAS – point out to them that single men are not restricted by Bulgaria. Inquire with your country’s embassy such as the US Embassy in Bulgaria and Bulgaria’s adoption authority website Ministry of Justice. See the Bulgaria-Adopt Yahoo Group.
Ecuador Single men can adopt although I have not researched waiting children with HIV. Try Terre des Hommes Ontario if you are Canadian or CHSFS and Illien for Americans. All three agencies have experience with HIV adoption and might be able to locate an HIV+ child for you. The central authority is CNNA.gov.ec Consejo Nacional de la Ninez y Adolescencia (CNNA) National Council of Childhood and Adolescence. See also Ecuador-Adopt Yahoo Group and CanEc_Adoption Yahoo Group for Canadians.
Moldova At the time of this writing, The Family Network did not have parent requirements for Moldova on their website, Carolina Adoption Services,Spence-Chapin, Adoption Miracle and Adoptions Together all indicated single women (which might be an agency not government preference). I think it’s worth contacting them “just in case” because this might be a potential country program for single men as adoption.state.gov does not state a gender preference. The US Embassy in Moldova or other Moldovan Embassies might also be able to provide you with concrete eligibility policies and point you in the right direction. HIV-positive orphans ARE currently registered for international adoption (according to CAS). The adoption authority which makes the rules is the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family and the various links lead here. See the Moldova Adoption Yahoo Group
Liberia allows single parents to adopt and does not state a preference between single fathers and single mothers. All Blessings International states that it is one of three adoption agencies licensed to place children with medical needs. The website states there are HIV+ children in the program. However, this particular agency only mentions single women – inquire as adoption.state.gov does not indicate that men are unwelcome. Adopt International accepts male applicants. AdoptingFromLiberia and AdoptAfrica Yahoo Group.
Peru allows single dads to adopt. Children of All Nations has indicated that waiting children with HIV are currently registered for adoption. Other agencies to consider include CHSFS, Villa Hope, Carolina Adoption Services, and Illien Adoptions International. The Yahoo Group is PeruAdopt and is open to US, Spain, Italy and other countries.
Haiti is open for single parent adoption (does not state men or women) and there have been HIV-positive children registered for international adoption in the past. Try Adoption-Link (which experience with HIV adoption and states that exceptions to parent criteria can be made for HIV-positive children), Love Beyond Borders or Carolina Adoption Services to start. There are many other agencies to inquire with although single men are not mentioned on their websites. If you are in Canada, try CAFAC or Sunrise. Outside of US and Canada, contact your country’s adoption authority or the Haitian adoption authority Institut de Bien Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR) or your embassy such as US Embassy in Haiti. The HaitianAngels Yahoo Adoption Group and the Canadians Adopting From Haiti group might also be of assistance.
Jamaica can be a challenging adoption process according to the Yahoo group. Adopting parents in process say the best way to adopt from Jamaica may be to identify a child yourself and adopt independently. Plan on corresponding with the Jamaicans diligently and traveling there occasionally to keep the paperwork moving along. All single applicants are considered on a case by case basis according to adoption.state.gov. There is at least one HIV orphanage which may be able to help you identify a child. Child Development Agency (CDA) is the central adoption authority. CAFAC in Canada.
Belize is open to single men and women. There are waiting children with HIV currently registered.
Mexico allows single men to adopt according to adoption.state.gov. Try Carolina Adoption Services, International Child Foundation, Across the World Adoptions, All God’s Children, Adoption Related Services or MLJ Adoptions . Be sure you are using an approved agency. I do not know of specific waiting children with HIV, but the agencies should be able to advise you. Children with special needs including infants are in need of international families. This link says same-sex couples can adopt jointly in Mexico City.
Democratic Republic of the Congo Singles are accepted, with no stated preference toward women. Try Hands Across the Water, One World Adoption Services, Wasatch International Adoption, MLJ and Compassionate Hearts (experience with HIV). Congo Adopt Yahoo Group. Our Hearts in Congo Yahoo Group (Canada?) Adopcion Congo (Spanish language)
Hong Kong does not state a preference between single women and men. I do not know if children living with HIV are registered for international adoption. You could inquire with Bethany Christian Services. The Yahoo Group is HK Adopt
Uzbekistan allows single applicants according to adoption.state.gov. The agency About A Child has an adoption program in this country and this agency has experience with HIV adoption (in other countries). Please inquire with the agency to determine if there are any Uzbek children with HIV in need of international parents. US Embassy in Uzbekistan. There are other agencies as well. See the Uzbekistan Adoption Yahoo Group.
United States of America allows single men and women of any sexual orientation to adopt openly. There are less than 200 HIV-positive babies born in USA per year and most stay with their biological families. Only a couple of children per year seem to be in need of adoptive families. Contact your county or state foster-adopt organization keeping in mind it is rather unlikely you will be matched with child with HIV. Here is a basic overview of the process.
Poland allows single adoptive parents. BVS Adoption Program indicates “singles” without a preference to men or women. Saint Mary International Adoptions, Huminska’s Anioly and Children’s House International Adoptions are some more agencies working in this country although these sites state single women. However, CHI says the adopting parent requirements are flexible for children with special needs. Catholic Charities may also be able to assist. At the time of this writing, siblings with HIV were waiting. You may want to indicate to the agency that men are not excluded as per the Poland Embassy in Washington DC, adoption.state.gov and by confirming with the Polish Adoption Authority (contact info at the bottom of the previous link). According to this link and this link, some of the cooperating countries include Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway and Austria (maybe others). If you are located in a different country, the last link indicates they are open to cooperating with additional licensed agencies by signing a mutual cooperation agreement. See the Polish Adoptions Yahoo Group and the Adoption-Poland Group.
Africa Sunrise Adoption in Canada has an HIV program for several countries in Africa. Inquire to see if singles are accepted into the program.
Russia There are MANY orphans with HIV in need of parents right now. There are very limited regions from which men can adopt. I do not know if orphans with HIV are waiting in those regions. I’m happy to help research this topic. Try Adoption Center of Washington and Cradle of Hope. Please let me know if you know of any other agencies. Americans cannot adopt from this country as of January 1, 2013.
Hungary allows single adoptive parents (particularly for older children and those with special needs) and does not state a preference between men and women. Try contacting About A Child or Children’s House International to find out if children with HIV are waiting. Hungarian Adoption Yahoo Group.
Brazil is open to single men and women. I do not know if HIV+ children are currently registered for international adoption. Contact CAFAC in Canada. In America, try One World Adoption Services. Check adoption.State.gov for updates as this country is working on Hague. This might eventually be a good option for homosexual couples who want to adopt openly as gay adoption is legal in Brazil (if you can find an agency to work with. For example, AWAA is in this country but does not accept applications from single males). OWAS states that it does not discriminate based on marital status or sexual orientation and has a testimonial by a single dad who adopted from Brazil. The agency is located in GA. At the time if this writing, the adoption laws for GA: LGBT individuals can legally adopt and there are no explicit prohibitions against same sex couples from adopting jointly. See the Summary of Laws by Jurisdiction on Wikipedia to be sure LGBT adoption is legal in your state, province or country before inquiring. Gay adoption is legal in most provinces in Canada. If you are outside of Canada or US, you’ll need to do some research to see if Brazil has an adoption agreement with your country. Start your research with your country’s adoption authority and with the State Judiciary Commission of Adoption (CEJA): see “Brazil’s Central Authority” for contact info. If you happen to be in an area where gay adoption is legal such as Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and some areas of Canada, US, Australia, etc - perhaps you can adopt openly from Brazil (wild speculation here).
Vietnam At the time of this writing, USA does not have a bilateral agreement with Vietnam so Americans cannot adopt. Vietnamese adoption is still open to citizens of other countries including Canada. Contact Terre des Hommes Ontario which states in a January 20, 2011 update that, although the program is going through major changes, “adoption of special needs children will not be interrupted during this time”. Also Choices in BC, Formons une Famille in Quebec mentions children with HIV/AIDS and mentions “singles” without specifying men or women. TDH Quebec also states “singles” and they will discuss special needs adoptions only at this time. HIV+ children are waiting in Viet Nam. Also see the Vietnam Adoption Canada Yahoo Group. If you are outside of Canada, inquire with your adoption authority to find out if your country has a bilateral agreement with Vietnam.
Panama I have heard of one HIV+ child who has been adopted from Panama by a married American couple. The family indicates there are more waiting children with HIV in Panama. According to the US Embassy in Panama, single persons may adopt a child of either gender. The American agencies working in Panama include Hands Across The Water, Families Through International Adoption and European Adoption Consultants. If you would like to provide official confirmation to an agency that single guys can adopt, you could request the policy directly from Panama’s Adoption Authority (in Spanish language of course): email@example.com
El Salvador Single parents are eligible to adopt. If you are American, try Americans for International Aid and Adoption first, followed by All Blessings International (although it states ‘single women’) or Villa Hope (does not specify if singles are allowed). Here is the adoption authority website which lists agencies for citizens of various countries, and here is the US Embassy in El Salvador. Hopefully the agency of your choice will be able to advise you if children with HIV are waiting. ElSalvadorAdopt Yahoo Group and El Salvador Adoption Group
South Africa is open to single adoptive moms and dads. As of summer 2012, this country has only recently opened to parents from USA. The two American adoption agencies with pilot programs are currently Bethany Christian Services and Spence Chapin. Canadians and citizens of other countries which have an adoption agreement with South Africa can also adopt. If you are in a different country and want to find out if you can adopt, you could inquire with your country’s adoption authority and South Africa’s adoption authority Department of Social Development, Registrar of Adoptions and/or The Commissioner of Child Welfare. There are HIV+ orphans in need of parental care. Three organizations which may be able to assist in identifying a waiting child include Acres of Love, Shepherd’s Keep and The Love of Christ (TLC). According to adoption.state.gov; “Both married couples and partners in a life partnership (including same-sex partners) can jointly adopt a child and a single person may also adopt individually.” However, discretion is advised as many of the agencies and orphanages are faith based. In other words, LGBT adoption is legal in South Africa, so if you live in an area where gay adoption is legal AND which has an adoption agreement with South Africa, you might be able to adopt openly (if you can find an appropriate agency, court and orphanage). In Canada, there are a couple of agencies currently working in South Africa, but none of them (I have found yet) indicate accepting single male applicants. Another option is to try to find out if independent adoption is an option in that country.
St. Vincent Creative Adoptions is the only US adoption agencies working in St. Vincent and it states “single women”. If you are Canadian, you could inquire with CAFAC (experience with HIV adoption) to see if single men can adopt children with HIV although their website also indicates “single women”. However, adoption.state.gov indicates “single parents may adopt” which does not exclude men, so it is worth inquiring. I don’t personally know of any orphans living with HIV in need of parental care in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but I’m happy to help anyone research this topic. SVG Adopt Yahoo Group
Lesotho HIV+ children are in need of international parents. I do not know if single men are welcome to apply but you may be able to find out from these contacts. If you reside in one of these four countries, please contact your approved agency: in US contact Americans for African Adoption, in Canada contact Sunrise Adoption Services, in the Netherlands, contact Stichting Kind en Toekomost: firstname.lastname@example.org and in Sweden contact Adoption Centrum: email@example.com~ Dutch Yahoo Group: Adoptie Uit Lesotho
Armenia allows single applicants. Inquire with Carolina Adoption Services. The adoption authority and here to find out if children with HIV are registered for international adoption. Armenian Adoption Interest Yahoo Group
Guyana might be a possibility as single individuals are eligible to adopt. Try World View Adoption Association in Canada. Hopefully an adoption agency will be able to inform you if children living with HIV are waiting for families.
You may find it helpful to join online support groups such as Aussie Singles Adopt, HIV Adoption, Single Adopt Vietnam, Single Adopt NY, UK Single Adopters, Children’s Bridge Singles (Canada), Irish Singles Adopt, Gay Dads, Germany or Denmark Single Adoption, Dutch Single Adoption – Adoptie Singles Vlaanderen, Maybe Baby Seattle, Pop Luck Club, etc.
There are many little-known adoption programs from which men can adopt. They are listed above for adopting parents to research further. This post is relevant for single men, single women and all potential adoptive parents adopting as singles including gay, straight, lesbian and homosexual individuals as well as LGBT couples and heterosexual unmarried couples who adopt as single parents.
This document is a work in progress. There are many country programs I am researching and I hope to update this on an ongoing basis, so please be in touch with any information you find in your research so I can update this page. Thank you so much.