Morocco

Adoptions from Morocco are closed, except to those resident in Morocco. Please read the link to the November 6, 2012 announcement from the U.S. Department of State:
Intercountry Adoption - Morocco Notice

Salam and Peace be upon you! Across The World Adoptions (ATWA) is excited to announce its pilot program for adoptions from Morocco. Morocco, located in North Africa, is a short ferry ride from the tip of Spain. It may be best known to many Americans for the romantic invitation to "Come with me to the Casbah." The Casbah is a walled citadel or fortress woven with alleys and souks (markets). The markets of Morocco are renowned for their splendor, variety and frequent invitations to join the proprietors in a glass of hot mint tea.

Our coordinator for Morocco is very experienced with the adoption process but families should be prepared for unexpected changes or delays in the program as it unfolds. Although we use the term adoption in this description, families should think of the process in Morocco more as guardianship or legal custody ("kefala") in preparation for adoption in the United States.

The Children:

Children may be relinquished to an orphanage at a very young age due to social and economic reasons. Although a referral may be made for a child at about three months of age, the custody process takes about four to six months and thus children will rarely be younger than seven months at the time of court. Children six years and over and children with minor, correctable special needs are readily adoptable and there may be a very short wait for a referral in these cases. Children will be coming from an orphanage where they generally receive very attentive care. ATWA devotes a portion of the adoption fees to support the orphanage and its work.

Families must be open to adopting a child of either gender. Although Morocco may consider a family's preference, this preference cannot be guaranteed. There are more boys than girls and there are also some biological sibling groups. On a case by case basis, families may be permitted to adopt two unrelated children at the same time.

The Parent(s):

Prospective adoptive parents must either be a married couple or a single female. Morocco does not allow same sex couples (married or not), domestic partners or single men to adopt. Morocco prefers applicants who are Muslim. Those willing to convert to Islam will also be considered. Although not logistically difficult, conversion is not to be undertaken lightly and requires affirmation that there is only one god and Mohammed is his prophet.

There is no age restriction for adoptive parents, but the age of the applicant(s) may be considered when the orphanage makes a referral. There is no specific length of marriage requirement and applicant(s) may have other children. Adoptive parent(s) must have an income.

Time Frame:

After a dossier of documents is completed and submitted to Morocco, it will be four to nine months to referral.

Travel:

There is a one trip option or a two trip option. Prospective parents who wish to accept a referral from photos and a brief medical and social history may start the process from the U.S. and then make one trip to Morocco for about four weeks. However, if married, one of the parents may leave after about ten days in country.

Parent(s) who wish to meet their child personally before accepting a referral will take two trips. The first trip is about four business days. After three to four months, the family will return to Morocco for court. This second trip lasts about four weeks, although one parent may leave after about ten days in Morocco.

Parents will be assisted with accommodations in Morocco and may stay at hotels or riads (traditional Moroccan guest homes, often with a central courtyard).

The Process:

Morocco is a non-Hague country. Therefore parents will file the I-600A with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

Under our guidance, parents complete a home study, obtain CIS approval and build the dossier of documents needed to adopt from Morocco. The Moroccan coordinator will request a referral from the orphanage and when ready, the parents will be invited to travel to Morocco.

Some orphanages have their own staff to assist with the kefala guardianship or custody process. Both parents, if married, must appear in court. After the hearing, the court will give kefala and permission to obtain a Moroccan passport and emigrate the child to the United States.

You will then travel to the U.S. consulate in Casablanca to apply for the child's immigrant visa. The consulate will issue an IR-4 (Immediate Relative) visa. The U.S. embassy in Rabat does not provide these services. Upon entry to the U.S., the child will become a lawful permanent resident and a "green card" will be mailed to you.

After return to the U.S., you must adopt your child in the state of your residence. Some states require compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). ATWA requires at least two visits with a social worker before finalizing the adoption, unless the state of your residence requires more. For instance, California requires a minimum of four visits over at least a six month period before finalization.

After the adoption hearing, your child becomes an automatic U.S. citizen. However, you must obtain proof of citizenship by applying for a Certificate of Citizenship.

Fees and Expenses:

Program fees encompass all professional adoption-related services, both here and in Morocco. Additional expenses include the home study, U.S. immigration and visa fees, travel, transportation, room and board and the cost of finalizing the adoption in the U.S.

For more information, please contact Across The World Adoptions by phone: (925) 356-6260 or by email: adopt@atwakids.org. You may request more information filling out this form.

Across The World Adoptions