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Guidelines for the Adoption of a Barbadian Child by Citizens of Barbados and Persons Residing Abroad

The Barbados Adoption Act 1955 (amended 1981) allows for the adoption of a Barbadian child by citizens of Barbados or other persons domiciled in a country with which Barbados has diplomatic or consular relations.  Such Adoption can take place:-

  1. In Barbados, or
  2. In the applicants’ country of residence.
Immigration Procedures

In either case, it will be necessary for the applicants to first ascertain through the Immigration Authorities in their country of residence whether the child would be accepted into the country as:

  • An adopted child (as in the case of 1 above), or
  • A child for adoption (as in the case of 2 above)
Adoption in Barbados

Applicants wishing to adopt a child in Barbados will be required to reside on the island for a period of at least eighteen (18) months.  During this period, the statutory assessment would be done by the Child Care Board and if the applicants are approved by the Board as adoptive parents, a statutory six (6) months supervisory period would have to be observed after the placement of the child with the applicants.   A report is then forwarded to the Registrar of the Courts.

At the end of this period, the applicants’ attorney at law should apply to the High Court on their behalf for the granting of the Adoption Order.

It is a stipulation of the Child Care Board that the applicants’ living accommodation whilst in Barbados should be a dwelling house or apartment but not a hotel or guesthouse accommodation.  This is to ensure that the assessment and supervision are carried out in circumstances, which closely resemble a family-like environment.

Adoption in applicants’ country of residence

If applicants wish the adoption to take place in their country of residence, the High Court would grant a license on which the child could be taken out of Barbados for the purpose of adoption.  It would be necessary, however, for the applicants to retain the services of an Attorney-at-Law in Barbados who would apply for the license on their behalf.  Prior to this, the following conditions must apply:-

  • That a satisfactory home study is done by a Government Adoption Agency where this exists or by an Agency which has been registered and accredited for adoption purposes.
  • That the home study report includes a recommendation by the Agency that the applicants are considered to be suitable to become adoptive parents.
  • That after the applicants have identified the Agency they wish to use, all subsequent transactions will be carried out at an agency to agency level. Home studies will not be accepted if provided directly by the applicants.
  • That the Adoption Agency agrees to accept the transfer of supervision for the statutory six (6) month period and to provide the Child Care Board with monthly progress reports throughout this period.
  • That evidence is produced to show that the adoption proceedings can be completed in the applicants’ country of residence.
  • That the relevant Immigration Authorities grant the necessary entry documents for the child to enter the applicants’ country of residence for the purpose of adoption.

It is also necessary to note that:

  1. All persons who wish to adopt a Barbadian child should write to the Director of the Child Care Board.
  2. Besides a completed Home-Study, the following should be included:
  • Birth Certificate of each applicant
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medical Report of each applicant
  • Police Reference
  • Three (3) Personal References
  • Statement of applicants’ income

Finally, before the license can be granted, the applicants will be required to come to Barbados to attend the High Court hearing for the license and to receive the child into their care.    The adoptive parents must sign an Adoptive Parent Undertaking Form with the Child Care Board pending the Final Adoption Hearing.

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