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Phone: 1-246-535-2800
Address: Fred EdgeHill Bldg, Cheapside, Bridgetown, Barbados

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Adoption is a procedure by which people legally assume the role of parents for a child who is not their biological child.  Adopted children become full members of their adopted family and have the same legal status as the family’s biological children.

Many persons seek to adopt when they discover that they cannot give birth to biological children.  Others adopt children to add new members to their families that include biological children.  However, many persons adopt simply to give a home and family to children who might not otherwise have a home.

Any person desirous of adopting a minor shall make an application to the Child Care Board.  This agency is the only legal entity authorised to process adoption applications.

These children come from the Child Care Board’s residential centres or from families that are in crisis or under some degree of stress and are unable to provide the needed care for their children.

  1. A citizen of Barbados or a person who is a citizen of a country with which Barbados has diplomatic relations or consular relations and who has made Barbados his or her permanent home.
  2. An applicant or applicants who fulfil the criteria at (1) above and (i) are not less than 25 years old and are not less than 18 years older than the minor to be adopted; or (ii) who is at least 18 years older and is a relative of the minor or; (iii) the mother or father of the minor.
  3. A spouse in a marriage who is at least 25 years old and at least 18 years older than the child to be adopted as long as the spouse has the consent of the other spouse.
  4. A single female who fulfils the requirement at (1) and (2) above.
  5. A single male in respect of a minor who is a female in very exceptional circumstances.
  6. A single male who fulfils the requirement at (1) and (2) above in respect of a minor who is male.

In all cases, the applicant and the child must both reside in Barbados except where the adoption is to take place abroad.  The applicant who resides abroad must first obtain a Licence from the High Court of Barbados to remove the child from the jurisdiction of Barbados for the purpose of being adopted abroad.  Investigations are carried out on the prospective adoptive parents abroad before such a Licence is granted by the Court.

The process takes approximately thirteen (13) months and includes an assessment of the applicants, introductions of the child(ren) to the prospective adoptive parent(s), a six (6) month statutory supervision, the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem and the Court process for the finalization of the Adoption Order.

No, but the Child Care Board will want to know that they have an adequate income as the placement of a child is permanent.

The only financial cost to prospective adoptive applicants is the legal fees for the processing of documents for the finalization of the Adoption Order and Court appearance.

Before the Court can make an Adoption Order it has to be satisfied that the parents have consented of their own free will to the Order being made.  The parents are required to sign a Form of Consent which will be presented in Court as evidence of their consent.

When Adoption Orders are completed in the High Court, this means that a parent(s) will have no further rights to see the minor or have the minor returned to them.

When the High Court grants an Adoption Order it means that it cannot be changed and the adoptive parents are now the legal parents of the child.

Adoptive parents have the opportunity of deciding the age and sex of the child that would best fit into their family.

The Court will appoint a person called the Guardian Ad Litem to carry out certain checks and interviews to satisfy himself or herself that the proposed adoption will be in the best interest of the child; that the natural parents of the child fully understand what adoption means and that the proposed adoptive parents also fully understand their rights and their responsibilities relative to the adoption.

The law states that such a person should usually either be a Probation Officer, or a Welfare Officer nominated by the Child Care Board or an officer nominated by the Solicitor General.

Adoption is a permanent placement of a child with a family or individual, while foster care is a temporary placement of a child with an approved family with a view to the child being re-integrated in the community with his/her family. This placement is supervised by the Child Care Board.


Have a Question?

Foster Care is a form of family-based care for children who cannot stay in their homes because they have been harmed or are at risk.  It is a partnership between the Child Care Board and an approved individual or couple.  The Board provides supervision and ongoing support to the child/children placed in the household and the approved foster parents.

Foster parents provide positive family experiences for children who have different needs and therefore require different types of care.  As a result, foster parents may have to acquire additional parenting skills that will assist them in providing the care needed by the foster child.

There are three (3) types of foster care and these are:

Short-Term Care – Foster parents provide ongoing, day-to-day care to children and young people for a period not exceeding six (6) months while the department works towards reuniting the children with their families.

Long-Term Care – Foster parents provide children with a safe and stable home until they are eighteen (18) years of age because they cannot live with their families.

Emergency Care – Foster parents provide short-term care at short notice, within twenty-four (24) hours, for children who are affected by emergency situations.

There are different reasons why children come into the care of the Child Care Board.  These are mainly due to difficulties within the family, such as a mother going into hospital, homelessness, the death of a parent or guardian, abuse, neglect, parent’s inability to care, abandonment or Place of Safety Orders.

A child who has been affected in any of the above situations may be placed in Foster Care.

  1. According to the Child Care Board Act (1981 – 34)
    • a husband and wife jointly
    • a woman
    • persons who are at least twenty-five  (25) years and at least eighteen (18) years older than the child.

A foster parent should have qualities that include being tolerant, flexible and non-judgemental, loving, honest, patient, understanding and willing to accept training and supervision.

“Choose” is the wrong word.  Foster parents discuss with the Child Care Officers the age and sex of the children who they feel best able to help.  Much of the success of fostering depends upon the particular child in the home and the ability of the foster parents to provide the needed care.

The parents of the child continue to have their parental rights, however, there are situations where these rights are revoked and vested in the Child Care Board by the High Court or in the Court of itself.  Relatives maintain their relationships with the child as long as they are in the best interest of the child.

It must be noted that all contact between parents and their children must be facilitated through the Child Care Board.

No, but the Child Care Board will want to know that they can adequately provide for their basic needs as well as those of the child.

Financial assistance in the form of monthly allowances as well as clothing, school supplies and medical assistance will be provided for the child where applicable.

Officers of the Child Care Board will support you through regular visits and supervision of the Foster Care placement.  In addition, psychological and other counselling is available as the need arises.

Yes.  To ensure quality care is provided to the children and young people in your care, all foster parents are required to undertake ongoing training.  The training helps you to understand the foster care system, the types of experiences children in residential care have and the type of child who may be place in your care.

Some of the challenges include responding to children’s behaviours that you may not have previously experienced and being able to say goodbye to children when they return to their families.

Some of the rewards of being a foster parentincludee helping children to reach their full potential , keeping children in a safe and stable aenvironment, using your skills and life experiences for the benefit of others and ehhancing your knowledge base and parenting skills.

Walk in, telephone, write to the Child Care Board or contact us here.

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