Liberia is Africa and typically in Africa the emphasis is not on time schedules. Some delays should be expected and you should be prepared to be flexible.
The adoption process in Liberia
Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. The Small World employees communicate with you throughout the entire process and will guide you through to completion. Small World English speaking Representatives meet each family at the plane upon arrival in Monrovia, Liberia and guide and accompany you through every step of the adoption process.
All legal means are followed and explored in each adoption. Small World retains the services of licensed attorneys in Liberia to assure that your adoption is in accordance with the laws of Liberia and the United States. You will travel to Liberia for appearance in court at the adoption hearing. In most cases you will be traveling home after about a week to ten days in Liberia and wait for the process to mature and all documents to be issued to satisfy Liberian authorities and USA authorities after which you will travel back to Liberia for another one week stay and complete the exit documents for your child and receive their US Visa from the US Consulate before bringing your child home to the USA. During this trip you will obtain an Exit Permit from the Liberian government for your child as well as a visa to travel to the US from the US Embassy. Our representatives will walk you through the entire process in the city your child is coming from as well as in Monrovia, culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure from Liberia back to your home with your child. In some cases you may choose to stay in Liberia for one long trip rather than two fairly short ones.
Conflicting information is often heard about the process in Liberia. Small World suggests you check out the US Department of State official information at the following link. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Intercountry-Adoption-Country-Information/Liberia.html
For any further questions concerning our Liberia program please contact the Liberia Program Director Jimbo Savley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each applicant must be at least 25 years old and generally not more than 55 years older than the child. There is no firm restriction on the age limit, but it is subject to a case by case review by Small World and the Ministry of Gender of Liberia.
Small World requires sufficient income and resources on the part of every applicant to support the addition of a child.
Liberia does not limit the number of children per family, but it is subject to a case by case review by Small World and the Ministry of Gender in Liberia. Liberia refers children 1 – 15 years of age.
Married heterosexual couples who have been married for at least 3 years, and single heterosexual women, may apply to adopt from Small World’s Liberia program.
In accordance with Small World’s mission statement, our Liberia program is open to Christian families only.
Liberia is intensely interested in the development of children placed for adoption. They require reports at 6 months, 1 year and 18 months by a social worker approved by Small World.
For further information, please contact Kerri Tracy, Director of Post Placement Services.
Fees for Liberia adoption paid to Small World:
|Dossier Fee (Includes shipping all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process)||$3,500|
|Letter of Intent (per child)||$2,500
plus $250/mo Sponsorship
|Foreign Program Fee (per child unless indicated)||$11,000|
|Post Adoption Services* (per child)||$1,200|
Estimated Expenses for Liberia adoption above fees paid to Small World:
|US State Dept. Monitoring Fee *effective Feb. 15th, 2018||$500|
|FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home)||$170|
|Roundtrip Air from US (2 adults returning with 1 child)||$3,000|
|Hotel/Ground Trans. (2 adults plus the adopted child)||$1,500|
Total Adoption Cost:
|Total Adoption Cost||$33,895|
|Application Fee||Payment must accompany submission of application.|
|Services Agreement||The signed services agreement must be returned to Small World along with the US Dept of State Monitoring Fee (See Estimated Expenses) as the next step after the client’s application review. Transfer clients submit $1,250 of the agency fee at this time.|
|US State Dept. Monitoring Fee||In compliance with the mandate issued by the US State Department, this fee is collected by Small World and paid to the agency appointed by the US State Department for Monitoring and Oversight. The US State Department requires that the $500 (per child) fee be remitted following the finalized contract for services with your adoption agency. The payment will not be refunded by the Monitoring agency under any circumstance.|
|Home Study Fee||Payment must be submitted prior to the initiation of Home Study services. The Home Study packet will not be sent and work will not begin until the Home Study fee is paid. Payments for updates are due at the time services are requested. For families residing outside of TN/MO/GA, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.|
|Home Study Review Fee||All Home Studies are reviewed by our professional reviewers. If your Home Study is prepared by an agency other than Small World, a Home Study review fee of $200 is due at the time Small World enters into a contractual agreement with your Home Study provider.|
|Agency Fee||Payment must be submitted at the time of the completed Homestudy. No further work may be performed toward the adoption until the agency fee is received by Small World. The agency fee for each additional child adopted simultaneously with the first child for most programs is eligible for a 50% discount. Transfer Clients Only: $1,250 is due upon contracting with SW, and the balance is due upon dossier transfer completion.|
|Post Adoption Services||*An $800 partial payment of Post Adoption Services, per child, must be submitted with the Home Study fee. The post adoption services balance, per child, is due prior to travel. For families residing outside of GA/MO/TN, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.|
|Post Adoption & Exempt Providers||When post adoption reports are completed by a Small World pre-approved exempt provider, the client will be eligible for a Post Adoption Services discount. To be eligible for the discount, the pre-approved exempt provider must be under contract with Small World prior to client travel to the foreign country. Applicable discounts will be applied to the post adoption balance due prior to travel.|
|Dossier Prep & Registration Fee||Payment must accompany the first, original documents submitted to Small World for processing.|
|Letter of Intent||Payment to Small World must accompany the document packet indicating that you intend to pursue a specific child for adoption. Submission of the intent to pursue a particular child for adoption does not guarantee approval by the foreign country.|
|Foreign Program Fee||The foreign program fee includes funds required by the foreign supervised provider, exit documents, and program development. Due to exchange rates and external costs, foreign fees are subject to change.
For China, the published foreign program fee assumes the full, standard orphanage donation fee. Details regarding Small World’s process for the orphanage donation fee can be found at https://smallworldadoption.com/blog/. The estimated foreign program fee and the estimated in-China travel is billed upon receiving I800 and is due prior to TA arrival. The estimate is updated to reflect actual costs upon receiving the final cost list from China after the requested itinerary is finalized. If the actual costs are lower than the estimate, the resulting over-payment will be credited back to the family. If the actual costs are higher than the estimate, the resulting underpayment must be remitted to Small World prior to departing for Gotcha Day. This invoice will include a 3% payment processing fee for the applicable amount paid online.
For all other countries, half of the Foreign Program Fee is due at the time of I800 or I600 approval, and the balance is due prior to travel.
NOTE: ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE ONCE INVOICED AND PAID. DOSSIER, REFERRAL, FOREIGN FEES, AND POST ADOPTION SERVICES ARE BASED ON FEES SET BY THE FOREIGN PROVIDER AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE ACCORDINGLY.
Country And Culture
Liberia was founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves, and Liberia is mostly inhabited by indigenous Africans, with the slaves’ descendants comprising 5% of the population.
Due to Liberia’s longstanding Civil war (1989 to 2003) where up to 250,000 people were killed, there are programs are under way to address the shortage of electricity and running water. Corruption is rampant and unemployment and illiteracy are endemic.
Liberia’s media scene includes private and state outlets. Radio is the main news source and there is a lively commercial sector.
There are plenty of beaches around Monrovia. Out towards the airport after ELWA junction is ELWA beach, set inside a compound there is a marked safe swimming area, clean beach and plenty of families at the weekends. No facilities though. Further on is Thinkers (pronounced Tinkers) with a food and drinks service, though the waves are a bit rough here, and it is not safe to walk up or down the beach too far. CE CE beach out the other way, over the bridge out to Hotel Africa is very well set up with palm umbrellas, drinks service and a buffet, and a well protected swimming area.
For an interesting day trip, Robertsport offers a glimpse of Liberia’s cultural history as well as clean, beautiful beaches. A group of South Africans has set up a tent camp for those wishing to spend the night on the beach and the UN also offers accommodations on a first-come basis. Beware the strong tides.
The Monrovia Visitors Map is a handy guide for getting around the city. It can be downloaded for free from www.monroviavisitorsmap.com – it contains 8 color maps of the city and features useful attractions, government buildings, restaurants, bars, shops and places of interest.
Liberia is well-known for its beautiful masks. Masks are on sale around hotels and UN centres. After haggling, they will cost you about USD25 (depending on the size etc.)
There is beautiful printed fabric in Liberia. It is sold in lapas (usually 2), one lapa is 2 yards. 3 lapas of the best quality, real wax, will cost about USD15. There are series of modern and technological Supermarket or malls like; the Abi Jaoudi, Xclusive superstore, located downtown, the ERA Mall, Stop n Shop, Payless Center & the Sinkor Xclusive, all in the Sinkor Suburb, & the Save Way Supermarket at the ELWA Junction. The Sinkor Suburb is lined with top hotels & restaurants and has become Monrovia’s new mid-town.
Eating Liberian food can be enjoyable and easy on the pocketbook. Liberian meals like palm butter, cassava leaf, potato greens, chock rice, and jollof’s rice will barely leave a dent in your budget (USD2-3 with a soda). Portions are usually enormous. Another popular local dish is fufu (fermented dough made from the cassava plant) and soup (the most common are goat soup and pepper soup). Fried or roasted fish, especially snapper, can be delicious. And for those who like to eat on the go, fruit and snacks can be bought from street vendors throughout Monrovia. Peanuts, fried plantain chips, roasted ears of corn or plantains, bananas, mangos, and other fruits can be had for LRD5-20 (or USD0.10-0.30). Especially delicious are the various breads sold freshly baked in the morning. Some breads resemble banana bread, other breads are more like corn bread. All are delicious although somewhat oily.
Usually hotels are considered quite safe as the owners will employ guards. However, don’t be complacent and make sure that you are aware of your security also in the hotels. Be prepared to pay your entire bill in cash (USD).
Prices for hotel are overpriced in the Monrovia area. It ranges from USD50 per night at Crown Hotel opposite the Paynesville City Hall – USD350 per night at Mamba Point Hotel – near the American Embassy with many others priced at the high end in between.
More information on the statistics of Small World’s program is available upon request, including the number of adoption placements per year, number of applicants per year, and where possible, the number of children eligible for adoption. Please contact the Program Director via the info form to the right of this page if you wish to receive to discuss this information.