Adoption Program

Madagascar, a great movie but an even greater country! Small World received a license to provide adoption services for USA Families seeking to adopt children in Madagascar January 2011. Our first adoptive family arrived from Madagascar in April 2011.

This Small World Adoption Program qualifies for financial grants by the foundations who partner with Small World.  The granting foundations are solely responsible for approving or denying prospective adoptive parents.



Small World keeps a short waiting list in the Madagascar program to help avoid extended waiting times for our families.    

Madagascar is a Hague participating country and all Madagascar Adoptions conform to the Hague regulations. Small World is a fully Hague accredited adoption agency and accepts families from all fifty states and all US citizens wherever they may be currently residing. The adoption process in Madagascar is a judicial process where both parents must appear in court. Then at least one adopting parent must spend a 30 day Probationary Period in country bonding with their child. At least one adopting parent must spend an additional 30 day Objection Period in country before the court will issue the final decree of adoption. The adoption must be final before the visa interview at the US consulate and trip home to the USA. That means at least one adopting parent will be in country 2 to 3 months. The process of adoption in Madagascar yields an IR3 Visa which qualifies the adopted child to be a US Citizen upon arrival at any USA entry port after the Madagascar Adoption.

Small World’s mission statement was founded on James 1:27 which refers to the assisting of orphans and describes it as perfect religion in the eyes of God. We partner with Christian families to rescue orphan children and through adoption make them orphans no more. While it is glaringly noticeable that our focus is on the child first we cannot accomplish our mission without our most valued partners, the adoptive families. Small World is a ministry and not simply an agency. We are currently 28 Christian men and women who have dedicated our lives to this mission for Christ

The adoption process in Madagascar

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. The Small World employees communicate with you throughout the process of your homestudy and actually do your dossier for you as a service. Small World English speaking Representatives meet each family at the plane upon arrival in Antananarivo, Madagascar and guide and accompany you through every step of the adoption process.

You will be in Antananarivo, Madagascar approximately two to three months. Our representatives will walk you through the entire process in Antananarivo, culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure from Madagascar back to your home with your child.

For any further questions concerning our Madagascar program please contact the Madagascar Program Director Amanda Shandley at



The age requirement for our Madagascar program is that each applicant be at least 25 years old and one of them at least 30 years of age while generally not more than 40 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 the Central authority in Madagascar if the applicant is more than 40 years older than the child.


Our Madagascar program requires that a family’s income be able to support the addition of a child and is subject to the Home Study opinion.


Madagascar does not allow more than 4 children per family. If you have 3 children Madagascar would allow you to adopt 1 child. If you have 4 children Madagascar will not allow you to adopt. Madagascar has children available for adoption from 2 – 14 years of age. Madagascar has stated to Small World that they “give preference” to families with no children.

Marital Status

Married heterosexual couples who have been married for at least 2 years may apply to adopt from Small World’s Madagascar program.


In accordance with Small World’s mission statement, our Madagascar program is open to Christian families only.

Post Adoption

Madagascar is intensely interested in the development of children placed for adoption. They require reports at 6 months and 1 year after the adoption plus an annual report each year until the child reaches the age of 18.

For further information, please contact Kerri Tracy, Director of Post Placement Services.


Fees for Madagascar adoption paid to Small World:

Application  $250
Home Study $2,000
Agency Fee $7,000
Dossier Fee (Includes shipping all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process) $3,600
Letter of Intent (per child) $2,500
Foreign Program Fee (per child unless indicated) $12,000
Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,200


Estimated Expenses for Madagascar adoption above fees paid to Small World:

US State Dept. Monitoring Fee  $500
Document procurement  $500
USCIS Application $775
FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home) $170
Roundtrip Air from US (2 adults returning with 1 child) $7,500
Hotel/Ground Trans. (2 adults plus the adopted child) $4,500

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $42,495


Payment Schedule

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  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.


Country And Culture


Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Côtiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry: Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran


Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique. The world’s fourth-largest island, it is twice the size of Arizona. The country’s low-lying coastal area gives way to a central plateau. The once densely wooded interior has largely been cut down.


The Malagasy are of mixed Malayo-Indonesian and African-Arab ancestry. Indonesians are believed to have migrated to the island about 700. King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810) ruled the major kingdom on the island, and his son, Radama I (1810–1828), unified much of the island. The French made the island a protectorate in 1885, and then, in 1894–1895, ended the monarchy, exiling Queen Rànavàlona III to Algiers. A colonial administration was set up, to which the Comoro Islands were attached in 1908, and other territories later. In World War II, the British occupied Madagascar, which retained ties to Vichy France.



International travel can be frustrating for even the most seasoned traveler and demands a good sense of humor. Small World’s staff will work to make your trip as uneventful as possible.

We give our families guidance and information to help with planning your travel. Our staff is very well traveled and program directors visit the various countries where we have programs regularly. At Small World, it’s your choice in arranging your international flights to accommodate your own travel preferences. You will have whatever degree of council and assistance you need. If you are an experienced traveler or new to all this we will walk you through it.

The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo (so difficult to pronounce most people refer to it as Tana) and international flights arrive there. The airport is 3rd world and you will not be impressed with the ambiance of it. :0-) There are no jet-ways and most likely you will arrive at night and deplane by stairs and be directed to walk to the arrival hall. The confusion begins! Lines begin to form with little direction. Those who have visas already in their passports will be happy (that should be you). Those who elected to get a visa at the airport will be in the clog of a couple hundred people for probably an hour or so to reach the passport control police to get your visa. Those who already have a visa (which we will advise and help you to do in advance) will be through the passport control, pick up your luggage and meeting with the English speaking Small World representatives in the lobby in a matter of minutes.

One trip is required for adopting in Madagascar. Your trip will take place within approximately 2 months of receiving your referral and I800 approval. Madagascar law requires prospective parents to maintain custody of the child in Madagascar for 30 days after the court date for a probationary period and another 30 days for an objection period before the finalization of the adoption is released by the judge. After the final decree is released you will need approximately 1 week to gather all exit documents with the assistance of the Small World representative in Tana (child’s passport, physical and USA visa etc). Our attorney in Tana will be requesting waivers of any unnecessary wait time for the court documents. These decisions are made by the courts in Madagascar so it is totally out of your and Small World’s control.

  • Day 1 – Arrival
    You will be driven to your hotel in a car arranged for you by the Small World Madagascar Coordinator. He will also accompany you, assist in your check-in and get you settled. He will briefly go over your agenda for the next few days so you can plan. The hotel we will suggest is about $40 per night and is clean and European style. It is near the offices you will be visiting and in the city center. It has an excellent restaurant and WiFi in your room. It is not fancy but safe and affordable. The 4 star hotels in Tana are $300 plus per night and not very close to the offices you will be working with.
  • Day 2 – Orientation and rest
  • Day 3 – Custody hearing; petition for final decree of adoption; receive child
  • Day 4 to Day 6 – Bonding priority
  • Day 7 to Day 37 – The probationary period of 30 days.
  • Day 38 – 67 The objection period of 30 days
  • Day 68 – 75 Document gathering and visa process

You are in one of the most beautiful countries in the world with rain forests, majestic beaches almost endless varieties of flowers and plants and exotic animals some of which are found nowhere else on earth ie. the blue eyed Lemur. After the bonding has progressed and it feels right you may wish to ask the Small World representative to help you book excursions from the mild climate of the highlands to the exotic beaches and Eco system tours throughout this unique country.

There are many travel agencies in Tana and our local staff there have personal experience with the best of the best and will introduce you to them. Relax and enjoy the beauty and culture of your child’s country of origin while your attorney and Small World professionals follow your case seek every benefit for you. Let us handle the red tap while you experience the tropical paradise portion of Madagascar. While there can be no guarantees because every case is different be sure the attorneys are working to expedite your probation and objection periods and have your final decree of adoption available at the earliest possible day.

Your Small World Coordinator will contact you should your final decree be granted early and your presence back in Tana be needed for your child’s medical and visa interview at the US Consulate. You may choose to fly home the next day after the US Consulate issues your child’s visa.

Our US Consulate staff in Antananarivo is one of the best and most caring in the US State Department. You will get every courtesy they can offer.

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.