Small World is the only USA Agency accredited in Lesotho. We work with US Citizens worldwide who wish to adopt a child from Lesotho and have been doing so since 2013.  Small World is proud to partner with Malefa Semekela as our liaison and Sekake Melabanye as our attorney in Lesotho.

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 funding for prospective adoptive parents.

Thank you for your interest in our Lesotho program. However, Small World is not accepting any new applications to our Lesotho program, at this time. 


Our adoption program in Lesotho is in cooperation with the Central Authority of the Lesotho Government. Once your dossier is accepted in Lesotho, your file will be eligible for consideration in a match meeting by the Central Authority. Once matched, you will receive a referral of a child from Lesotho.

After acceptance of referral, there is a waiting period of 6-10 months while the Lesotho government processes the adoption and schedules the court hearing. You will not be required to travel to Lesotho to personally appear in court for this hearing as our representative in Lesotho can appear for you with your power of attorney.

Once this is complete and exit documents have been procured, you will travel to Lesotho to pick up your child. Each adoption is different for many reasons, but our estimate on the timeline of adoption from Lesotho at this time is 2-4 years.

The adoption process in Lesotho

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. Small World’s English speaking representatives meet each family upon arrival in Maseru, Lesotho and guide and accompany you through the remaining steps of the adoption process in country.

You will be in Lesotho for a mandatory two week period. You will then travel from Maseru to Johannesburg, South Africa where you will stay approximately one week culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Once your child’s visa has been obtained, you are free to travel home.

Small World, Inc. prohibits its employees and agents from giving money or other consideration, directly or indirectly, to a child’s parent(s), other individual(s), or an entity as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child. Any attempt to do so is grounds for immediate termination and report to all authorities necessary.

If permitted or required by the child’s country of origin, Small World may remit reasonable payments for activities related to the adoption proceedings, pre-birth and birth medical costs, the care of the child, the care of the birth mother while pregnant and immediately following birth of the child, or the provision of child welfare and child protection services generally.

Under no circumstances shall permitted or required contributions be remitted as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child. For any further questions concerning our Lesotho program please contact the Lesotho Program Director Christian Graham at christian@smallworldadoption.com.


  • Age

    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 Central Authority of Lesotho.

  • Finances

    Small World requires sufficient income and resources on the part of every applicant to support the addition of a child.

  • Children

    Lesotho does not limit the number of children per family, but it is subject to a case by case review by Small World and the Central Authority of Lesotho. Lesotho refers children 1 – 14 years of age.

  • Marital Status

    Married heterosexual couples who have been married for at least 2 years and single heterosexual females only may apply to adopt from Small World’s Lesotho program.

  • Faith

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

  • Post Adoption

    Lesotho is intensely interested in the development of children placed for adoption. They require reports at 6 months, 1 year, 18 months and 24 months by a social worker approved by Small World and 3 additional self reports at 36 months, 48 months and 60 months.

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


Fees for Lesotho adoption paid to Small World:

Application  $300
US State Dept. Monitoring (per child)  $900
Home Study $2,250
Home Study Review (for families living outside of TN & MO) $225
Home Study Update (if needed and is not included in the total cost below)$1,200
Agency  $7,500
Dossier (Includes shipping all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process) $3,800
Letter of Intent (per child) $2,700
Foreign Program (per child unless indicated) $13,000
Post Placement/Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,800

US Estimated expenses associated with Lesotho adoption not paid to Small World:

Document procurement  $500
USCIS Application $775
FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home) $170
Adoptive training & further education$145 – $630

Travel and in country estimated expenses associated with Lesotho adoption not paid to Small World:

Travel Visa – per person N/A
Immigration Visa – per child, traveling to the US $325
Passport size photos for US Immigration Visa $25
Visa medical exam – per child $200
Vaccine – Yellow Fever (if applicable) $150 – $350
Airfare from US (2 adults) $4,000 – $5,000
Airfare from country (2 adults & 1 adopted child) $2,000 – $2,250
Hotel/Lodging $3,000
Ground Transportation $300

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $44,065 – $46,000

Fee and Payment Breakdown

ApplicationPayment must accompany submission of application.
Pre-Identified Child InvestigationIn cases where there is a pre-identified child, payment must be submitted upon submission of the Application, and in addition to the Application Fee. This fee is per child.
US State Dept. Monitoring 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 $900 (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.
Services AgreementThe 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.
Home StudyPayment must be submitted at 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 living outside TN or MO, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel. If additional copies are required or requested, beyond the 2 provided in the home study fee, and additional fee of $50 per copy, will be applied, plus shipping cost.
Home Study ReviewAll 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 $225 is due at the time Small World enters into an exempt provider contract agreement with your home study agency.
Home Study UpdateAn Update is a re-approval of a family which extends the life of an approval by an additional year. Updates require a new medical evaluation, new criminal history evaluations, in many cases a new home visit and a new approval from the social worker. Typical events that require an Update include a change of residence or 1-year expiration since the last approval. An original home study can only be updated annually for 2 years. A full, new home study is required for year 3.
AgencyPayment must be submitted at the time of the completed home study.  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
DossierIncludes applicable translation fees. Payment must accompany the first, original documents submitted to Small World for processing. Approved dossier documents will not be sent for authentication/apostille until the Dossier Fee is paid in full.
Letter of Intent Includes applicable translation fees. 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 ProgramThe foreign program fee includes funds required by the foreign supervised provider, exit documents, applicable translation fees, and program development. Due to exchange rates and external costs, foreign program fees are subject to change. Half of the Foreign Program Fee is due at the time of I800 approval, and the balance is due prior to travel.
Post Placement/Post Adoption Services$900 ($450 per report) in Post Placement/Post Adoption Services, per child, must be submitted when the Foreign Program fee is due. The post adoption services balance, per child, is due prior to travel and includes applicable translation fees. For families residing outside of TN or MO, post placement reports should be arranged with your home study provider. The number of reports per child vary by country. Please consult the program director for PAR Schedules.



One trip is required for adopting from Lesotho. Your court date will be assigned approximately 6-10 months after you have officially accepted a referral and been matched with a child. Depending on timing and holidays in Lesotho, this time could increase.

Once we receive notice of your court date, travel is typically 3-4 weeks later. Once your court date has passed, you will set your child’s medical appointment and visa appointment at the consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa. The time spent in Lesotho is 2 weeks, as you bond with your child and have 1-2 visits with a social worker. Time spent in Johannesburg is typically around 1-2 weeks as final paperwork is prepared before you can return home.

For information on Lesotho’s country and culture please click here.

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.