Adoption Program

In 2017, Small World received accreditation from the Liberian government to conduct international adoptions. We work with US citizens worldwide who wish to adopt children from Liberia. Small World is proud to partner with Albert Ballah as our liaison in Liberia.

This Small World Liberian 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.


Liberia is an attractive adoption program to may potential parents due to the overall good health of the children awaiting adoption. Most of the referrals we receive are for healthy children between 1 – 8 years old. There is also an increased need for families, since recent epidemics have orphaned many children.

The adoption process in Liberia

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. From application to submitting paperwork to the foreign government, to travel, to post adoption support, Small World professionals ensure that your adoption is completed legally and as smoothly as possible.

Once your home study has been approved, you will submit a dossier to Liberia and wait for a referral of a child. Once you are matched with a child, you will be responsible for his/her monthly support while living in the Small World Transition Home. Once you receive a court date and travel approval, you will travel to Liberia to meet your child. After all requirements have been satisfied, your child will receive an immigrant visa and travel home with you.

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.

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 Liberia program please contact the Liberia Program Director Jimbo Savley at



Small World has a general requirement of a minimum age requirement of 25 however, we do consider prospective Adoptive Parents 21 – 25 on a case by case basis.  Liberia has a law that establishes the minimum age at 21 and a guideline that each applicant must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted and generally not more than 55 years older than the child.   Age limit is also subject to a case by case review by Small World and the Liberian Ministry of Gender.


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.

Marital Status

Married heterosexual couples who have been married for at least 2 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.

Post Adoption

Liberia is intensely interested in the development of children placed for adoption. They require reports at 6 months, 12 months, and 24 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:

Application  $250
US State Dept. Monitoring Fee (per child)   $550
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
Child Care ($250/month, based on 6 months) $1,500
Foreign Program Fee (per child unless indicated) $12,000
Post Placement/Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,200

Estimated expenses associated with Liberia adoption not paid to Small World:

Document procurement  $500
Visa (per person)  $160
Vaccine – Yellow Fever $150 – $350
COVID Testing (per person/per test) $100-$200
USCIS Application $775
FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home) $170
Roundtrip Air from US (2 adults returning with 1 child) $5,000
Hotel/Ground Trans. (2 adults plus the adopted child) $3,500

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $40,955 – $41,255


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 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 residing outside of TN/MO, 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 an exempt provider contract agreement with your home study agency.
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 *$800 in 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 and includes applicable translation fees.  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 Includes 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 Program Fee The 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. Orphanages in China request that adoptive families make a contribution to the orphanage for the care of the child and preparation of the child’s file which made them eligible for adoption. The average contribution requested by orphanages in China is $5,100. When agreed to by the client, the orphanage donation contribution is included in the foreign program fee invoiced prior to travel.

For China, the published foreign program fee assumes the full, standard orphanage donation contribution. Details regarding Small World’s process for the orphanage donation contribution 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 overpayment 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

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.


You will travel to Liberia for appearance in court at the adoption hearing. Small World English speaking representatives will meet you at the airport in Monrovia when you arrive. They will guide and accompany you through the process every step of the way. In most cases you will return home after about a week to ten days in Liberia and wait for the process to mature and all documents to be issued. After this, you will travel back to Liberia for another one week stay and complete the exit documents for your child (guided by Small World representatives). At this point you will receive their US Visa from the US Consulate in Monrovia. After receiving the visa for your child, you will apply for an Exit Permit from the Liberian government for your child. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure.

In some cases you may choose to stay in Liberia for one long trip rather than two fairly short ones. In such cases where one trip is advisable, your stay in Liberia will be approximately 3-4 weeks.

Usually hotels in Monrovia are quite safe as the owners will employ security guards. However, don’t be complacent; make sure that you are aware of your security in the hotels.

Hotels are overpriced in the Monrovia area. It ranges from USD50 per night at Crown Hotel – USD350 per night at Mamba Point Hotel – with many others priced at the high end in between. Also, you should be prepared to pay your entire bill in cash (USD).

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.