Adoption Program

Uganda is a non-Hague country. Small World established an adoption program in Uganda in 2013. The children of Uganda have benefited from the Christian Ministry of Small World from that time. We seek qualified US citizens who wish to partner with Small World to provide a permanent Christian family for a Ugandan orphan.

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.


The system in Uganda requires that adoptive parents live in Uganda fostering the child they wish to adopt for 1 year at which time the Ugandan court can legally grant full guardianship of the child to the adoptive couple. This is not a finalized adoption. Ugandan law requires that the adoptive parents continue living in Uganda for an additional year before the court can legally issue a finalized adoption. Therefore, to adopt in Ugandan courts requires that you live in Uganda with the child for approximately 2 years. It may be possible to return to the US after the full guardianship order is issued at 1 year, if the guardianship order is written “for the purpose of adoption.” It is not unusual for court dates and various appointments to be delayed. The culture and function of systems is not like it is in the USA.

It is Africa and the emphasis is not on time schedules. Some delays are normal in the Ugandan systems and you should be prepared to be flexible. You are in the pearl of Africa so many families take advantage of the sightseeing opportunities and learning about their child’s native culture. This is the Africa you’ve seen on Wild Kingdom and other similar TV programs.

The adoption process in Uganda

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

You will be in Uganda approximately 1 year before being granted full guardianship of the child and approximately 2 years before being granted a finalized adoption. Our representatives will walk you through the entire process in the city your child is coming from as well as in Kampala, culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure from Uganda back to your home with your child.

For any further questions concerning our Uganda program please contact the Uganda Program Director Jimbo Savley at



Each applicant must be at least 25 years old. Exceptions to this are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Director when allowed by the specific program to which the perspective adoptive parents have applied.


Perspective adoptive parents must demonstrate the ability to complete an adoption and to provide proper care for the number of children they are seeking to adopt.


Uganda has no requirements regarding other children in the household.

Marital Status

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


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

Post Adoption

Post Adoption Reports are due at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. For further information, please contact Kerri Tracy, Director of Post Placement Services.

Quick Q&A

  • From the time a family’s dossier gets to Uganda, what is the estimated wait time for referral? 6 months average in the past.
  • Who assigns children to families? Does SWA or the government? SWA will make the referrals in conjunction with Uganda officials.
  • When the family travels to Uganda, will their child get to stay with them until they pass court? Yes.
  • How many PAR’s does Uganda require? 3mo., 6 Mo. and 1 year.
  • What visa does the child enter the US on? IR 4, if completing adoption in the US after full guardianship order is granted, or IR 3 if completing the adoption in Ugandan courts.


Fees for Uganda 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) $1,600
Letter of Intent (per child) $4,500
Foreign Program Fee (rer child unless indicated) $7,000 – $10,000
Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,200

Estimated Expenses for Uganda 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) $5,500
Hotel/Ground Trans. (1 year residency required) N/A

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $30,995 – $33,995


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 GA/MO/TN, 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.



You will be invited to travel to Uganda after you accept a referral. You will travel to Uganda for approximately 1 year to receive a full guardianship order from Ugandan courts and an additional year, total 2 years, to receive a finalized adoption from Ugandan courts. You will fly into Entebbe International Airport near Kampala, Uganda.

You will be met at the airport by an English speaking representative of Small World and escorted to your accommodations. Our representative will be available to you throughout your stay in Uganda.

Uganda kids 2

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.