Sierra Leone Adoption Notice: the Six Month Residency Requirement for Adoptive Parents

Last Updated: September 4, 2019

Although we have not yet received confirmation from Sierra Leonean government officials that waivers to its residency requirements for adoptive parents are allowed, certain High Court judges in recent cases have been including such waivers directly in the adoption decrees that they are issuing. Until further information is received, it is our understanding that adoption decrees that explicitly waive the residency requirements for adoptive parents are valid under Sierra Leonean law.

We caution all families that this current process is subject to change at any time because Sierra Leone continues to review its procedures for intercountry adoptions. In addition, residency waivers may not be consistently granted in all pending adoption cases. We strongly advise prospective adoptive parents considering adopting a child in Sierra Leone as well as those families who are already in the process of adopting a child in Sierra Leone to continue to monitor our website regularly for further updates.

Prospective adoptive parents seeking information about accredited adoption service providers with Sierra Leonean adoption programs may wish to review The Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) website, which has a search function.  Please send questions about this notice or any other intercountry adoption matters to the Office of Children’s Issues at