skip to Main Content
Zambia Program

Program Manager: Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar

Tel: 613-226-2112 Ext. 231


The Children’s Bridge is not accepting any new applications for this adoption program at this time. Zambia is working to ratify domestic laws in order to meet the standards of The Hague Convention, which was ratified by Zambia on October 1st, 2015. Once the laws and new adoption standards and guidelines are in place, we will re-open the program to new applicants.

General Information:
  • All prospective adoptive families must first complete a Consultation Appointment (in-person or via telephone) with the Zambia Program Manager before undertaking an adoption from Zambia.
  • Children will be a minimum of 12 – 18-months at time of referral.
  • Both boys and girls may be adopted, as well as siblings groups and older children. Families must be open to children up to a minimum of 8-years if they wish to adopt siblings.
  • Families may adopt children with various correctible special needs, or other special medical needs such as HIV or Hepatitis A or B.
  • Children are tested in Zambia for HIV (ELISA), Hepatitis A and B, Tuberculosis (TB Mantoux testing) and VDRL conditions.
  • Socio-economic conditions and/or the HIV/AIDS pandemic are the main reason that children are waiting for families. 
  • One trip lasting an estimated six (6) – seven (7) months is required to complete an adoption from Zambia. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  • Families may begin collecting Parental Leave through Employment Insurance (if applicable) once in Zambia with the child.
  • Children reside in orphanages or places of safety until being placed with an adoptive family.
  • Zambia requires families to complete three (3) post-placement reports once you have returned home to Canada. 
Adoptive Family Requirements:
  • Marriage Requirements: Married couples are eligible to adopt from Zambia. Couples must be able to show they are in a stable relationship and have been married for a minimum of one year when their dossier is submitted to Zambia.
  • Single women are also permitted to adopt from Zambia.
  • Neither single male applicants nor same-sex couples are eligible to adopt from Zambia at this time.
  • Residency Requirements: 
    • Prospective adoptive families must reside in Lusaka, Zambia in order to complete the (minimum) 3-month mandatory fostering period.
    • Once completed, prospective families should allow for an additional two (2) – five (5) months in Zambia in order to finalize their adoption in Zambian High Court, and then to obtain all of the necessary travel documentation for the child.
  • Age Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least twenty-five (25) years of age at time of dossier submission. If the adoptive applicants are applying as a couple, at least one parent must be a minimum of 25 years old and the second applicant must be at least 21 years older than the child they plan to adopt. In the case of relative adoptions, the applicant(s) must be a minimum of 21 years old.
  • Health Requirements: Applicants must be in sound physical and emotional health.
  • Financial Requirements: Family must possess a stable financial portfolio.
  • Other Requirements: 
    • This adoption program is open to residents all provinces in Canada (except for Quebec).
    • Prospective adoptive applicants are strongly encouraged to consider how much cultural, racial and ethnic diversity is represented their city, province and/or area. This issue will be discussed during the consultation appointment with the Zambia Program Manager.
    • Applicants must be free from criminal record.
    • At least one member of the adoptive couple must be a Canadian citizen.
Zambian Adoption Process:
  • Contact the Zambian Adoption Program Manager to arrange a time for your Consultation Appointment. If applying as a couple, both applicantsmust be available during the appointment.
  • Complete a home study with an approved adoption practitioner, as well as PRIDE training (Ontario applicants).
  • Assemble Zambian dossier and submit it to The Children’s Bridge.
  • Attend the mandatory AdopTALK educational parenting workshop.
  • Complete Part One of the Citizenship or Immigration Sponsorship application.
  • Receive child proposal – meet with adoption practitioner and family physician to review documentation available.
  • Travel to Zambia to begin the mandatory 3-month fostering period.
  • Attend Adoption Hearing to finalize the adoption.
  • Gather child’s documentation and travel paperwork such as: new birth certificate, Adoption Order, passport and visa for the child in order to travel home to Canada. 
  • Approximate time from dossier submission to Zambia and receipt of a child’s proposal is estimated to be approximately twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months. Please Note: This is an estimate only, and will vary according to prospective family’s range of age acceptance, as well as applicants’ openness to various special needs, sibling groups, etc. 
Back To Top