"We are so happy to have worked with Hopscotch on completing our adoptions. They have allowed us the opportunity to become a family to two wonderful children (a boy and a girl) from Morocco."
Country of Morocco: Babies/Infants and Children Available for Adoption
Families interested in this program must be comfortable in knowing that we are reacting daily to the changes in process as they occur, often in real time, and the timing and process may be subject to change without notice. In the Morocco program, unexpected delays may occur, and families should remain open to changes in the process as they move through it.
While Hopscotch’s Morocco program remains strong, the process is unpredictable and can lack continuity case to case. Having the right partner on the ground that successfully navigates the ever changing landscape is paramount to your family’s success. Hopscotch’s Moroccan partner is highly respected with both the US embassy in Casablanca, Morocco, family courts in all regions and among orphanage directors.
We are very pleased to announce our Morocco child adoption pilot program. In 2009, 20 U.S. Visas were issued to children of all ages—many of these issued to infants. In 2010, 32 U.S. Visas were issued and in 2011 46 US visas were issued. Hopscotch has partnered with a very experienced team in Morocco and to date this program has been very popular. For the adoption of Moroccan children and infants, families must be comfortable in the knowledge that we are responding daily to the changes in process as they occur. The timing and process may be subject to change without notice. Unexpected delays may occur, and families should remain open to changes in the process as they move through it.
The children who are referred for adoption from Morocco are generally aged 1 week and up. Older children and children with special needs are also in need of forever families. In our Morocco program, families may not request a gender and must be open to infant boys and accept that infant girl referrals are very, very infrequent.
Married couples and single women may adopt from Morocco. The country does not permit same sex marriage, partners or single men to adopt children from Morocco. There is no age restriction on the prospective parents, but a Judge does have discretion and will determine the suitability of each prospective adoptive parent as the age of the child relates. The prospective parents must be employed and must be Muslim or willing to convert to Islam, prior to initial travel to Morocco. In addition, all prospective applicants to this program will be required by the Moroccan government and court to submit to conversion of Islam in the presence of a court notary while in the country prior to the court proceedings. The conversion appointment is completed on your first day of arrival. We expect all applicants to take this very seriously and honor the legal codes and culture. Conversion taking place in a manner, time or place other than in Morocco in the presence of a court notary or Imam will not meet the requirements alone for the purposes of obtaining guardianship, also known as ‘Kefalas’.
Program & Process
What to expect on the first trip:
What to expect of the second trip:
Initially, you will need the Judge's approval to start the Police Criminal investigation, Islamic Affairs and Social Welfare investigations. Once permission is obtained, plan to travel to Rabat, Morocco to undergo your Criminal Clearance. This should be a day appointment and likely you will take a train, car or plane to your child's city of residence. Upon arrival to the city where your referral resides, you will undergo a local police investigation whereby information about you is verified. The investigator will ask questions affirming data contained in your dossier, such as name, date of birth, etc. This appointment could take 15 minutes or a full day depending on the availability and line in wait.
The next day will be devoted to your appointment with the Islamic Affairs Ministry.
Once these appointments and investigations are complete, permission from all three entities is gathered and you will then visit the Judge of Minor Affairs in the city your child resides in. This is to obtain the Kefala, also known as the Guardianship for your child.
The wait for the Kefala to be issued can be between 7-10 days. Once your attorney is notified to pick up the Kefala, this is considered a legal Execution of the order granting custody and guardianship from the orphanage. This also allows you to take photos of your child and visit any independent doctors.
After the Execution is granted, you may wish to sight see or enjoy your time with your new child. Foster care may or may not be required once the Execution is granted. Each city has different regulations. If foster care is provided by the orphanage, a daily fee will be assessed. If the orphanage cannot provide foster care, the local attorney will assist in locating a reliable and trusted foster care family. Each case will be unique.
Once the Execution is obtained, the attorney will assist the family in requesting a Letter of Permission for the child to leave the country.
The passport will take 10 or more days to obtain and the family should plan to return home and wait until notified to return to Morocco for completion of the adoption/Kefala. Given the courts frequency of strikes and Hopscotch's experience with families long term stays, Hopscotch no longer permits families to stay indefinitely in wait.
What to expect on the third trip:
Once notified your child's Moroccan passport is ready, one or both parents (if applicable) will return to Morocco. A Hopscotch representative will schedule and be with you for each official appointment.
Remember, that each city is unique and court strikes are common in Morocco. This makes a Moroccan adoption extremely unpredictable. This information is only meant to be used for general purposes and not to be held rigidly in your expectations. Hopscotch and our in country partners work very hard on behalf of each child and family to insure your adoption proceeds as expediently as possible. We ask that each parent be mindful of the cultural business protocol.
It is important to note, the Moroccan court will grant guardianship in lieu of an adoption. Once the family returns to the US, an adoption must take place in the family’s state of residence to finalize the adoption which will then recognize the child as a US citizen. Adoptions from Morocco can be completed in approximately two trips of 1 week and later an approximate stay of 2 weeks. Hosting is organized on your behalf and accommodations are English speaking proprietors.
*Please remember that the Moroccan court may act swiftly or take months to issue the guardianship. Neither Hopscotch, nor our in-country team has any influence over the timing or process, please plan accordingly.
In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. The country has made improvements in human rights under King MOHAMMED VI and its press is moderately free. Despite the continuing reforms, ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch.
Morocco is located in Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara. The country is about the size of California and the climate is Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior. Ethnic groups include Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, and Jewish 0.2%. Morocco’s religious composition includes Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%. Languages spoken in Morocco are Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy.
Islamic culture is deeply woven into Moroccan life. Traces of Islamic influences can be found in the country's food, etiquette, art and holidays. At night, some cities may develop hot street food spots. Although Islam prohibits alcoholic drinking, nightlife, especially in larger cities such as Casablanca and Marrakesh, includes bars and clubs.
Morocco has fast food outlets such as the ubiquitous McDonald's chain, but you must get a better portrait of the culture by sampling local cuisine. Unexpected favorites may develop, such as a broth with snails or the Moroccan staple of Harira, a soup typically served rather sweet.
Amazing souvenirs can be found throughout Morocco, from high-end artwork to great street vendor calligraphy and jewelry. Even if you can pay the asking price, embrace the culture and engage the seller by bargaining.
The vast majority of babies and small children in Moroccan orphanages are born to single women, who, due to the cultural and societal norms in Morocco, are unable to care for their babies. They are usually surrendered for adoption at maternity hospitals immediately after they are born. This is good, from the standpoint that most children are placed immediately into orphanages versus living on the street, abandoned or otherwise.
Unfortunately, Morocco’s economy is currently struggling and many of its people live in abject poverty. Numerous Moroccan children have been orphaned by the conditions that their families live under, with parents who are unable to feed or clothe their children.
Contact Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc to request a fee schedule.
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