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Cameroon - Register for an Adoption

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Adoption is refers to the legal act where someone usually an elder person takes on the rights of parenting another (child). Adoption involves permanently transferring all rights and responsibilities, from the biological parent(s) / Guardian(s) to the person adopting. In Cameroon through single / not married may apply under some specific age requirements, in most cases, adoption is granted to couples. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) are the key institutions / departments in handling issues regarding adoption.


1. One of the applicants must be forty (40) years and above and at least fifteen (15) years older that the child to be adopted.

2. Parents who are at least thirty five (35) years and have been married for at least 10 years and at least 15 years older than the child being adopted.

3. Those who are infertile and can prove it. .

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1. Applicants must meet eligibility age requirements before applying;

2. It is advisable to always visit officially recognized orphanages for adoption to avoid fraud and any other related problems;

3. Adoptive parents not in Cameroon must travel to the country to participate in the adoption process;

4. It is a must that applicants have the child in their care and custody for three (3) months before adoption is approved.

5. Applicants must have finance capacity to support the adopted child;

6. Consent of both parents is a necessity for successful adoption;

7. Applicants must be medically fit;

8. Ensure that the child to be adopted is eligible.

9. Biological parent(s) (if alive) or guardian of the child to be adopted must agree to the adoption;

10. If a child to be adopted is sixteen years and above, he / she must also agree to the adoption.

11. Both agreements (consent) from biological parents and child must be witnessed by either court, diplomatic consulate or a public lawyer / attorney;

12. A lawyer or attorney can be hired by applicants to assist in the adoption process;

13. In order for a child to be adopted, he / she must not have a child of his / her own at the time of the adoption, nor have any legal descendants.

14. Adopted individuals may not marry their adoptive parents or siblings

Required Information

1. Full name of applicant(s) / adoptive parent (s)

2. Sex, Age and marital status of applicant(s)

3. Details of biological parent(s)

4. Details of the child to be adopted

5. Residential home of applicant(s) / adoptive parent(s)


1.To begin the process, applicants should begin by looking through the list of recognized orphanages in Cameroon to identify a place to adopt a child.

  • It is important to note that in Cameroon there are no adoption agencies therefore any orphanage may release a child for adoption.
  • A list of recognized orphanages can be obtained from either the ministry of social affairs or from the high court
  • In this case applicants living abroad may decide to choose a legal service provider eligible in their home country to assist in the process of adopting from Cameroon;

2.After identifying an orphanage, the applicants must find out if they are eligible to adopt a child in Cameroon. In this case,

  • They should find out if they meet age, residence, marriage and financial requirement for adoption in the country.
  • Foreign adoptive parents must find out if in addition to the above they meet eligibility requirements to adopt in their home country for instance residents of United States of America (USA) can find out if they are eligible to adopt by obtaining, filling and submitting form 1-600A to the Government Department of Homeland Security, Citizen and Immigration Services, who later decide on eligibility.

3.The after being proved eligible, the applicant then organizes all required documents and submit them to the Ministry of Social Affairs.

4.After submission, a social work is assigned to the applicant(s) to assist in the process of examining and analyzing application.

  • The social worker carries out interviews and field visits where necessary.
  • The officers at the ministry then decide to either reject or accept application.
  • 5.After approval, the adoptive parent(s) are matched with a child.
  • The process begins with identifying a child from an officially recognized orphanage;
  • The adoptive authority then gives the applicant(s) a referral to the child
  • The prospective adoptive parent(s) then decided whether they will be able to meet the child’s needs and decide on whether they will be able to provide a permanent home to the child.

6.When the adoptive parents decide on the child to adopt, it is proceed with the foster care period.

  • The child is under custody of adoptive parents for three (3) months;
  • The social worker shall in this case be monitoring the family during this period.

7.After the foster care period elapses, the social worker prepares a final report.

  • The report explains how the adoptive parents have been treating the child and what the child has achieved / benefitted during the three (3) months.
  • It is from this report that authority decide whether applicant(s) can proceed to high court for a case hearing or not.

8.If report is positive, the applicant(s) then go to the high court to gain legal custody of the child.

  • The court decided whether:-
  • All necessary consents were obtained / received for adoption;
  • All parties involved understand the nature and effect of adoption;
  • The welfare of a child shall be improved upon adoption;
  • There has been / hasn’t been any rewards / bribes to support adoption; and
  • Adoptive parents meet health requirements.
  • If all requirements are met, the court then consent the adoption by issuing a Final Adoption Decree.
  • The decree proves that the adoptive parent(s) are now the legal parents of the child.

9.After receiving the decree, the adoptive parents can take the child home.

10.Before taking the child home , parents from outside Cameroon must do the following

  • Determine the eligibility of a child to be adopted in the home country of adoptive parents;
  • After being approved, the adoptive parent(s) must obtain some documents before travelling to home country. These include:-
  • New Cameroon Birth Certificate (in the new names of the child and with manes of the parents);
  • Cameroon passport
  • Immigration visa to country of residence of the adoptive parents;
  • Then the child can travel to the country home of the foreign adoptive parents

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Required Documents

1. Applicant(s)’ certified copies of identification documents

2. Passport photos

3. Proof of age (Birth certificate)

4. Marriage certificate

5. Medical clearance certificates

6. Police clearance certificates

7. Proof of financial capacity (Bank statements or evidence of assets or pa slips)

8. Proof of consent of biological parents of a child and consent of a child sixteen (16) years and above

9. Proof of residency

10. Proof of what can be provided to a child to be adopted

11. Certified copy of birth certificate

12. Report from the social worker.


1. Fiscal stamp on application – approximately $2 USD

2. Deposit at the court registry – 3,000 CFA Francs (approximately $6 USD)

3. Non-refundable deposit at the court registry – 78,000 CFA Francs (approximately $160 USD)

4. Obtaining Cameroon passport – Approximately 100,000 CFA Francs ($200 USD).


Valid forever

Documents to Use

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

Sample Documents

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Processing Time

About three (3) months

Office Locations & Contacts

1.Ministry of Social Affairs

City of Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon

Telephone: (237) 22 22 29 58 / 22 23 11 07

Fax: (237) 22 23 11 62



2.U.S. Embassy in Cameroon

Avenue Rosa Parks

P.O. Box 817

Yaoundé, Cameroon

Tel: (237) 220-15-00

3.Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon

2349 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W

Washington, D.C. 20036

Tel: (202) 265-8790

Fax: (202) 387-3826

4.Embassies / Consulate Offices and High Commissions of Cameroon in different countries and their addresses may be viewed at

5.Minister of Justice & Keeper of the Seals

P. O Box 1000, Yaounde Cameroun

Telephone: (+237) 22 23 55 56

Fax: (+237) 22 23 55 59

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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

Information which might help

1.A list of recognized orphanages can be accessed at the ministry of social affairs and in the high court.

2.Birth certificates after adoption are obtained from the civil status registry office.

3.Passports are issued by the immigration office in any district.

4.Immigration visas are obtained from the embassy of the country of residence of the adoptive parents

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

  • Adoption gives hope to an abandoned child;
  • Adoption is a beginning of a life together as a family;
  • It permanent changes in status of both the child and adoptive parents(s);

External Links select=cameroon


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