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How to Adopt a child in Tanzania 2024 (checklist + docs)

If you want to learn how to adopt a child in Tanzania, this post is for you.

Generally, one of the means where people can build a family in this world is through adoption.

The uniqueness of this way is that it does not involve biological processes but the court process.

Here you will learn

  • Law governing adoption in Tanzania
  • who is a child in Tanzania
  • What is Adoption?
  • Can you adopt Your Relative?
  • Can a Foreigner Adopt a Tanzanian Child?
  • How to Adopt a Child in Tanzania
  • Conditions for a Foreigner to Adopt a Child in Tanzania
  • Documents Required to Support Adoption Application
  • Adoption Order & Adoption Certificate
  • Effect of Adoption
  • etc

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Adoption Laws in Tanzania

The fundamental laws which govern adoption issues in Tanzania is Part VI of the Law of the Child Act, 2009 (The Law) and Adoption of the Child Regulations, 2011.

Who is a child in Tanzania?

According to Section 4 (1), the Law of the Child Act, 2009 A person below the age of eighteen years shall be known as a child.

What is Adoption?

According to Black’s Law Dictionary adoption is the creation of a parent-child relationship by judicial order between two parties who are unrelated; the relation of parent and child created by law between persons who are not, in fact, parent and child.

Can you adopt Your Relative?

The answer is yes. The law allows a child to be adopted by his/her relative. This kind of adoption is known as open adoption.

Can a Foreigner Adopt a Tanzanian Child?

Yes. The law allows a foreigner to adopt a child in Tanzania by following the prescribed requirements.

How to Adopt a Child in Tanzania

Generally, a person who wishes to adopt a child in Tanzania must file an application (petition) in the high court of Tanzania and in case of an open adoption can file his/her application in the Resident Magistrate Court or District Court.

Who May Apply For Adoption in Tanzania

Generally, an application for an adoption order may be made jointly by

  1. a husband and his wife
  2. Mother or father of the child alone or jointly with his spouse.
  3. A single woman (must be a citizen of Tanzania)
  4. A relative.

These people must be above twenty-five years of age and at least twenty-one years older than the child.

Conditions for a Foreigner to Adopt a Child in Tanzania

A person who is not a citizen of Tanzania may adopt a Tanzanian child, if

  1. The child may not be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or be cared for in a manner suitable for the child’s best interest while the child is in Tanzania.
  2. He/she has stayed in Tanzania for at least three consecutive years;
  3. He/she has fostered the child for at least three months under the supervision of a social welfare officer.
  4. He/she does not have any criminal record in his country of origin or any other country.
  5. He/she has a recommendation concerning his suitability to adopt a child from his country’s social welfare officer and other competent authority of his permanent country of residence.
  6. He has satisfied the court that his country of origin respects and recognizes the adoption order.

For an application for adoption by a foreigner, the social welfare officer shall be required to undertake background investigation and submit a social investigation report to assist the court in considering the application.

Documents Required to Support Adoption Application

  1. Child’s Birth Certificate.
  2. Child’s parents /guardians Consent to Adoption.
  3. Death Certificate of the Child’s Mother (if applicable).
  4. Mother’s/Father’s Medical Report (if applicable)
  5. Birth Certificates.
  6. Petitioner’s Marriage Certificate.
  7. Petitioners Passports.
  8. Petitioners Resident Permits.
  9. Recommendation letter from Petitioners Country of Origin (in case of foreigners).
  10. Proof from Petitioner’s country of origin that Adoption Orders issued in Tanzania is legally recognized and/or binding in the Petitioner’s country of origin.
  11. Reasons behind the Petitioner’s application for adoption.
  12. Proof of the Petitioner’s ability to take care of the child.
  13. Petitioners’ Affidavits verifying the Petition.
  14. Particulars of other children living with the Petitioners.

Adoption Order & Adoption Certificate

An adoption order is the order of the court to allow or refuse the adoption application.

In case the court allowed the application, the adoptive parent has to seek an adoption certificate from the Registration, Insolvency, and Trusteeship Agency (RITA).

Effect of Adoption

The rights, duties, obligations, and liabilities including those under the customary law of the parents of the child or guardian ceases.

The adoptive parent of the child shall take over all the parental rights, duties, obligations, and liabilities of the child with respect to custody, maintenance, and education as if the child was born to the adoptive parent in lawful wedlock and was not the child of any other person.

The adopted child can inherit the estate of an adoptive parent when dies intestate (without left a will) as a natural child.

An adopted child cannot inherit the estate of his biological parents.

Final Remarks

It is an offense under the Law for any person to publish or to advertise in any means whatsoever information indicating the parent or guardian of a child desires to cause the child to be adopted, a person desires to adopt a child, or a person is willing to make arrangements for the adoption of a child.

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Isack Kimaro, a lawyer, Creative Writer and self-taught SEO expert has been a prominent author of law-related topics since 2017. Through hard work, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge, Isack has successfully navigated the legal industry by providing valuable and easy-to-understand legal information to 500,000+ individuals of all levels of understanding.