Adopting from Latin America has Changed


Latin American AdoptionAdoption from Latin America may be a wonderful option for you if you are thinking about growing your family through international adoption. However, it is important to understand that the options for adopting from Latin American have significantly decreased over the past decade. The reasons for this decline include:

  1. Independent International adoptions or use of facilitators in country adoption programs like Guatemala were extremely common and are no longer allowed per the Universal Accreditation Act.
  2. Adopting from Peru and Brazil has decreased over the past decade; however, neither country has seen more than 70 adoptions in a specific year even in the past decade.
  3. Adopting from Guatemala has now ceased as the U.S. does not recognized them as a US Hague partner country.  The suspension of Guatemalan adoptions dramatically affected the number of Latin American children coming into the United States.
  4. Colombia issued a moratorium on adoptions to non-Colombian’s of children under 7 years of age July 2013.
  5. Adopting from Colombia has seen a continual decrease of children being adopted by US families with 344 children immigrating into the US on orphan visas in 2006 to 194 children in 2012. Due to the July 2013 moratorium a much lower number is anticipated for the 2013 (numbers have not been released for 2013) and 2014.
  6. Mexico became a Hague Convention country and adopting from Mexico became an option for US families.

A number of Latin American countries have become parties to the Hague Convention on Inter-country adoption.  Therefore adoptions from these countries must follow the guidelines set forth in the Convention.  If you are interested in adopting from Mexico, you will need use a provider that is approved by the Mexican government and Hague approved/accredited.  MLJ Adoptions is one of the Hague adoption service providers approved by Mexico. MLJ Adoptions also provide adoptions from Nicaragua and has seen significant success is this little known international adoption program. In 2013, we had nine placements in our Nicaragua international adoption program.

Understanding the changes and history in Latin American adoption programs is important as it can help adoptive parents understand the trends, stability and risks associated with adoption from a specific Latin American country.

MLJ Adoptions will be hosting an informational session on adopting from Latin America on Saturday, April 12 from 10:00 – 12:00. The event will take place at our offices located at 617 E. North Street, Indianapolis, IN. Families unable to travel into our offices may participate in the event via live cast. Please RSVP for either event here. For more information about international adoption click, here.

Michele L. Jackson, JD taught the Hague Convention for five years as an adjunct professor at IU School of Law – Indianapolis in an advanced international family law course, She is the founder of MLJ Adoptions and frequent presenter on international adoption process, law and other related issues.