In 2013, the Mexican government took many positive strides towards improving the climate for international adoption. Mexico is now a very strong option for families looking to adopt from Latin America. As adoption from Guatemala has been closed for some time with no end in sight, we have found that many families are seeking to bring home a sibling to their Guatemalan-adopted child. Others still are seeking out the limited Latin American options to find that adopting from Mexico is one of the most stable adoption options. Here are five reasons to consider Mexico for your international adoption.
- Mexico processes adoptions under the Hague Convention. While there are several Hague Convention countries in Latin America few, besides Columbia, are actually actively processing adoptions. The government of Mexico is very much committed to strict compliance with Hague Convention and safeguarding each child’s rights. While the steps required may add length to the process, it also adds stability. Families are less likely to experience lost referrals and will receive more thorough medical and social information about a referred child per Hague requirements.
- Mexico’s children’s home provide good care for all children, including children with additional needs. Granted, each children’s home will be different and I am sure that not all children’s homes are as impressive as those I have seen. But, in my experiences in Mexico, the children were receiving very good care. The children do reside in institutional settings, which of course are not ideal for any child, but the caretakers appear knowledgeable and facilities appeared clean and well taken care of. While visiting one of the state run homes for young children, I witnessed very young children receiving one on one attention including sensory brushing and play. In the older children’s homes, the caregivers prepared the children for life outside of the children’s home. Older children learned to bake, craft, cut hair and construct. In some other children’s homes I have seen around world, I’ve witnessed large groups in front of a television or without any toys with few caregivers and not enough to eat. This was not at all the case in Mexico.
- The Mexican government has shown commitment and a positive outlook towards international adoption. Over the past year, Mexico authorized nine new adoption service providers, from the originally approved three agencies. This is a huge increase and a showing that Mexico is open to doing more than just a few adoptions per year. In addition, the government in Mexico has conducted training session on adoptions under the Hague Convention and trainings for in the Mexican attorneys processing adoptions in the country. For the government to go out of their way to provide such training indicates not only a commitment to safeguarding adoption, but also to further international adoption as a permanent option for children without families in Mexico.
- Individual states adoption authority may lead to flexibility in requirements. Each Mexican state will have its own adoption requirements and processing, similar to the US. This allows for some flexibility on a case by case basis. While in most countries the eligibility requirements for families are consistent for any family adopting from the country, each state in Mexico may have a different requirements. For instance, one state may indicate that parents must be less than 50 years of age to adopt, while another state does not have any such upper age requirement.
- The proximity of Mexico to the US allows for easier travel during the process and thereafter. Proximity to the child’s country of origin is often a factor overlooked or of lesser importance when families are determining which program is the best fit. However, proximity to the country may have a big impact on the cost of travel and also on your ability to travel to the country later, in an effort to preserve your child‘s culture. Parents adopting from Mexico will likely have more opportunities to travel to Mexico for vacation, mission trips or cultural trips. There are also many more ways to get connected to the Mexican culture here in the US because we have such a large Mexican and Mexican American population.
MLJ Adoptions’ pilot program in Mexico is currently open and accepting new client families. Children most in need of families are likely to be five and older. Please contact us for further information about adopting from Mexico or any other country program.
Photo Credit: Hendrik Terbeck