Adopting from Nicaragua and Mexico Makes Travel Requirements Easier


travel to nicaragua mexicoThe time and expense of travel are important considerations when deciding whether to adopt internationally. Travel to the sending country is required for a variety of reasons; attending court hearings, meeting with the adoption authority or meeting and bringing your adopted child home. Each international adoption program has its own requirements and may involve anywhere from one to three trips. Adopting from Latin American countries such as Nicaragua or Mexico can reduce your required investment in terms of both time and money. It can also make it easier for you to introduce your child’s birth culture into their lives as they grow up.

When the country you are adopting from is in close proximity, it makes traveling that much more convenient and less expensive. While these programs typically pique the interest of adoptive parents who have previously adopted from Latin America, such as Guatemala or Brazil, there are many reasons why Mexico and Nicaragua may be a great fit to those seeking to adopt. The convenience of travel to these countries is one reason that may be overlooked.

Flights to Mexico are typically less expensive and less travel time  than to other destinations located in Asia or Africa. Flights to Mexico are generally $650 – $900 depending on the how far in advance you book your flight, your destination city and time of year of travel. Flights also range from 5-6 hours which is considerably less flight time than traveling to Africa or Asia. Travel requirements for adoptive parents to Mexico are 2-4 visits and meetings which involve the following:

  • A meeting with State DIF (before referral). While this is considered an optional trip, this trip is encouraged.
  • Both parents must travel to meet referred child(ren).
  • The Court may request parents to attend the court hearing, this is at the Judge’s discretion).
  • The trip to bring your child home.

For families interested in adopting a child in need of a forever family from Nicaragua, the close proximity of this country located in Central America also makes traveling easier and more affordable. Flights to Nicaragua can range from $700 – $1000 again, depending on the date of travel, how far in advance you book your flight and what your departure city is. Flight times are generally between 8 – 9 hours. Both flight times and costs are significantly less than travel to Africa or Asia.

One trip to Nicaragua for approximately 10-20 weeks is required. Typically, both parents are required to be in country for the first few weeks. Thereafter, only one parent is required to stay in Nicaragua for the remainder of the time. Extended family members, such as grandparents and siblings, are welcome to stay with the parents in country during this time. While many adoptive parents may feel this travel requirement is too lengthy, if well planned, it is doable and is extremely beneficial for adjustment for the child.

More and more, adoptive parents realize the importance of acknowledging their child’s birth heritage and are exploring numerous ways to celebrate that heritage. Perhaps the most powerful experience adoptive children can have is to travel back to their birth country and learn first hand about this country’s cultures and traditions. Adoptive families who have adopted children internationally can more easily provide this opportunity if that country is nearby.

Adopting from Mexico or Nicaragua makes travel easier during your adoption journey and also later when you want your child to experience their birth culture. Prospective adoptive parents will want to take this into consideration when choosing the path of their adoption journey.

For more information on our Mexico or Nicaragua international adoption programs, please contact us.


Photo Credit: Camilo Rueda Lopez

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.