2015 was a great year for our families adopting from Mexico! We have received referrals of children for four of our Mexico program families. We currently have three families who have accepted referrals and have been matched with children. Two of these families have been referred sibling groups ranging in ages from 1 year old to 12 years old and have already traveled to meet their children. This will be the first trip taken by clients to the state of Hidalgo and we are extremely excited for them! Mexico is considered a Pilot Program until a child arrives in the United States. Once one family brings their children home, they will be making our Mexico program a more permanent and viable option for many families thinking of giving a child a permanent home.
While receiving these referrals has created a roller coaster of emotions, it also brings up many questions for families about the process in country, timelines, etc. From what we have seen so far, it has taken families from six to nine months to receive a referral of a child or children after their dossier has been submitted to the State DIF. The State DIF receives the family’s dossier from the National DIF and the process of sending the dossier from the National offices to the State offices has taken about a month for all families. Because the in country process is new for all involved, there are many details that are still being arranged. However, these clients who have traveled for the first time were able to travel alongside our lawyer. Our attorney, Alan San Miguel, was there to guide them and assist when needed.
So far, all children being adopted from Mexico are living in orphanages or children centers. They seem to be well cared for, and from what our families have reported, the orphanages are clean and well kept. The children are involved in developmental therapy sessions at the centers when needed and are seen by a psychologist once a month, no matter what past experiences they have had. They are provided a variety of foods and attention is paid to their nutrition and growth. They are given opportunities for group and individual play time, and social interactions are observed.
There is quite a big age range in the children that have been referred to our families adopting from Mexico. Most of the referrals we have received are for children older than 5 years old. However, it is always possible for us to receive a referral for younger children who may be classified as possibly needing extra attention either due to current issues or family history. We will always recommend that you take a child’s medical information to an International Adoption Doctor who can make sure and shed more insight into the details noted in each report. Our Social Services Department has a list of doctors by state to make available to you. Unfortunately for families adopting from Mexico, photos of children are not included with referral documents, and this is not likely to change.
We are so happy for the families adopting from Mexico. As we learn further details about the program including process that take place while in country and updated travel requirements, we will share this information with our program families and prospective adoptive families. We have seen that the children in need of families from Mexico make the uncertain worth it. Every child deserves a family, and the MLJ Adoptions team remains committed to that in Mexico and each of the countries where we serve.