MLJ Executive Director Advocates for Adoption in Honduras

I have been visiting Honduras on adoption business for the last eight years, but I believe this most recent trip, along with Director of Adoption Preparation & Support Services Brooke Randolph, was my most productive trip to date. This is likely due to many factors but most importantly the professional and committed new Director and Secretary General of IHNFA. Their understanding of the problems and solutions in the adoption process in Honduras were beyond their predecessors and encompassed compassion and a focus on the best interest of the child who is waiting for a family. Their interest in improving the Honduran adoption process and desire to learn more through international comparative law reviews of other countries’ adoption processes was new and refreshing. As the Executive Director of MLJ Adoptions, I am preparing an international adoption legal brief of comparative adoption laws which will encompass past Guatemalan adoption laws and current Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adoption laws, Bulgarian adoption laws, and Nicaraguan adoption laws.

The most significant problem that exists in the adoption process in Honduras is children without families being provided the legal paperwork necessary to ready them for match and referral. Until a child has legally been declared in need of a family (sometimes referred to as legally abandoned or legally available for adoption), he or she is not eligible for either the adoption process or the visa process. This legal paperwork is not a process that an international adoption agency can pursue in Honduras. This is a Honduran legal process that involves IHNFA attorneys, IHNFA staff, and family court Judges in Honduras. We were able to discuss and communicate possible solutions to the IHNFA Director and Secretary General. They were very receptive and had previously begun efforts to resolve this concern even prior to our visit. Both heads of IHNFA are aware and competent in providing a solution to this problem. However, the family law court Judges are not within their supervision and may prove to be another hurdle in the process. MLJ is committed to continued efforts with IHNFA and the family law Courts. While there are thousands of children in orphanages and children without families waiting in Honduras, until they have the necessary legal paperwork they are not eligible for international adoption.

Other issues with the Honduran process seem insignificant if this legal paperwork issue is not resolved. Issues such as lack of clarity of the process or documents necessary were also discussed and more clarity was given by IHNFA. Honduras remains one of the most complicated adoption processes and requires an extensive international adoption dossier. However, these issues are navigatible if there are children ready for match and referral. Thus the government of Honduras being able to complete the legal process of abandonment for children waiting for families through international adoption is of the utmost importance.

During our travel, I was most impressed with the Director and Secretary General of IHNFA, MLJ Adoption’s foreign staff, and our U.S Embassy. I was encouraged as these individuals are extremely important to the success of Honduran adoptions. The future of the orphans of Honduras are at risk and these individuals are fighting for them.

For more information about international adoption or adopting from Latin America click here.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.