Mexico Adoption Overview
Open Door is proud to offer an adoption program in Mexico. Mexico is a Hague country, and therefore all adoptions from Mexico must meet the requirements of the Hague Convention. Children available for adoption are generally 9 years of age or older or sibling groups. Children younger than 9 can be adopted if they have special needs. Relative children are also eligible for international adoption.
Adoption between the United States and Mexico is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore, to adopt from Mexico, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Mexico also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- Must be a married couple for at least 2 1/2 years or a single female
- Must be over 25 years old, and at least 17 years older than the adopted child. If married, only one parent must meet the age requirement
- Must demonstrate the financial means to support the physical and educational needs of an adopted child
- Must be able to meet Mexico’s travel requirements. Both parents must attend all required trips; one parent can come home at certain points during the third trip if needed, but there are certain steps where both parents are required to be in-country. There are two to three required trips to complete the adoption
- The first trip is a week in-country to meet and get to know the child.
- The second trip is usually 1-2 days and depends on whether the judge requires the adopting parents to attend court.
- The final trip is to pick up your child and complete the immigration process. This trip is approximately four weeks in-country although it may vary by case
- Adopting families must be of the Christian faith
Children available for international adoption are generally nine years of age or older, or sibling groups. Children younger than nine can be adopted if they have special needs. Relative children are also eligible for international adoption.
The adoption process begins with an application to The Open Door Adoption Agency (downloadable from our website), a Service Agreement, followed by a home study, United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) application I800A, and other dossier documents required by the country of Mexico. For most families, the process of completing the dossier takes about six months.
Once the U.S. Government determines that you are “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt, your documents will be translated and we will forward your information to the Central Authority in Mexico. Documents are sent to the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), the National System for Integral Family Development (National DIF), and finally the State DIF of the state in which you are applying to adopt from. The Adoption committee reviews your dossier and introduces the family profile in one of their committee meetings.
Once the dossier and the family profile have been approved by the committee, the adoption department starts a “match” process depending on the child/children that are legally free to be adopted. As soon as the adoption department has a possible match, they submit the information of the child to the adoption committee with the intention of referring that particular child to the prospective adoptive parents. If the committee approves, the State DIF as the central authority contacts our attorney and our agency with general information about the child. If the family is interested, the State DIF makes an appointment to interview them and to introduce the child(ren) (usually this trip is five days in-country).
After this visit, if the family and the child want to move forward and the adoption department staff sees that this is a viable adoption, they issue the Article 16 report which is the medical, social, and history information about a child(ren). Additional documents are sent to the agency and family and the family files the I800 application with USCIS.
An Article 5 letter is requested through the consulate once the I800 provisional approval is received. This authorizes the adoption to proceed and permits the child to legally enter the U.S. once the process is completed. The family files an online immigrant visa form called a Ds260. A court petition is delivered to court and a court date is requested. The family and child will attend a court hearing before a judge if requested and the judge makes the decision on whether to approve the adoption.
Once the adoption is approved and the court decree is issued, the family travels to Mexico to pick up the child and begin the final steps, which include canceling the old birth certificate and having a new one issued, obtaining the Article 23 letter, requesting a passport for the child, completing a medical exam for the child and scheduling an appointment with the consulate in Juarez for a visa interview. The child can legally enter the U.S. with their adoptive parents once these steps are completed.