Adopting a Child From Guatemala
On this page you will find questions and answers about adopting a child from Guatemala.
Special Note: U.S. Not Processing Guatemalan Adoptions
As of September 12, 2008 the Department of State advises potential adoptive parents and adoption service providers not to initiate new adoptions from Guatemala because the Department cannot process such adoptions from Guatemala to completion at this time.
As a result of implementing the Hague Convention, currently no child adoption agency is proceeding with a Guatemala adoption by U.S. citizens. It is expected that Guatemala will soon again be open to U.S. citizens but at this time we cannot predict when Guatemalan adoption will reopen.
The information outlined below relates to the Guatemala international child adoption program that was in place before the implementation of the Hague Convention and, accordingly, the information below will most like change significantly when the international adoption program in Guatemala reopens.
Who can adopt? All international adoptions in Guatemala are handled by private attorneys since there is no state-run central adoption authority. Guatemala allows individuals and couples over the age of 25 to adopt and there is no upper age limit. In a Guatemala child adoption gays and lesbians are prohibited from adopting.
How long does the Guatemala adoption process take? The time varies from approximately 4-18 months with the waiting time for a boy typically being less than for a girl.
What is involved in the Guatemalan adoption process? After you have selected an adoption agency to work with, you will need to complete a Home Study and assemble the critical documents referred to as the "dossier". Your dossier is then sent to Guatemala for acceptance and the assignment of a child. The final steps are your acceptance of a referral and your to travel to Guatemala for the final adoption.
Who are the children available for adoption in Guatemala? The children in Guatemala are of Hispanic, Mestizo or Spanish/Mayan decent. Both boys and girls are available ranging in age from 4 months to 14 years. In general the children are healthy but may show signs of low birth weight, lack of prenatal care, malnutrition, developmental delays, bonding issues, and the possible effects of institutionalization.
Can I adopt more than one child? Yes, but unless the children are siblings it can be very difficult to coordinate the adoptions to take place at the same time.
What type of travel is involved? One trip is required but you can visit the child more often if you so choose.
How much will it cost to adopt a child from Guatemala? Estimated cost will range from approximately $25,000 to $38,000. The total expenses will include your Home Study, Program fee, Agency Service fee, Dossier fees for notarization, authentication, and certification of documents, INS fees, travel expenses and more.