Adoption from Guatemala
Special Note: Currently the U.S. is 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.
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) entered into force with respect to the United States on April 1, 2008. Effective April 1, 2008, newly initiated intercountry adoptions between the United States and other Convention countries must comply with the Convention’s standards.
Guatemala acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention in March 2003. While Guatemala passed legislation designed to implement the Convention in Guatemala, it has not yet established the regulations and infrastructure necessary to meet its obligations under the Convention. As a result, the Department of State cannot issue the documentation required by the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) for issuance of an immigrant visa for Convention adoption cases.
Based on the above, our Agency and every adoption agency has temporarily suspended programs in Guatemala.
This overview provides you with a general outline of the adoption process in Guatemala and the four steps for adopting in most foreign countries, including Guatemala.
Guatemala allows both single individuals and couples over the age of 25 to adopt. Persons with previous divorces are permitted and welcome to adopt as are persons who already have a child or children in their home. There are also no upper age restrictions to adopt from Guatemala.
The time will vary from as short as 4 months to as long as 18 months. In Guatemala the waiting time for a young male child is usually less than for that of a young female.
There are approximately four major steps for completing an adoption in most foreign countries, including Guatemala.
The exact sequence of events in an adoption involving a relinquishment may vary from case to case. However, this link should give you the general idea of how the adoption process proceeds.
Generally, regarding the time for referral, boys are often referred more quickly, while there can be a longer wait for little girls. Most children are adopted at approximately 5-12 months of age.
Families can adopt more than one child at a time from Guatemala, but unless the children are siblings it can be a very difficult process to coordinate.
Adopting families have the opportunity to travel multiple times to Guatemala during their adoption process. Once a family has accepted a referral, and prior to the adoption being finalized, the adopting family is permitted to travel to Guatemala to see the child whose referral they have accepted.
Estimated cost will range from approximately $25,000 to $38,000. Your total expenses will include your registration, application, and Home Study fees.
Other information for Guatemalan adoptions provides several resources and miscellaneous information about a Guatemala adoption.
Support groups for Guatemalan adoptions are available to all adoption families. This can be a wonderful resource for you and your child.