The Sole of Hope
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A Child Who Waits: Meet C
Adoption from Mexico has faced many changes and challenges over the past decade as The Hague guidelines have come into full effect and more agencies have gotten the approval to work there. While numbers have been low for the program over all the past few years, the process is becoming smoother and we expect to see the amount of children placed rise over the next few years. Children available for adoption are generally 5 years or older, sibling groups or have special needs.
One of the most common calls we get are for family adoptions. While this is a possibility for US citizens with minor relatives (generally 16 years or younger) living in Mexico, it is very important that these adoptions go through the full Hague process, just like families working to adopt a waiting child. On the US side of things, that means getting a homestudy and I-800a/800 approval from USCIS. On the Mexico side of things, that means going through the dossier approval and matching process with DIF (The National System for Integral Family Development, the governing body over social issues). This can take more time and money than families would like to see, however we cannot stress enough how there is no other legal channel to adopt any child from Mexico, whether they are a relative or not.
Sadly we do often get calls from families who went through a full out domestic adoption in a state in Mexico, unaware of the Hague requirements. They have the local court decree but once they go to get the immigration papers to bring their children to the US, they hit a wall. Without the adoption approval paperwork from DIF (the article 23), children cannot get immigration visas from the US Embassy. These children become stuck, these families are separated until the paperwork issues can be righted. There are two options in this scenario. One is to try and “undo” the domestic adoption. This can take months to years and some state are unwilling to do this. If you can successfully undo the domestic adoption, you can then start over from the beginning and go through the Hague process. This can take up to an additional two years of time and money. There is an additional risk that the DIF may be unwilling to match the child to the relative family, it just depends on the situation.
The second option is for the parents to move to Mexico and parent the children for two years there. Once you can prove you have parented your adopted child (you had physical custody and were in Mexico caring for their needs) for two years, then you can apply for an I-130 to get an IR2 visa. This is the petition to immigrate an immediate relative, not an adoption visa. This is clearly not an option for everyone, depending on your job, family obligations and even is some instances your visa status if one parent is not a US citizen.
So as you can see it is very important to research the Mexico guidelines and make sure all the paperwork is in order throughout the process. You will save much time and money if you do the Hague process from the beginning. We are very excited about the potential to find many children in Mexico forever families. We are always looking for families who are the right fit for our program, whether they be interested in waiting children, or are seeking to provide a loving home to a relative in Mexico. Hopefully as things progress, more families will become aware of the Hague process and will not get in these terrible limbo situations that keep families apart.
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