Looking to adopt from another country? You might want to consider adding Mexico to your list of possibilities! Mexico is a country in compliance with the Hague Convention on Adoption which means that they follow international law in order to provide more ethical adoptions, as well as safeguard your money and interests a little more. Here are some of the rules that apply for American applicants looking into adoption from Mexico.
· Pack a very big suitcase. Look to spend anywhere from three weeks to three months in-country. Yes, up to three months. The US State Department has been informed that, due to the immense amount of paperwork required by the Mexican government, applicants will need to remain in-country for an extended period of time. At least one week of this time will be for you to live with your adopted child.
· Some age restrictions apply. You must be at least 25 years old, and at least 17 years older than the child you choose to adopt.
· You don’t need a partner. There are no marriage restrictions for heterosexuals—you can adopt as a single parent, couple, or married partnership. Same-sex couples can adopt only from Mexico City.
· Infant adoptions are rare. You will most likely be adopting an older child. The only way that Mexico allows infant adoptions is if the infant is disabled or requires expensive medical treatment, or is part of a sibling group. Otherwise, eligible adoptees are at least five years old.
· You must use an agency. You must go through a Hague-Accredited adoption agency. Because Mexico follows the Hague Conventions on adoption there are no “back ways” to adopt a child from Mexico—even if you are related somehow. This means that your first step will be to find an agency in America that is certified to work with Mexico—but this isn’t as difficult as it may sound.
· Be prepared to wait. The authorization agency in Mexico estimates that it takes about six months from the time they receive your home study approval to rubber-stamp your adoption. Add another month or two to receive a passport for your future child to that timeline, too.
· Safety is an issue. Be aware that the US State Department has issued multiple travel advisories for many of the states in Mexico. These range from “be aware” to “we can’t save you if you get murdered” status. Depending on where you find your child it simply may not be an option to travel there at any given time. Your best bet is to keep in constant contact with both your agency and the State Department to make sure your adoption is feasible.