How to Adopt from Paraguay
Centro de Adopciones (Adoption Center)
Because Paraguay is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Paraguay must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Paraguay before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in Paraguay
- Bring your Child Home
1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:
The first step in adopting a child from Paraguay is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Paraguay. Learn more.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.
Once the U.S. government determines that you are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Paraguay. Paraguay's adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Paraguay's law.
3. Be Matched with a Child:
If both the United States and Paraguay determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Paraguay may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.
After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the COUNTRY's adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.
Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Paraguay, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Paraguay.
- TIME FRAME: Total time to complete an adoption in Paraguay ranges from nine months to two years from the time the child is declared eligible for adoption to completion of the process. The child may be placed in the custody of the prospective adoptive parents pending the completion of the adoption.
- ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Embassy in Paraguay discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Paraguay at risk. The Adoption Center does not charge a fee. Attorneys assisting adopting parents set their own fees, which vary greatly. In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Some documents required include:
- 2. A copy of prospective adoptive parents' marriage certificate (if applicable);
- 3. Evidence of good conduct;
- 4. A home study carried out by an official from the Adoption Center regarding the health, socio-economic and psychological condition of the adoptive parent(s). NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.
6. Bringing Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
- 1. Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
- 2. Paraguayan Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Paraguay.
- 3. U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.
US citizens who adopted a Paraguayan child who was under the age of sixteen and has been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parent(s) for at least two years, may file immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion.
For additional information, e-mail questions to ConsularAsunci@state.gov
NOTE: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.
To learn more about the Child Citizenship Act please read The Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Back to Adopting from Paraguay