25 Factors to Consider When Adopting From Mexico

Mexican adoptions

Click on each factor to learn more. Current as of November, 2014. This information is subject to change; therefore, check with an agency that places from this country for the most current information.

+ Parental Age
One parent must be at least 25 years old and at least 17 years older than the child.

+ Length of Marriage
Generally 2 years, but individual Mexican states can impose different requirements.

+ Divorce
No country requirement, but individual Mexican states can impose different requirements.

+ Children in Family
No country requirement, but individual Mexican states can impose different requirements.  Childless couples may be given priority. 

+ Single Applicant
Women and men are allowed on a case-by-case basis.  Individual Mexican states can impose different requirements.

+ Sexual Orientation
Same-sex couples are currently permitted to adopt only in Mexico City.  Talk to an adoption agency about the current political situation and the likelihood of adopting as an LGBT individual.

+ Children Available
Healthy children 5 to 15 years old, children with mild to severe special needs of all ages and sibling groups.  Sibling groups will include at least one child 5 years or older.

+ Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic, Indian and mixed race

+ Gender
Boys and girls; parents may request a gender in some Mexican states.

+ Adopting More Than One Unrelated Child at the Same Time
Allowed, but some agencies may have restrictions.

+ Referral Method
The dossier is translated and sent to the Secretary of Exterior Relations (SRE) and the national Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF) in Mexico City for approval.  Once the dossier is approved, it is sent to the state DIF, which matches the parents to a specific child. 

+ Travel in Country
2 trips; approximately 2 to 3 weeks each.  Both parents are required to travel.  Once parents receive a referral, they travel to Mexico and spend a 3 to 5 weeks bonding period with the child.  Each Mexican state can require a different length of time for the bonding period.  At the end of the bonding period, the orphanage director, parents and child (if age appropriate) agree to move on with the adoption.  Once the adoption has been completed, the parents return to Mexico to sign for their child’s birth certificate and passport, apply for an immigration visa and escort their child home.  Parents may be required to take an additional two trips – one before the referral is made to meet with the state DIF and one during the adoption to attend a court hearing.  Individual Mexican states can require additional trips if they deem fit. 

+ Wait After Referral
3-8 months/show_hide]

$20,000 – $24,000 + travel

+ Orphanage/Foster Care
Private and public orphanages

+ How Children Enter Government Care
Relinquishment due to poverty and social stigma and lack of support for single mothers; abandonment; removal by government for abuse, neglect or incarceration.

+ Prevalence of FASD
Not enough placements to get a consensus from IA doctors interviewed.  Children who are removed from the home due to abuse or neglect are at higher risk in all countries, including Mexico.

+ Adequacy of Medical Reports
Not enough placements to get a consensus from IA doctors interviewed.  It is possible to have the child evaluated during trips to Mexico.

+ Program Stability
Not enough placements to get a consensus from IA doctors interviewed.  Children who are removed from the home due to abuse or neglect are at higher risk in all countries, including Mexico.

+ Post Adoption Reports
Required twice a year for the first 3 years, then annually until the child is 18.  Reports must be prepared by a social worker or adoption agency.

+ Additional Information

  • Adopting from Mexico is complex, in part because adoptive parents must work with two Mexican governmental agencies: the Secretary of Exterior Relations (SRE), which issues key Hague documents, and the national and state office of the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), which implements national policy for intercountry adoptions and are the adoption authorities in each Mexican state. There are 31 states in Mexico and each has their own adoption requirements making it difficult to generalize about requirements. The information in this chart applies to most states, but check with DIF in the state you are interested in or an agency that has an established program in that state.
  • Adoptions are finalized in Mexico.
  • Some Mexican states and judges require a psychological evaluation.
  • Document requirements are greater than for most other countries.
  • Mexico requires foreign prospective adoptive parents to use an adoption service provider that has been authorized by the Mexican Central Authority.
  • Additional visit trips are optional. Parents may only visit their children with permission from the orphanage.
  • Families may be able to Skype with their children during the adoption process.

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Available from www.CreatingaFamily.org, the national adoption and infertility education and support non-profit. Please do not reprint without giving credit to Creating a Family and a link to the website.

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