Program Galleries: Our Guatemala Adoption Program


International Adoptions:  Adopting a Child from Guatemala

  |  Guatemala  |  Kazakhstan  |  Liberia


This program is suspended indefinitely. AdoptInternational is no longer able to accept applications for adoption for our Guatemala program.

Guatemala is a very special program for AdoptInternational. We have found the rich Guatemalan culture and the warmth of its people extraordinary. While the people of Guatemala suffer from socio-economic disadvantages, they do not lack warmth of human spirit.

The Country and Children of Guatemala

Located in Central America, Guatemala is the Mayan heartland. The indigenous Guatemalan culture is alive and well, in the ancient ruins of Tikal, the Mayan/ Catholic rituals of Chichicastenango and the traditional Mayan dress. Its volcanoes are the highest, its Mayan ruins the most impressive. Spanish is the most commonly spoken language and Roman Catholicism is the principal religion with Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations gaining wide followings.

The Guatemalan program is unique in that our children are cared for in private homes by foster mothers rather than in orphanages or group homes. Children receive monthly medical evaluations, immunizations, and close supervision of foster care staff by attorneys.

Guatemala is predominantly an infant program though some toddler, school age, older children, and sibling groups are available. The health of Guatemalan infants and children is generally very good. Children range in complexion and generally have dark hair and dark eyes.

Referrals include photographs, birth certificate, medical report, and lab results. Children are tested for syphilis, Hepatitis B, and HIV. DNA testing is performed to establish the parental relationship of the birthparent and child.

Guatemala Adoption Requirements

Guatemala tends to be more flexible in its requirements than other countries. For example, Guatemala does not impose restrictions regarding age, gender, marital status, number of other children in the home, travel requirements or requirements regarding length of marriage. Married couples and single men and women may adopt. It should be noted that under U.S. immigration law, single adults 25 years or older and married couples of any age may adopt.

Parents must have an approved home study and obtain a Notice of Favorable Determination from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Citizens of other countries must comply with the legal requirements of their country of residence.

Guatemala Adoption Process and Time Frame

Referrals of boys are usually immediate to several weeks and referrals of girls are usually 1 -2 months.

AdoptInternational works with top notch attorneys with whom we have worked for years. Our Director is extremely knowledgeable about the program, routinely travels to Guatemala and personally oversees each and every adoption.

Upon completion of the dossier and acceptance of a child, the process generally takes 5-7 months. The Guatemala adoption program offers many flexibile arrangements for parents during the adoption process. For example, parents may travel to visit and spend time with their child while the adoption is in process. During this visit, parents have an opportunity to stay with their child during their entire stay, meet with the foster mother, and do some sightseeing if they so desire. The length of stay or the number of trips is up to the adoptive parents. AdoptInternational will assist parents in the coordination of their trip, provide travel and transportation recommendations, coordinate the visit with our attorneys in Guatemala, and ensure that visiting parents have as smooth and pleasant experience as possible.

Waiting parents receive medical updates and photos of their child during the process. The process involves the following steps: translating the dossier, registering the dossier with the Department of Exterior; filing the case with the Guatemalan Family Court in which the judge assigns a social worker who conducts an interview of the birth mother and prepares a report; obtaining approval from the U.S. Embassy for approval to conduct DNA testing of mother and child; filing the case with the Procuraduria General (similar to Soliciter General's Office in the U.S.) which issues the final decree;applying for a new birth certificate and passport and arranging for the visa with the US Embassy.

Once the above steps have been completed parents can travel to obtain a visa at the U.S. Embassy and return home with their child.

Guatemala Program Travel Requirements

The Guatemalan adoption program has one of the most flexible travel programs. Parents can choose to travel as often as they wish during the process or decide not to travel and opt for escort service.

Our attorneys and staff in Guatemala speak English and you will be well taken care of during your stay.

Parents travel for a 3 night stay to pick up their child and obtain the U.S. visa once the adoption is finalized and the child's new birth certificate and passport are obtained. Escort service is also available. Parents may also visit their child during the adoption process.

AdoptInternational will assist families in coordinating their travel arrangements and our attorneys will arrange to have children stay with parents during their visit(s) to Guatemala.

International Adoption Country Comparison Chart

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