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Honduras Adoption Information

Adoptions for infants are made through the Honduran Children and Family Institute (Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia [IHNFA]). IHNFA is the social welfare agency charged by the Honduran government with overseeing local and international adoptions. Juan Pineda can assist with legal adoptions, especially for older children when family members in other countries or in Honduras are adopting children to whom they are related.

Who can adopt a child from Honduras?

According to Honduran law, at least one of adoptive parents must be between 25 and 50 years of age. The child to be adopted must be at least 15 years younger than the youngest member of the parents who adopt.

What do you need to adopt a Honduran child?

Adoption requests are submitted to the General Secretariat through a legal representative. You must first complete documents and assemble the information required by the governments of Honduras and the country where the adoption request originated. This can take several weeks or longer. A U.S. citizen who plans to adopt an orphan Honduras but has no specific child in mind must file a Form I-600A with your local INS office. An approved I-600A is valid for 18 months. You may want to hire a qualified attorney in the U.S. to assist in filing the petition I-600A.

In Honduras, you must file a petition to adopt a child with IHNFA. A Honduran lawyer will assist you to acquire the appropriate documents and complete them correctly. However, the initial petition for adoption must be presented personally by the concerned parents. It can not be made through an intermediary. In practical terms, this means that while a lawyer can help set up the papers and make contacts, both members of a couple wanting to adopt a child must come to Honduras.

Once you have completed the application procedure with IHNFA, both members must appear personally to file a petition to adopt to the appropriate Family Court. Once the court has accepted your request and determined that you meet the legal requirements to adopt, it asks IHNFA to provide them with a report of the social, psychological and economical ability of the prospective parents to adopt. Your lawyer monitors the court process to make sure everything is developing according to the provisions of the Act. IHNFA normally takes about twelve weeks to complete this report. At the same time, the court will order the attorney to publish the intent to adopt a publication in the official government newspaper ("The Gazette") and a local newspaper. For a US adoption, your attorney will send copies of these publications. to the immigrant visa unit of the U.S. Embassy. If everything is in order, a final decree of adoption is published in several weeks later.

Your lawyer obtains the final decree of adoption, and proof of publication to the Office of National Registry of Persons to enroll your child and obtain a new birth certificate showing the name of the child and specifying the adoptive parents.

A certificate of adoption is also published. This process is usually completed in a week.

For additional information, see the Embassy of the United States in Honduras Web page, Information Regarding Honduran Adoptions, the U.S. Department of State Web page on intercountry adoption, Intercountry Adoption, and the Honduran Embassy Frequently Asked Questions, No. 11.