International Adoption

International Adoption Process

International adoption is a legal process in which an individual or a couple from one country adopts a child from another country. In El Salvador, international adoption is governed by the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (The Haya Convention, May 29, 1993). This convention establishes the principles and requirements that must be met in international adoption processes, with the aim of protecting the rights of the children involved in the process. These agreements establish specific procedures and requirements for international adoption between the countries involved.

Foreign individuals or families wishing to adopt must be citizens or have habitual residence in one of the States that have ratified the Convention. They must initiate the qualification process with the central authority, accredited bodies, or public authority of their country of permanent residence. After that, they can apply with the required documentation in El Salvador, exclusively at the Adoption Office.


International Adoption Process Requirements

  1. Power of Attorney with Special Clause or Special Power 75 LEA, 67 and 69 CPCM
  2. Certified copy of the birth certificate of the applicants (within 3 months prior to the application)
  3. Certified copy of the marriage certificate, divorce decree, or death certificate (within 3 months prior to the application)
  4. Medical certificate of the adoptive parents (within 3 months prior to the application)
  5. Police or criminal records of the applicants
  6. Certified copy of the birth certificate and health certificate of children under 12 years old residing in the applicants’ home, if applicable
  7. Declaration before a Notary or authorized official stating that the applicant has not been deprived or suspended of parental authority and is not undergoing administrative processes related to children and adolescents, domestic violence, gender-based violence, or crimes against sexual freedom, and has not been convicted of such crimes
  8. Salary certificate for employed individuals or declaration before a Notary or authorized official for self-employed individuals stating their economic activity, monthly income, and its source
  9. Notarized photocopy of the passport of the applicant(s)
  10. Social and psychological study conducted by public entities or accredited organizations in the applicants’ country of residence
  11. Photographs of the applicants and their family environment, as well as the interior and exterior of the home
  12. Declaration before a Notary containing the consent of the spouse or partner, in the case of an individual adoption by a married person
  13. Declaration of suitability to adopt by the central authority of the applicants’ country of residence
  14. Post-adoption follow-up commitment issued by the central authority of the applicants’ country of residence
  15. Validation of studies conducted on the applicants abroad by the central authority of their country of residence
  16. Certificate from the receiving State’s central authority stating that the child has been or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in that State (Article 5 of the Hague Convention on International Adoption)
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