Honduras Adoption Program
WELCOME TO HONDURAS
Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services (JOH) is pleased to announce our newest program, the Honduras Adoption Program. Journeys of the Heart has been certified to complete adoptions in Honduras. Details will be coming soon. JOH will accept three families who wish to adopt infants – 36 months, five families who wish to adopt children 3-5, and the program will be unlimited for those families who want to adopt children older than five, special needs children and sibling groups. Journeys’ works with the Honduran government welfare agency, DINAF (the Dirección de Niñez, Adolescencia y Familia).
HONDURAS PROGRAM SUMMARY
All adoptive parents must be 25 years old or older when the dossier is submitted. There must be a minimum 15 year age difference between adoptive parents and adopted children per Honduran law.
For Foreign Families
- For a single child 0-7, the wait is approximately 18-36 months
- For 2 siblings 0-7, the wait is approximately 54 months
- For 2 siblings 0-7, the wait is approximately 18-36 months
- For 3 or more siblings or children 7 and up, the wait is 6-8 months
For Families with at least one parent with Honduran Citizenship
- The wait to assignment is approximately 3 -18 months, depending on the age of the child.
Previous Divorces: Previous divorces will be considered, with the current marriage of sufficient length to show that this marriage is stable. The home study will include in-depth information on any counseling, classes, groups attended, etc., that show growth and change in this area. Issues that might prevent a Honduran adoption:
- Criminal history of a serious nature
- Medical Issues (See Below)
- Recent bankruptcy
Characteristics of the Child
Healthy children of all ages are available, sibling groups, etc.
Approximately $23,500 excluding home study and post placement; add $2,000 per additional child.
You must complete the 3 year marriage requirement before submitting your dossier. Couples 25 to 60. At least one of the spouses must be 25 or older; the other may be younger. Single women 25 to 50.
- Serious Medical illnesses (e.g. insulin dependent diabetes, lupus, etc.)
- Cancer within last 3 years
- Mental/emotional health issues or on medication for mental health issues
If you fall into one of the above categories, it would be good to call or e-mail us and let us know the specifics of your situation so we can tell you what our experience has been with people in similar situations. USCIS: The US Immigration form used in Honduran adoptions is the I-600, since Honduras is not yet a party to the Hague Convention. This simplifies the process. The family files the I-600a here in the US and receives a “pre-approval” and then the child’s information is taken to the US Embassy in Honduras, where the I-600 is filed, completing the process to receive the child’s visa to enter the US. Time from Child Assignment to Travel: Families usually travel within 4 to 6 weeks after receiving the child information and accepting the referral.
Length of Stay in Honduras: 5-6 full days minimum for the 1st trip, which includes interviews with psychologists and social workers. If the child is not from Tegucigalpa, the family will travel to the city the child lives in to meet and spend some time with him or her. Approximately 3-6 months later, the family will return to Honduras for a stay of 6 weeks to complete the adoption. Once the family signs the final paperwork at DINAF, the child, having been brought to Tegucigalpa if not from there originally, will be placed with them permanently. Only one parent need remain in Honduras with the child after the paperwork is signed; the other is free to return to the US. Safety for Adoptive Parents while in Honduras: We take all necessary precautions to safeguard our adoptive families and children. We make sure families are met at the airport and all appointments necessary for the adoption are scheduled by our in-country staff and families are escorted to them. Fee Breakdown: The cost for our Honduras adoption program is approximately $29,500 not including homestudy & post-adopt fees (which varies). This amount does include all travel and your room & board and expenses in Honduras. About half of the total amount is paid within the first six months. The remainder is paid when you travel to Honduras. If you adopt more than one child, there will be additional expenses of approximately $3800 (including room and board while in Honduras, out of pocket expenses such as visa, passport, public writ, etc.) Child’s airfare home is not included in this amount since it varies widely due to the age of the child adopted. Legal Background of the Children: All of the children placed through the government agency have an abandonment decree or consent to adopt from the birthparent. Abandonment: There are true abandonment situations in which the necessary proceedings have taken place to locate the child’s parents but they were not found. However, children may enter the care of an orphanage or a foster family due to a variety of reasons: economic or social pressures, neglect or abuse. About 80% of the children have abandonment decrees. Consent: The birthmother or biological parents have given their formal consent for their child to be adopted either before DINAF, the Family Court, or the US Embassy. Approximately 20% of the children to be adopted have birthparent consents. The majority of the children are Hispanic, but some may also have characteristics from other races. Lodging of the Children prior to the Arrival of the Adoptive Parents: Children in the adoption process are placed in foster families or in Civil Society Protection Centers. DINAF does not have orphanages under their direct control, although they do pay for the care of the children whether in an orphanage or in foster care. Children in foster care may have been previously in an orphanage. Children have reported good experiences in both types of care. In-Country Staff: Our representative/attorney in Honduras coordinates all of JOH’s adoptions in the country. She will make reservations for hotels, appointments with DINAF and the courts, and will stay on top of all details about when you receive your child, how the case is going in court and when the final decree will be issued. Our staff will escort all families to each adoption-required appointment. Once the final decree is issued, all families will complete the adoption in Tegucigalpa (Embassy-required medical exam, passport, US visa, etc.) Lodging in Honduras: For the 1st trip, most adoptive families choose to stay in a hotel such as the Marriott, Intercontinental or Clarion, which costs appropriately $95 to $100/night. When the family returns for their second trip, they have the option to stay at a smaller hotel in Tegucigalpa that has apartments, and which costs approximately $60/night. This smaller hotel is very close to DINAF, the Supreme Court of Justice, malls and supermarkets. Special Needs Children: The Honduran government considers the following to be children with special needs, and therefore families wishing to adopt them receive priority on the waiting list:
- Children 7 and older
- Groups of 2 siblings in which the older is 11 years old or older
- Sibling groups of 3 or more
- Children with special needs, hereditary or communicable diseases (HIV, etc.). It is possible that the special need may be a minor or correctible medical condition.
The wait to assignment of a special needs child is approximately 6-8 months.