CHILDREN AVAILABLE: The orphan population within the country is at an all time high. Most children available are over 5 years of age. There are some children that have special needs available. There are sibling groups available. All children must be declared legally available by the Central Authority (DINAF) before being matched to a family. Children should be expected to have developmental delays, possible malnutrition and some come from abuse and neglect backgrounds. The greatest needs for adoption would be with children over 7 years of age, large sibling groups, and special needs children of all ages.
ADOPTIVE PARENTS REQUIREMENTS: Parents must be at least 25 years old and can be up to 51 years old to adopt. Married 3 years at dossier submission. No more than 15 years difference in the parentís age. Heterosexual Married Couples are allowed to adopt. Single women are eligible to adopt. Adoptive Parents must be in good health and be able to show sufficient income to parent the child. There are no restrictions regarding the number of other children in the home. LMI can work with families living outside the US, however this is on a case-by-case basis. No criminal history allowed. Adoptive parents must demonstrate that they are physically, psychologically, and mentally fit to parent a child by adoption. A letter from a licensed physician and a psychological report will be required of each parent.
TRAVEL: This program requires 2-3 trips.
- TRIP ONE: 2-4 weeks after acceptance of the official referral. Duration of trip is 7-10 days and requires both parents to travel. BETWEEN TRIPS 1 and 2: Approximately 4-5 months
- TRIP TWO: Both parents must go back to Honduras for 5-8 days to complete adoption paperwork. BETWEEN TRIPS 2 and 3: Approximately 1 month
- TRIP THREE: Duration of 8-14 days. During this final trip the court process will be completed; adoptive parents will take custody of their child; and embassy appointment for the visa will be done. Both parents are needed but one can return home once the childís passport is obtained. The remaining parent can complete the final steps with a power of attorney.
- TWO TRIP PROCESS: *The 2nd and 3rd trips may be combined into one trip. Parents stay in country for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. One parent can return to the U.S. after the first 2-4 weeks or once the court process is complete. At the termination of the court process, the adoptive parents take custody of the child.
REFERRALS: Family will be matched by DINAF (central authority) Once the family dossier has been submitted to DINAF, they may request more documentation from the family. The wait times for referral are variable, and no set pattern has been determined to date. The DINAF will give priority to families requesting older and special needs children. The wait for referral is determined by a number of factors, and each adoption case will depend on these factors to determine the unique wait time for each case:
- Age of Child Requested (the younger the longer the wait, currently up to 4 years for children under 6 years)
- Gender of Child Requested
- Special and Medical Needs the Family Will Accept
- The Registry Date of Dossier with the DINAF
TIMELINES: Timelines may be impacted by a familyís openness to identified special needs and ages of children. For families in this program it is suggested families possess the following: flexibility, adventurous, upbeat attitude when facing time delays and tolerant of the risks involved. A family that has had some international travel experience, particularly to Latin America nations, would be a blessing for this program! Families must understand that with the new Central Authority DINAF ((Direcciόn de Ninez, Adolescencia y Familia) this program has not been adoptive parent tested nor have timelines been developed over a time period. Families can expect changes in the program frequently as it is developed in Honduras DINAF. The adoption process in Honduras is long, exceeding timelines and often difficult paperwork.
POST PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS: All families must submit post-adoptive reports following social worker visits at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months; followed by semi-annual reports at 18 and 24 months and annual reports thereafter, until the child turns 18 years of age.
IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT: LMI works with an attorney in country and will have a travel support team for you state-side.