Authorities in Mexico City have arrested an American couple for trying to illegally adopt a baby in Mexico. The couple, who both have California driver’s licenses, face charges of trying to buy or rob a child. They are being held at a local jail. While the husband is claiming total responsibility for what occurred, the wife told local journalists that she has wanted a baby for a long time but that the adoption process she became involved in didn’t meet legal standards.
For American citizens who wish to adopt a child from another country, there are proper legal channels that must be taken in order to ensure that the international adoption is legal and valid. It is important for prospective parents to know about the adoptions laws in the country where the child is from, as well as the laws that govern the immigration process that parents will have to follow in order to bring their child to live in the United States.
The U.S. State Department offers information regarding adopting a child from Mexico, including the following:
The State System for the Full Development of the Family (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, or DIF) is a government institution in each Mexican state that handles family matters. The DIF and the Mexican Foreign Relations are assigned responsibility to study each child’s eligibility for intercountry adoption and arrange adoptions. The DIF determines whether a family would be suitable for a particular child by ensuring that a home study has been done. The DIF makes every effort to place children with relatives or Mexican citizens living in Mexico before placing children for inter-country adoption.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Prospective adoptive parents may be married or single, male or female. They must be over twenty-five years of age, possess good moral character, and demonstrate the means to care for the physical and educational needs of the child. The prospective adoptive parents must be at least seventeen years older than the child. If the prospective adoptive parents are married, however, only one parent must meet the age requirement. If the child is over fourteen years of age, he or she must consent to the adoption.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Mexican adoption procedures include a one to three week pre-adoption trial period during which the child lives with the prospective adoptive parents in Mexico . The adoption is not final until this time, and the child cannot leave Mexico before it is complete. Because of the large amount of paperwork in both the Mexican and U.S. processes, DIF suggests that the adoptive parents be prepared to spend at least three months in Mexico including the pre-adoption trial period.
TIME FRAME: The general time frame for adoptions in Mexico is from three to eight months, but varies from state to state.
ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS: Adoption in the Republic of Mexico is governed by the civil codes and the civil procedures code of each of the 31 Mexican states. Even though some adoptions are processed though private attorneys, this guide focuses on the adoptions through DIF. While there are general similarities among the states’ laws, actual practice may vary considerably from state to state and even from municipality to municipality. If an attorney is required to complete the adoption process, the DIF in that particular state will assign the attorney.
In order to ensure that your international adoption goes through correctly and with the least amount of difficulty, you should speak with a family law attorney who is experienced in handling adoptions. He or she can take you through the process, which will include going through U.S. immigration to bring your adopted baby into the United States with you. Sagaria Law, P.C. is a law firm that can help you with your international adoption matter.
In addition to international adoptions, our attorneys handle adoptions within the United States, including independent adoptions, agency adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and single parent adoptions. We have also handled cases where an adoption has been contested by another party.
We represent clients in adoptions cases and other family law matters, including child custody, child support, and grandparent visitation cases throughout Monterey County, Alameda County, and Santa Clara County. Many of our clients have come from the cities of Carmel, Berkeley, San Jose, and Morgan Hill. To schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our attorneys regarding your adoption matter, contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today.
California couple arrested for trying to illegally take Mexican baby, Sign On San Diego, February 8, 2007
Intercountry Adoption: Mexico, U.S. Department of State
Related Web Resource:
International Adoption FAQ