With people like Angelina Jolie making international adoptions popular, looking outside of the United States for a child is not that uncommon. Guatemala is a very popular country to adopt an infant or child from. The paper work can be intimidating, but you can be more than prepared by knowing the general laws and guidelines of the Guatemalan and US government for adopting and immigrating a child to the United States. Remember there are in-depth laws and procedures that you’ll need to be fully informed on when adopting a child from Guatemala. A competent US adoption agency will be able to help you survive the procedure of paperwork for the adoption of your child.
For more information on government regulated international adoption agencies you can visit the US Department of State website at http://www.travel.state.gov. You can also call the US Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747. This office specifically handles international adoptions and can point you in the right direction.
The beginning steps for adopting a child from Guatemala starts with your application and dossier being approved, along with your child referral packet. When adopting in an international adoption it is recommended that you complete the following forms first. The documents are time consuming to process, and the documents could be misplaced too.
• Finger Print Check from the US Department of Human Services (DHS)
• Certified copies of both parents US citizenship, either a birth certificate or another type of official document.
• Certified copies of divorce, death, or marriage certificates.
• Update or obtain a US passport to travel abroad.
After this your chosen adoption agency will contact a Guatemalan lawyer. Any child adopted out of Guatemala must meet the legal definitions of orphan status for the US and Guatemala. The lawyer will process a series of adoption forms listed below.
• Consent Forms. This will be signed by the mother to grant temporary release of the child.
• Hospital Forms. All paperwork related to the birth of the child will have to be released and completed.
• DNA Test Forms. To ensure that the child is really biologically related to the birth mother, this test must be performed.
• Medical Health Forms. An examination of the infant or child will be done, and the lawyer will submit these.
Once this is done, you’ll be ready to go on to the next level in your Guatemalan adoption survival procedure of paperwork and waiting. The list below contains the general guidelines of the adoption process.
• A Guatemalan lawyer will refer an orphan to the potential adoptive parents in the US.
• If approval is accepted, the lawyer will then be granted a POA (Power of Attorney).
• Clearance will be reviewed by a social worker in Guatemala of a child.
• An amended birth certificate will be issued in the adoptive parent’s name.
• The packet will then be placed with the US Homeland Securities Office in Guatemala. There will be tight scrutiny of the information provided, and delays are likely to occur if anything is out of order with the packet.
• The birth mother will sign a final release of the child.
• Adoption is finalized and sent to the US consular section for a Visa to immigrate for the adopted child.
It is important to note that before the adoption is finalized make sure that your child’s visa to immigration to the United States is in total order, you will have to wait for a while if it’s not. As you can see the adoption paperwork trail is lengthy, and there’s much more that you’ll need to know, but hopefully these tips will start you toward your loved adopted Guatemalan child.