El Salvador is a wonderful program for families wishing to adopt toddlers and older children. There is great need for loving, permanent families for orphaned children, as well as those with special needs and sibling groups. El Salvador is a party to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and all adoptions must be approved by the central adoption authority in El Salvador.
In El Salvador, children ages 2 to 16 years are available for adoption placement. The average age of the children at the time they come home is 2.5 years. Adoptive families are not permitted to request a specific gender.
There are many neglected and abandoned children in El Salvador as a result of the civil war that raged in the country for 12 years. El Salvador has also suffered through numerous natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes. 1 in 10 children in El Salvador has been orphaned or abandoned.
To be eligible to adopt from El Salvador, both parents must be at least 25 years old and no more than 45 years older than the child they are seeking to adopt. Adoptive parents are matched with children based on age:
If the ages of the parents vary, requirements will be based on the age of the younger parent.
A married couple must have been married for at least 5 years. This program accepts single female applicants. Prospective adoptive parents must be in good health and are required to submit a medical report and a psychological report.
- Parents ages 25-35 may adopt a child up to 3 years old
- Parents ages 36-45 may adopt a child who is 3-5 years old
- Parents ages 46-55 may adopt a child who is at least 6 years old
The time frame for adoption from El Salvador is unpredictable at this time, but it is estimated to be take approximately 24-36 months to complete the adoption process. Adoptive parents embarking on this adoption program must remain flexible as the requirements may change at any time. The timing of each case varies, and typically a referral will be offered to a paper-ready family within 10-15 months, however, depending on the family's request and openness, this wait for a referral could be shorter or longer. Families open to older children or children with special needs tend to have a much quicker process.
Both parents are required to travel to El Salvador for at approximately 2-3 weeks. It is possible to arrange for one parent to leave El Salvador after 4 days, but only if the remaining parent has a power of attorney. The remaining parent must stay in the country until the adoption is finalized. The child will enter the United States with an IR-3 visa.
We have a very knowledgeable legal coordinator in El Salvador who speaks fluent English and will make all of the necessary arrangements for the foreign part of the adoption. We have received good reviews from other agencies who have worked with this coordinator so Madison has confidence that our families will be in good hands.
The total cost of an adoption from El Salvador is approximately $22,000 - $30,000, depending on whether you adopt through the traditional or waiting child program. This is a complete price, including USCIS fees, home study, documentation & courier fees, visa and Embassy fees, agency fees, foreign fees, and an estimate of hotel and airline fees. Please see our attached fee schedule and explanations.
Waiting Children (Special Needs) Program
Madison Adoption Associates is committed to help find homes for children who are considered harder to place due to medical conditions, older age, or the fact that they are siblings. The needs of these children vary. Families may request to be matched with a child of a certain need, or they may choose from a list of waiting children.
Families are encouraged to join our on-line community, Madison Adoption Associates Waiting Children (MAAWC) Yahoo Group (www.groups.yahoo.com/group/MAAWC). Information about current waiting children is available in the “Files” section. The names and locations of the children are confidential and access to these files is only given to families who are seriously considering the adoption of a waiting child.
Madison provides an agency grant of $1000 for the adoption of a child with special needs. Please contact us to discuss your individual situation or help guide you through this process.
Once you have decided to adopt from El Salvador
Madison Adoption Associates will guide you through every step of the process. We will answer your questions, help you prepare and complete your paperwork, provide support and encouragement, and assist you with your travel arrangements. It is important to begin your home study and the USCIS immigration forms as soon as possible because they generally take up to six months to complete.
If Madison Adoption Associates is not your Home Study Agency
Please contact us for a list of supervised home study providers in your state. The home study agency you choose should be familiar with preparing international Hague-compliant reports. If you already have a current home study, please let us know as soon as possible so we may contact that agency regarding your paperwork and process. If your home study agency is not Hague accredited, Madison Adoption Associates will need to approve that provider. All home study reports must be completed by non-profit agencies, and not by independent social workers.
El Salvador Dossier Requirements
All of the documents above must be notarized and authenticated (apostilled).
- Home Study report from a licensed adoption agency
- Certified copies of birth certificates for each member of the adoptive family
- Certified copy of marriage certificate; divorce decree(s), if applicable
- Current local police clearance letters for each parent
- Medical letters for each member of the adoptive family (forms provided by MAA)
- Financial Statement (form provided by MAA)
- Employment Letter for each parent
- Psychological Evaluation for each parent
- Psychologist’s license
- Network Agreement between psychologist and MAA
- Deed of home or lease agreement
- Personal Care/Guardian Statement (form provided by MAA)
- Ideal Parent Letter (form provided by MAA)
- Agency Accreditation License (provided by MAA)
- Social Worker’s License (provided by MAA or Home Study Provider)
- Copies of passport for each parent
- USCIS Approval Letter
- Post Placement Commitment from parents
- Post Placement Agreement between Home Study Provider and MAA
- Network Agreement between Home Study Provider and MAA
The dossier must also include:
- Photographs - at least 10 photos on photo quality paper with captions. Must include photos of home and all family members
- USCIS Form G-28: Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative
- USCIS Form I-800A: Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
As an option for Madison adoptive families, we can arrange for the certification of your documents at the county level (if applicable in your state) and the apostille of your documents for a fee of $800. For Delaware, Pennsylvania and Illinois clients, we are happy to act as your notary, free of charge.
Please contact us if you would like to receive a sample of our Adoption Services contract of if you’d like information regarding the number and status of our annual adoption placements, the number of annual applicants, or the the number of eligible children awaiting placement through our agency. You may also view this information on our website at www.madisonadoption.com.