The following information is a compilation of the Honduran Adoption proceedings according to the Family and Childhood Codes, analyzed and presented in a simple manner for better comprehension of Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs).
Who Can Adopt
Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) over 25 years old and under 51 years old that are able to adopt. If the prospective adoptive parents are Non-Honduran citizens, they must submit a home study doneby any social services agency with a State license of more than five (5) years.
Who Can't Adopt
- Any spouse without the consent of the other conjugate.
- Tutors, wanting to adopt their pupils.
- Anyone who has lost custody of one of their children.
The prospective adoptive parents will have to be at least 15 years older than the adoptive child, in the case of a couple, the age difference will be between the younger adoptive parent and the adoptive child.
Who Can Be Adopted
Children under eighteen (18) years old and:
- Whose parents are unknown or orphans.
- Have legal status of abandonment.
- Who have been relinquished by their parents.
- Birth certificate from the prospective adoptive parents or any other legal document.
- Birth certificate of the prospective adoptive child.
- Marriage certificate (at least 3 years of marriage).
- Applicant(s) certificate(s) of good health from a licensed physician, including laboratory urine and stool exams and blood tests, including for HIV/AIDS.
- Police records.
- Job letter indicating position, salary, antiquity and other benefits.
- Three letters of reference from recognized and respected members of the applicant(s) local community (such as government, school or church officials).
- Certified bank statements giving the status of applicant(s) account.
- Home study and psychological evaluation done by an agency in the United States certified by IHNFA. (U.S. Citizens only)
- Copy of properties or lease contracts.
- 2 recent pictures.
- Copy of the passport of each PAP.
- I-600A approval on Form I-171H. (U.S. Citizens only)
- A "follow up certification" from the adoption agency that will oversee applicant(s) adoption until the child reaches the age of 14.
- Written certification from the nearest Honduran consulate that applicant(s)have met all state adoption requirements and that the adoption agency handling your case is licensed to practice in that state. (U.S. Citizens only).
All these documents have to be apostilled, and translated into Spanish.
Process of an Adoption by Relinquishment
A parent that is unable to provide his or her child an education and essential needs, and wishes to give him/her up for adoption, has to go to IHNFA (Honduran Institute of Childhood and Family), so that they can inform them about the social, psychological, and legal consequences of the adoption.
The biological parents give their consent at IHNFA. IHNFA is the only one with legal rights to assign the child. The child will be assigned to a family already on the waiting list that has met all of the requirements to adopt a child.
No adoption will take place until the child is declared abandoned or relinquished.
It is forbidden by law to give any kind of payment or gratification for an adoption; this crime is punishable by law and could result in an imprisonment sentence of three (3) to six (6) years.
The first step the PAPs may follow is to get in touch with the adoption's section at IHNFA in Tegucigalpa at 011 (504) 2235-3565 or at its e-mail address: email@example.com. They can file their adoption petition through an attorney once they have met all of the requirements.
They must be placed on the waiting list. Once their turn comes up, they will go to the assignation committee (PAPs can only choose gender and sometimes age of the child they want to adopt). This committee is conformed by representatives of IHNFA, the Supreme Court, the legal bar association, the social workers association, the psychologists association, and the human rights committee.
If the PAPs were assigned a child, they have a month to decline or accept the assignation. IHNFA sends them the child's file with a recent picture, clinical history, and psychological evaluations. If the PAPs accept the assignation they can arrange with the adoptions section to meet with the child. At this time, the PAPs will file, in person, the same documentation they did at IHNFA, at the Family Court, including the assignation letter of the child. The Family Court will approve or deny the adoption.
Once the adoption is approved by the family court, the PAPs must go back to IHNFA so that the Executive Director joins them to sign the final adoption decree.
IHNFA's Executive Director is the legal representative of a child in abandonment or orphan according to the childhood code. In cases where there is a relinquishment, the deed has to be signed by the PAPs and the biological parent without IHNFA's intervention.
- The adoption of all children less than 14 years old must be cleared by IHNFA.
- The adoption that does not comply withall the requirements established in this law is void. An adoption can be voided within four (4) years after its registration by anyone who considers that there is a violation of the adoption law.