Latin American Adoptions

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Latin American adoptions

The adoption of children in Central and South America and the Caribbean. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 655 orphans were adopted from South America by Americans in fiscal year 1998. Most of the children (233) immigrated from Colombia.

An additional 875 children were adopted from Central America. Also, 314 children were adopted from the Caribbean.

Criteria for prospective parents, including the upper limit on age of adoptive parents and number of children already in the home, vary greatly. Some countries will allow adoptive parents as old as 55 years to adopt infants and have no limits on the number of children in the home already. Most Latin American countries require adopting parents to travel to the country and stay at least several days until legal paperwork is accomplished. In some cases, the stay may last weeks.

International adoption is very changeable, and prospective adoptive parents are urged to thoroughly investigate this form of adoption before applying to an agency or identifying a foreign attorney. An adoptive parents support group is a good start. The INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS FOR CHILDREN also provides valuable and updated information. (See also IMMIGRATION AND NEUTRALIZATION; INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION.)

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