There are some waiting children in the El Salvador program, typically girls or boys ages 10-15 years of age, healthy or with medical needs. Some sibling groups and younger children with medical needs are also available for adoption. Please contact us to find out more about the referral processes.About El Salvador’s History
America World has worked in El Salvador since 2006 and our program staff is very experienced in facilitating international adoptions from this amazing country. Our staff has personally met with both OPA and ISNA adoption officials, US Embassy staff and many orphanages from areas all over El Salvador. Our CEO, Brian Luwis, has traveled there several times and met with government authorities while in country.
Additionally, AWAA has sent volunteer teams to serve in children in various ministries and hopes to send more teams through the ACT missions department in the future.
The children in the orphanages of El Salvador are relinquished for international adoption for various reasons. Some of the children are true orphans or were abandoned. In some cases children may live in the orphanages because their families are unable to care for them due to illness or poverty. In many cased, children live in orphanages from a very young age, but due to lengthy paperwork and legal processes, their adoption paperwork is not ready until they are older. El Salvador International Adoption Process
After completing an application, you begin the “paper-chase” part of the process by completing collection of documents called a dossier. These documents must go through several levels of certification so that they ultimately can be used as the legal framework for your international adoption process. This part of the process can take an average 6-8 months to complete. A home study is a report completed by a social worker to show that your family is eligible and prepared to adopt a child and this report is part of the dossier. Once completed, your dossier is mailed to El Salvador to the care of the in-country lawyer who will translate, legalize and submit the dossier to the Oficina Para Adopciones (OPA).
OPA is one of the central authorities overseeing adoptions and the authority responsible for approving a family’s dossier and issuing a referral to our agency representative, after various approvals from ISNA, the Reunion Conjunta, the Assignment Committee and the Procoduria. These committees and individuals are also involved in the adoption approvals process in El Salvador. Your family will be matched with a referral based on the home study requests. The referral is the paperwork about a child who is available for adoption. The paperwork will include medical information, a social history regarding the child’s background at the orphanage and a psychological evaluation.
After reviewing the referral information with an international specialist and a social worker, your family will wait 8-10 months for various approvals from the U.S immigration and El Salvador government officials as well as waiting for a court date to appear before a judge in El Salvador. Once the court date is set, families can prepare to travel to appear before court and gain custody and finalize the adoption of their child in El Salvador.
You will meet your child and attend court within a few days of arriving in El Salvador, and then spend the next 3-6 weeks waiting for various paperwork and approvals to be completed, including gaining an entry visa into the United States for their child. While you spend time in El Salvador, you can choose to sightsee in San Salvador, visit the beaches, and spend time with local San Salvadorians or missionary families that AWAA can connect your family with during your stay. Most families rent an apartment in a complex with a pool that is near a shopping center. Families can choose to be with an AWAA guide each day, or can be independent in their sightseeing.
The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your adoption process and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved.