El Salvador

The Republic of El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and is rich in history and culture. Bordering the Pacific Ocean on the south, Guatemala on the west and Honduras to the north, this country has beautiful beaches and a warm tropical climate. The country is situated on a fertile volcanic plateau and produces lush green vegetation. The “Land of Volcanoes” is one of the most fertile areas in Central America producing coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum, and seafood. With its beautiful, volcanic black sand beaches, many surfers are drawn to try the waves off the Pacific coast. Over 300 rivers flowing through the countryside.

The governments of the United States and El Salvador enjoy such strong diplomatic and economic ties that the national currency in El Salvador is the U.S. dollar. El Salvador declared independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. In 1992 the rebels and government officials signed a treaty ending a long civil war that claimed over 75,000 lives.

The children in the orphanages of El Salvador are relinquished for 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.

The El Salvador adoption process is divided into three main stages. The first stage involves assembling a 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 adoption process. This stage is referred to as the "paper chase," and takes on average 4-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is forwarded to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, your dossier is forwarded to our legal representative in El Salvador for translation and processing who then sends the dossier to Oficina Para Adopciones (OPA). OPA is one of the government offices part of the central authority which oversees adoption-related activities in El Salvador.

After your dossier is received by OPA, you begin stage two, the waiting stage. This phase may be the most difficult stage for families, as the wait time can be frustrating. The process of matching a family with a child is called a referral. The wait time for a referral varies and can take several years and is unpredictable for a family requesting a young child. At this time, AWAA is only accepting new applications to the El Salvador program for families who are interested in adopting a waiting child. Waiting children referrals are typically girls ages 12 and above or boys ages 10 and above, healthy or with special needs. ISNA is the government department that receives and approves referrals. The referral is composed of a medical profile of a child, a brief biography of his or her life and a psychological evaluation. Once you have accepted your referral, you wait for various approvals from the El Salvador government officials and departments and AWAA begins preparing you for travel, the third and final phase of your adoption process. Families normally leave for El Salvador approximately 6-8 months after they receive a referral and stay for 4-6 weeks. While in El Salvador, families attend a court hearing to receive approval from a judge for their adoption, complete the adoption paperwork, become united with their child, and tour some of the country’s rich cultural sites.

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. America World has been working in El Salvador since 2006 and has helped several families adopt older children into their homes.