About Honduras’ History
Honduras is a Central American country bordered by Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. This country, previously a Spanish colony, has been independent since 1821. With a population of approximately eight million people, Hondurans have a rich cultural and ethnic heritage dating back to civilizations including the Mayan Empire. The capital city, Tegucigalpa, is the largest city with a population of over a million people.
America World has been licensed by the country of Honduras since November 2003. Our staff, most especially our CEO, Brian Luwis, has made numerous trips to meet with the country’s adoption authority, Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia (IHNFA) as well as various government officials. Our CEO makes trips every year to Honduras to advocate for this program, families desiring to adopt and especially the children who need forever families whether it be domestically or in the US. America World’s staff has organized and led numerous mission trips to Honduras to work in orphanages and provide for physical needs of Honduran orphans. We have built a relationship with their government adoption authority and slowly began work by helping American families living in Honduras fulfill their adoption requirements; we have also provided post adoption reporting oversight for families adopting from Honduras.Waiting Children: Older and Medical Needs Adoption
We do currently have profiles of Waiting Children in Honduras who are ready for international adoption. You can request to view their profiles by visiting our Waiting Children webpage. Waiting Children are orphans who have medical needs or are older. Families interested in learning more about these children must first submit a full application to America World. Once accepted into the program, families have access to the full referral file of Waiting Children which generally includes photos, a social report, a psychological report and medical information. Honduras International Adoption Process
From application until arrival home, the process of adopting a child from Honduras can average 4+ years. We are no longer permitting families to request children under the age of 2 years due to the wait time.
After filling out an application, receiving approval through the intake process, and signing an Agreement with America World, the family is assigned to their Family Coordinator, who will be their point of contact from this point of the process until time of travel. The Family Coordinator works closely with the family to answer all of their questions and to share details about the program as they move through the process of adopting a child from Honduras.
Prospective adoptive parents begin collecting documents for the “dossier” which is a compilation of paperwork that will be sent to Honduras to show the parents are qualified to adopt. This part of the process can take several months as the family works on a number of documents, including the home study. During the home study, a social worker visits the home and the family completes trainings to show they are prepared to parent an adopted child. Families will discuss their child request and if they are open to medical needs or adopting older children. We have many recommended resources and training to assist families with this decision.
After the dossier is completed, our staff will complete the Honduras Consulate Approval process in Washington D.C. and then submit the dossier to IHNFA in Honduras. IHNFA will then review the family’s dossier and, if approved, will receive a login number and be placed on a waiting list with other prospective adoptive families. This process of review by IHNFA can take up to 8 months. Once families are placed on the waiting list they must wait until they move to the front of the list before being matched with a child by IHNFA’s assignment committee. The wait time for this process can take years as there are over 200 families currently waiting to be matched with a child for adoption.
Once a family receives a referral it will contain information such as medical reports, personal history and photos of a child that matched their child request. It is possible that while waiting to be assigned a child, families may remain open to consider children that are placed on the Waiting Children’s list.
After a family receives a referral, they review the information with medical professionals, international specialists and their social worker. If the family accepts the referral, we help complete the necessary paperwork, informing IHNFA of the acceptance and requesting the required appointments with an IHNFA social worker and psychologist (this will determine dates for the first trip by the family to Honduras). The family coordinator will assist the family in understand these approvals and paperwork processes.
After the first trip, our representatives in Honduras will continue to process the adoption finalization by presenting the family’s case at court. Once a determination of adoption has been made the family will be able to travel to Honduras and take custody of their child. The in-country process will continue to move slowly as families work on obtaining the paperwork necessary to petition for the child’s US visa. The total time in Honduras after the first trip can range from 1.5 to 3 months. Both parents are not required to remain in Honduras for the entire duration, but at least one parent needs to be present as they will be given custody of their child.
We will coordinate travel logistics and assist with arranging air and ground transportation, lodging, and some meals. Upon returning home, the post adoption staff will assist the family with adjusting to life with their new child and understanding the re-adoption and post adoption report requirements. These requirements will vary for each family as the judge will decree in the court order how many reports they want to see, and the orphanage director also has the right to request a certain amount of post adoption reports.
The post adoption staff will support a family for years after the adoption is completed and is always available to help families with resources, support, and training.