Mexico became a party to the Hague Convention in 1994. The established Central Authority is the DIF – Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, or the State System for the Full Development of the Family. Regarding intercountry adoptions, it is important to know that Mexico is a civil law government. As such, each of the 31 states in Mexico has their own distinct, though similar, civil code. In addition to the requirements that are to be met with the DIF and the Mexican Foreign Relations office, adoptions must also meet the requirements of the individual state in which the child resides. This process can be, therefore, difficult and complex.
Children are available for adoption when they are orphaned or abandoned. Extreme poverty is the primary catalyst for the relinquishment or abandonment of children. There are tremendous disparities in the social fabric of Mexico, and several million children are victims of forced labor.
Prospective parents must work with an accredited adoption service provider authorized by the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).There is only one authorized accredited adoption service provider in Mexico, Caolina Adoptions.
Central Authority: Secretary for Exterior Relations (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores)
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Mexico also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
Residency Requirements: Mexican adoption procedures include a one to three week pre-adoption trial period, during which the child lives with the prospective adoptive parent(s) in Mexico. Because of the large amount of paperwork in both the Mexican and American processes, the DIF suggests that adoptive parents be prepared to spend at least three months in Mexico including the pre-adoption trial period.
Age Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must be over 25 years of age and at least 17 years older than the child. If married, only one parent must meet the age requirement.
Marriage Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents may be married or single, male or female.
Income Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate the means to support the physical and educational needs of the child.
NOTE: While similar, each Mexican state does have its own civil code governing adoptions. Therefore, it is important to check with each state, as the laws among states will vary.