Nicaragua Fast Facts:
- 2012 Adoptions: 21 children
- Hague Accredited: No
- Estimated Total Cost: $25,000 to $35,000
- Profile of Children: 57% are between five and 12 years old (2011). By law, adoptions must be completed before the child’s 15th birthday. If the child has been under the adoptive parents’ care for three years, the adoption may be completed before the child turns 21.
- Parent Ages: In most cases, parents must be between 25 and 40 years old. However, these requirements can be waived on a case-by-case basis.
- Family Status: While both married couples and singles may adopt, the process is longer for single parents.
- Travel: Parents are commonly required to stay in Nicaragua for 12 to 18 months during the adoption process. There is a mandatory three- to six-month fostering period during which at least one parent must stay in Nicaragua.
- Timeline: The process for adopting from Nicaragua can be lengthy and full of delays. Two to three years is typical. Parents must obtain full and final adoption in Nicaragua before bringing a child to the U.S.
Frequent staffing changes at the Ministry of Family and the preference shown to Nicaraguan citizens means that delays and backsliding are common. Before allowing a child to be adopted, the government will go to great lengths to ensure he/she has no living family members willing to provide care. It is strongly recommended that adoptive parents work with a Nicaraguan attorney to help keep things on track.
For more information, visit www.adoption.state.gov. View photos and get parent-to-parent advice in our online community, www.adoptivefamilies
Helpful Web Resources for Nicaragua Adopters