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International adoption:

Chichen Itza, a Mayan archelogical site, pictured on a clear night with stars in the sky

Mexico is located in the continent of North America, between the United States and Guatemala, Central America. It is a lovely country with mountains, plains, and beautiful coastal areas. Ancient ruins of the Maya and the Aztec civilizations are scattered throughout the country. Mexico homes the world's largest population of Spanish-speakers. 

why choose to adopt from Mexico?

Children available for adoption receive loving care in governmental institutions. Mexico is a beautiful country with many historical areas to explore. Traveling to Mexico is typically the easiest and most affordable. Many sibling groups are available to be adopted together.

who can adopt from Mexico

  • Couples married at least 2 years

  • Single men and women

  • Same-sex married couples

  • Applicants must be at least 17 years older than the child
    Other children in the home allowed

More information

A young girl in traditional dress, smiling broadly. Her braids are tied with bows striped in the colors of the Mexican flag.

children available

The flag of Mexico rippling in the wind

Children available for adoption are generally 5 years of age and older. There are sibling groups available, some of which may have children under 5 years. Children available may be healthy or have a special need.


 Children of both biological sexes are available. The wait for a child can be 6 to 12 months depending on the characteristics of child desired. The majority of the children are Mestizo (of mixed race, Spanish/Native Indian/Black). Children are usually adopted from a state orphanage, although on occasion a voluntary placement may be made.


Children are referred for adoption by State and National System for Integral Family Development (DIF) and Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Mexico’s Central Authority.

overview of the Mexico adoption process

1. Contact the agency and particpate in a group or individual information session about our Mexico adoption program.

2. Complete and submit an application for adoption services with accompanying non-refundable application fee to HATW

3. Complete your Home Study with Hands Across The Water or an appropriate agency in your state. Please contact HATW for assistance if you live outside of Michigan.

4. File your I-800A with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

5. Prepare your dossier for Mexico. 

6. Hands Across The Water will forward your completed dossier to be translated and submitted to government officials.

7. Your dossier is reviewed by the SRE and the National DIF then is sent to the State DIF. It is reviewed and approved by the State DIF.

8. The State DIF will match family with child. Referrals generally take a minimum of 6-18 months to be assigned, although this time does vary depending on characteristics of child interested in and available children.

9. After a referral is received, you will need to accept or decline the referral. Should you accept, you will travel to Mexico and meet your child for approximately 3+ weeks. At the conclusion of this visit the DIF or central authorities and family will agree to move forward with the adoption.

10. There is a judicial process that is completed before getting the child’s visa. This process can take between 1-6 months then the family travels to Mexico to go to the U.S. Consulate for the child’s visa and return home.


11. Depending on the state from which you are adopting and circumstances of the adoptive family, additional trips may be required.

Post Adoption Supervision

Children enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa and become U.S. citizens by virtue of their adoption by a U.S. citizen. However, Mexico requires post-adoption reports on the child’s adjustment. Reports are required every 6 months for the first 3 years after the child enters the U.S., unless the child turns 18 years old during that period.

Disclaimer: The photos of children on this page are not available for adoption. 
Hands Across The Water does not photo list children waiting for adoption via the internet.

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