Since Attorney Rodriguez was a law student in Mexico, he always envisioned to have an international law practice. That dream is now a reality.
Just a few people are lucky to practice law in two countries with two different legal systems. Attorney Rodriguez is one of them. Being a dual attorney has opened him many doors to achieve this dream. One of the areas in which Attorney Rodriguez specializes is in International Adoptions under the Hague Convention. He helps American families wishing to adopt Mexican children.
On April 1, 2018, the Hague Convention on international adoptions became a law in the United States. This brought a huge impact in the immigration arena too. Now American families wishing to adopt a foreign child must comply with the strict requirements of this treaty. The purpose of this treaty was to prevent the worldwide problem of child trafficking.
International adoptions with Mexico are like a tennis match. The process begins in the United States then continues in Mexico then it goes back to the United States and so forth until its conclusion. Attorney Rodriguez has witnessed how many American and Mexican attorneys are unaware of this treaty and have wrongly advised many U.S. families. It has also been very sad to see many American families with Mexican adoptions stuck in Mexico because they did not comply with the treaty requirements. All of them were ignorant or received wrong legal advise.
International adoptions with Mexico are long, complex, and expensive. Representing a family it entails extensive and comprehensive legal knowledge of both countries but most importantly how things are done in Mexico.
Due to the child trafficking problems, authorities in both countries have a very strict procedure. All the steps of the procedure will have to be rigorously followed protecting the minor’s superior interest. Crucial is that the international adoption can ONLY be conducted through a United States agency that has also the Mexican government accreditation. The few existing agencies are the only authorized to provide this service.
We now explain the steps to follow in an international adoption of a Mexican child:
- A social-economic study before the authorized agency in the U.S. (Agency)
- File the first package before USCIS (immigration office)
- USCIS approves the application (wait for approval)
- Adoptive Parents (AP) have their fingerprints taken
- AP receive the approval letter from USCIS
- The agency prepares and sends the adoption package to the Mexican authorities (Foreign Affairs Office and National DIF)
- DIF receives it, an adoption case number is issued and the adoption committee analyzes it.
- If all the adoption requirements are met, DIF issues a certificate (adoption report) Article 16
- DIF puts the AP in a waiting list
- Search of the child (this stage is long, priority is given to domestic adoptions)
- Information about the minor is given to the AP
- AP has up to two weeks to accept the minor chose by DIF
- AP accept the minor
- AP file the second package with USCIS in the United States
- USCIS issues a provisional approval of the second package that is then sent to the American Consulate in Juarez
- AP files the application for a visa (DS-260 online)
- AP obtain the Adoption Visa at the closest Mexican consulate in the U.S.
- AP travel to Mexico and switch the Adoption Visa for a visitor card to adopt (at the Mexican Immigration Institute which takes about a month to obtain)
- AP travel to spend time with the minor (the time a family needs to spend with the minor varies from state to state)
- The Consulate reviews and issues a certificate (stating that all immigration laws in the U.S. were met)which is sent to DIF Article 5
- DIF issues another certificate (stating that the adoption will be done at the Mexican Court) Article 17
- Process of full adoption with AP present, the judge issues a judgment
- AP obtains a new birth certificate (where the adoption was made) and Mexican passport (at any passport office)
- SRE issues a certificate (stating that all steps of the adoption are met) Article 23
- Minor takes the medical exam and has fingerprints taken (in Mexico City)
- Interview at the American Consulate in Juarez
- The adoption certificate is issued under the treaty and a visa is issued
- Minor travels to the U.S. where, upon entering, will obtain the American Citizenship
Other factors to consider:
- Minor must be under 16 years old at the moment when the first package is filed before USCIS
- AP (if single) must be at least 25 years old
- If the minor is not orphan, the biological parents will have to relinquish ALL rights and allow the adoption
- At least one AP must be a U.S. citizen and can be married to a permanent resident
- The AP that is a U.S. citizen will have to travel to Mexico to do the entire process
- There can be no contact between the biological parents, the AP, and the minor adopted (except in adoptions between relatives)
This is a unique and sophisticated procedure. It requires a lot of willingness, discipline, and persistence to reach the goal. Abandoned, abused, neglected or orphan children have the right to be in a loving family and not at the mercy of the state.