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Disclaimer: The following is intended as a very general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child in Nicaragua and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of Nicaragua govern all activity in Nicaragua including the adoptability of individual children as well as the adoption of children in country. 2) U.S. Federal immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States. The information in this flier relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of Nicaragua and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

PLEASE NOTE: Nicaraguan law does not allow for a Nicaraguan child to travel to the United States in order to be adopted. Therefore, adopting parents must go through the process to obtain a full and final adoption under Nicaraguan law before the child can immigrate to the United States. Also, the Ministry of the Family will want to see that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has approved you for adopting a child and will ask you for the Notice of Approval issued by USCIS. In order to obtain this approval, you will need to file form I-600A with USCIS to initiate the process. Later you will file the I-600 with the Consular Section when the adoption is final.

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans

Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued

FY 2004

11

FY 2003

11

FY 2002

6

FY 2001

12

FY 2000

9

ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN Nicaragua:

The government office responsible for adoptions in Nicaragua is the Ministry of Family. You may contact Mi Familia (Ministry of the Family) at the following address: De ENEL Central, 100 mts. Al sur, Managua, phone number (505) 278-1837/ (505) 278-5637, extensions 220 or 233. Mi Familia is responsible for vetting and approving the adoption of Nicaraguan children.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS:

The stated age requirements to adopt a child are individuals between the ages of 25-40. However, Mi Familia has been flexible on the age requirement on a case-by-case basis. An adopting parent can be married or single.


RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT: According to Nicaraguan law, prospective adoptive parents must either be Nicaraguan citizens or have a permanent residence in Nicaragua and plan to remain in Nicaragua until the child reaches the age of majority. In the cases of U.S. citizens with an approved I-600 or I-600A, the residency requirement is typically waived.

TIME FRAME: The actual adoption process can take anywhere from six months to a year and in some cases longer.

Credits: U.S. Department of State

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