Mexico Adoption

Mexico Adoption is our specialty with nearly 40 children placed with loving families.  There are no additional agency fees for families adopting siblings.  We help families adopting both unrelated and related children from Mexico.  We offer grants for families adopting older children; request our program guide and fee schedule!  Contact us about how you can adopt from Mexico at or 520 531-9931!   


Adopt from Mexico!  We’ve placed nearly 40 children in their forever families.  Ricardo Gallego, Mexico program director, is a Mexico-born family attorney with outstanding expertise in Hague Convention adoption. Ricardo has presented for many organizations, including the National Council for Adoption and state DIF offices throughout Mexico.  ICF also works with Project 143 to offer hosting opportunities for children from Mexico.  Visit our Hosting Program page for more information… Hosting Program

Children Referred for Adoption

Children age 5 and older are in the greatest need of adoptive families and Mexico has made their placement a priority.  US families may request children age 5 and older, sibling groups or children with special needs. Although Mexico allows a child as young as 5 to be adopted internationally, most children legally free for adoption are age 8 or older.  Sibling groups may include children younger and older than age 5.  Children with special needs may be any age.  Children age 15+ may be unadoptable, if not being adopted with a younger sibling.

All referrals of children to adoptive families are made through the DIF.  Families adopting related children (nieces, nephews, siblings) are obliged to follow the same procedures as those adopting unrelated children.

Family Eligibility to Adopt

Families entering into a Mexico adoption must work with a Hague accredited agency that is authorized to provide adoption services in Mexico.   Married couples or single women may adopt. Parents must be at least 25 year old and at least 17 years older than the child.  If married, both spouses must express their desire to adopt from Mexico in the home study.

Adoptive families must complete at least ten hours of pre-adoption education in accordance with the Hague Convention on Intercountry adoption.  This is completed while the home study is in progress.

Timeframe and Steps in the Process

Adopting from Mexico will generally take a minimum of one year.  The first steps are engaging the agency, providing a home study, applying to USCIS and the preparation of the dossier  documents for Mexico. The dossier includes the home study and USCIS I-800A approval and a variety of other documents required by the National DIF.

The waiting time for a child referral after Mexico accepts the dossier varies; generally the younger the child requested, the longer the wait.  Although Mexico allows international families to adopt children age 5 and older or younger children with special needs, the majority of orphans legally free in Mexico are over age 8.  Families adopting sibling groups may have a wide range of ages, from 2 to 14 years old.

After the family receives a referral they travel to Mexico to spend time with the child. The time requirement varies state to state but historically families spend one or more weeks visiting the child.  We recommend that families plan on 3+ weeks although the visits are often broken into more than one trip.  

After the family accepts a child referral, the referral documents are translated and submitted to USCIS with the family’s I-800 form and other required documents. When provisionally approved, USCIS transfers the file to the National Benefits Center and notifies the US Embassy in Mexico City that adoption may proceed.  The Embassy then notifies the Mexican authorities by an “Article 5” letter.

The judicial process may take one to six months. Upon issuance of an adoption decree from court, a family may start to plan the final steps of the adoption process.  Upon entering the US on an IH 3 visa, children adopted from Mexico receive automatic citizenship.  About Child Immigrant Visas

NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  For more information, visit

All children referred for adoption are referred through the Mexico Central Authority/DIF. Donations have no effect on adoption processing; they are strictly for our humanitarian mission.  Donations cannot be directed toward a particular person; they are for the general orphanage fund.  Please let us know if you have any questions!  

 International Child Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization.