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How long does it take to complete the home study portion of the adoption?

Our agency hours are 8 AM – 4:30 PM. Visits with families are only conducted during regular business hours and must conclude prior to 4:30 PM. We endeavor to schedule appointments and complete paperwork within the timeframes listed below. Scheduling and paperwork are processed in the order in which they are received and time may sometimes vary due to current demand.

In order to ensure the earliest completion of your home study, we suggest that you gather all documents as soon as possible. Office and home visits will not be scheduled until all documents are received by LHAA.

Below are guidelines for the timeframes of each stage, from the day that we receive your completed packet of home study paperwork:

Office Visit: 1-2 weeks
Individual Interview (Husband): 1-2 weeks
Individual Interview (Wife): 1-2 weeks
Home Visit: 2-3 weeks
Home Study Rough Draft ready for Client and Agency Editing: 6-7 weeks
Finalization of Home study and Dissemination to Family and Agency: 8-9 weeks

How long does it take to collect documents for the dossier (paper-chasing)?

It takes approximately 4-6 months.

What does DINAF stand for?

DINAF stands for Direccion de Niñez Adolescencia y Familia or Directorate for Children, Youth and Family.

How long is the adoption process from application to referral?

It takes approximately 6 months for families to prepare a dossier. At this time, the current wait time for a referral is 6 years with the potential with the potential for longer wait times.

What ages of children are available for adoption in Honduras?

From the Honduras Standard Program, healthy male and female children, ages 2 years old and older are available. From the Honduras Waiting Child Program, male and female children ages 3-13 years old with a medical condition or healthy older children over the age of 7 years old are available.  Sibling sets are also available.

For married couples, is it a requirement for both spouses to be U.S. citizens?

Prospective adoptive parents residing in the U.S. must follow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines, which requires that at least one parent must be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to adopt internationally.

Are singles eligible to adopt from Honduras?

Single females are permitted to adopt from Honduras. Unfortunately, single males are not eligible to adopt from Honduras at this time.

How many trips to Honduras are required to finalize the adoption?

Prospective adoptive parents are required to travel to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, twice in order to finalize the adoption. For married couples, both parents are required to travel for the first trip and both parents are required to travel for at least the first week (approximately) of the second trip. Once both parents have completed the necessary court processing on the second trip, one parent is able to return to the U.S.

Who coordinates travel arrangements?

LHAA will be coordinating travel arrangements to Honduras but families have the option of coordinating their own travel arrangements should they choose to do so.

Will an English-speaking staff member be available during travel in Honduras?

Yes, an in-country representative from LHAA will be with you and your family at all times while you are in the country.

What are the post-adoption requirements after the finalization of the adoption?

Honduras requires:

  • 4 post adoption reports to be completed during the first year following the adoption finalization
  • 2 post adoption reports to be completed in the second year following adoption finalization
  • 1 report annually until the child or children reaches the age of 14 years old.
    • If the adopted child is 14 years old or older, the same post adoption requirements apply except one report annually until the child or children reaches the age of 21 years old.
  • Post adoption reports must be completed at 1, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months from the date of adoption finalization and completed in the home by a licensed agency.

How long does it take to declare a child abandoned?

LHAA has been informed that it takes 2 years to declare a child abandoned. It is at the discretion of the judge at family court, who is assigned a case, in sentencing the time he or she deems appropriate. The judge also allots a certain period of time should any opposition arise from the biological parent(s). The time is shortened for children who will be classified as a waiting child and if the biological parent(s) are able to be located to terminate their parental rights.

What happens if a family declines a referral?

The prospective adoptive parents must submit a letter providing a reason as to why they are declining the child. Then the Adoption Committee will decide whether or not the family will be eligible to receive another referral.

Can prospective adoptive families adopt identified or relative children?

If a prospective adoptive family can be interested in adopting a child that they choose whether it is from an orphanage or a relative. According to the laws of Honduras, it is considered illegal to choose a child for adoption so LHAA will not be accepting or assisting families in the adoption of identified children. However, LHAA is able to assist families in the adoption of relative children on a case-by-case basis.

Can LHAA work with in-process adoptions?

If a prospective adoptive family has begun the adoption process with a private attorney but were informed that they need a DINAF-approved placing agency, these families must transfer to LHAA in order to proceed in the adoption process. The decision to use the family’s current attorney or one of our own needs to be discussed in addition to the max number of attorneys LHAA is willing to work with in the future.

Can LHAA handle adoptions that have been finalized in Honduras but need further processing in the USA?

When a prospective adoptive family has finalized the adoption in-country but needs to comply with the US requirements for adoption in order to return to the states with their adopted child, they will have two options:

  1. Contract with LHAA as their placing agency
  2. LHAA is able to be a home study only provider including the post-adoption only provider IF the family is a Pennsylvania resident within our service area. If not, the family will need to file Form I-130 and wait 2 years before the child is granted permission to enter the US. The US is no longer providing non-immigrant visas to adopted children.