An official website of the United States government

March 16, 2021

This section provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. The process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Additionally, if the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.

Adopting a child from Mexico

A consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate must determine that the adoptive child qualifies for a visa before you adopt or obtain legal custody of the child. Do not adopt or obtain custody of the child until the consular officer issues an Article 5 Letter.

Mexico and the United States are parties to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all adoptions between Mexico and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law and regulations implementing the Convention.

Mexico has a complex system for adoptions, involving the Mexican Central Authority (MCA) and the Secretary of the Exterior Relations

Department of State Office of Children’s Issues

As part of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Office of Children’s Issues actively engages in two issues that cross international borders: intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.  In this work, we are fully committed to protecting the welfare and interests of children. We serve as the U.S. Central Authority for two multilateral treaties:

For more information, visit http://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en.html

Mexican Government information

Dirección General de Protección a Mexicanos en el Exterior
Dirección General Adjunta de Derecho de Familia
Plaza Juárez # 20 Piso 17
Col. Centro
Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc
Ciudad de México, México. C.P. 06010
Teléfono: (55) 36-86-51-00; Directo: (55) 36-86-58-56

Dirección de Adopciones de la Procuraduría Federal de Protección de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia
Av. Francisco Sosa No. 439
Col. Del Carmen
Alcaldía Coyoacán
Ciudad de México, México, C.P. 04100
Telefono (55) 30-03-22-00 extensiones 4428 y 2234

Medical examination information

Click here.

The date of your visa interview appointment is indicated in the letter that you received from the National Visa Center. However, you should be aware that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to complete your medical examination BEFORE THAT DATE.  We suggest that you make arrangements for your medical examination at least FIVE (5) days before your interview appointment date.

Required Documents for Medical Visit

  • Visa Appointment Letter
  • Passport
  • Required fee of $2865.20 Mexican pesos covering the medical examination ($2262.50 for minors under age 15) paid via cash or credit card only (Visa or MasterCard)

Additional Guidance

  • If you suffer from a chronic illness, have been treated for any venereal disease, or are under psychiatric care, please bring your medical file or have one forwarded to the doctor before your medical examination.
  • If you take prescription medication, please have the prescription from your doctor with you on the day of the medical appointment.
  • Applicants do not need to bring photos to the medical exam; they will be provided by the medical clinic.
  • Any required DNA testing must be covered by the applicant.
  •  The vaccination fee is separate from the cost of your required medical examinations.
  • Because of space limitations, family members will not be permitted to accompany applicants into the clinic or the medical building; the only exception to this policy is the parents of adoptees. Please present your appointment letter to the receptionist at the entrance. You must have your complete set of documents with you.

Documents required for your petition

In order to obtain the most accurate information regarding the required documents to be filed along an I-130 petition form with DHS/USCIS, we recommend you to visit their website www.uscis.gov.

Why Adopt?

“The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. … [I]ntercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin.” -Hague Adoption Convention, Preamble

Every child benefits from a loving home in deeply profound ways. Intercountry adoption has made this permanently possible for hundreds of thousands of children worldwide. When children cannot remain with a relative, and new parents within their communities cannot be found, intercountry adoption opens another pathway to children to receive the care, security, and love that a permanent family can provide.

Some additional resources:

Child Welfare Information Gateway – A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Medline Plus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

A Healthy Beginning: Important Information for Parents of Internationally Adopted Children (PDF, 578K)– a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“My Administration remains committed to helping every child find a loving home.” – President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation of National Adoption Month 2012.

Who Can Adopt?

To adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States, you must first be found eligible to adopt under U.S. law. The federal agency that makes this determination is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security. You may not bring an adopted child (or a child for which you have gained legal custody for the purpose of immigration and adoption) into the United States until USCIS determines that you are eligible to adopt from another country.
National Requirements

You must meet certain requirements to bring a foreign-born child whom you’ve adopted to the United States. Some of the basic requirements include the following:

You must be a U.S. Citizen.
If you are unmarried, you must be at least 25 years old.
If you are married, you must jointly adopt the child (even if you are separated but not divorced), and your spouse must also be either a U.S. citizen or in legal status in the United States.
You must meet certain requirements that will determine your suitability as a prospective adoptive parent, including criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and a home study.

State Requirements

In addition to qualifying to adopt under U.S. law, you must also meet your home state’s requirements for prospective adoptive parents. Learn more about individual state requirements on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
Foreign Country Requirements

Each country has its own requirements for adopting parents. These are explained in the Country Information section of this website.