HondurasLast Updated: January 2010
Hague Adoption Convention Country?NO
Alerts & Notices
- Hague Convention Information
Honduras is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Honduras did not change.
The adoption process in Honduras is currently in flux. Policies regarding eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents, residency requirements, and time frame are under review by the Honduran Family Court (IHNFA). Any change on the family code regarding all the above must be done by the Congress, not the family court, they can only give their opinion. This has been under review for more than 8 years, they have been studying many law projects, and however, it remains the same.
- Who Can Adopt
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Honduras, you must be found eligible to adopt by both the U.S. and Honduran governments. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.
The Honduran Institute for Family and Children (IHNFA) is the Honduran government agency responsible for handling adoptions in Honduras.
- Who Can Be Adopted
Honduras has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Honduras unless he or she meets the requirements.
Only children under 14 years of age can be adopted and need to be adopted through IHNFA. Children older than 14 only have to go through the family courts.
In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her home back to the United States. Learn more about U.S. immigration requirements.
- How To Adopt
Honduras' Adoption Authority
Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia (IHNFA) and Honduran Family Court
The process for adopting a child from Honduras generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child in Honduras
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Bring Your Child Home
Choose an Adoption Service Provider:
The first step in adopting a child from Honduras is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.
Additionally, all agencies operating in Honduras must be accredited by the government. IHNFA maintains a list of these agencies and information on registration and accreditation to operate. The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa maintains a listing of attorneys in Honduras who may be able to help you on the embassy's website.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
To bring an adopted child from Honduras to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.
In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Honduras set out by IHNFA.
Be Matched with a Child:
If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, IHNFA in Honduras will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child. Learn more about making this critical decision.
The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Honduras' requirements, as described in the "Who" tab. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more about U.S. immigration requirements.
Adopt the Child or gain legal custody in Honduras:
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Honduras generally includes the following:
- ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Honduran Family Court acts as the adoption authority for children 14 years of age and older. The Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia (IHNFA) is the adoption authority representing children under 14 years of age. The Honduran Family Court and the IHNFA review the petitions submitted for adoptions.
- ROLE OF THE COURT: The Honduran Family Court is responsible for processing intercountry adoptions for children 14 years of age or older.
- ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: The adoption agency forwards the required petition and documentation to the appropriate adoption authority.
- ADOPTION APPLICATION: If the child is 14 years of age and older, the adoption agency sends the adoption application (petition) to the Honduran Family Court. If the child is younger than 14 years of age, the adoption agency sends the adoption application (petition) to the IHNFA.
- TIME FRAME: The timeframe for intercountry adoptions of Honduran children is currently under review by the Honduran Family Court. This is not accurate
- ADOPTION FEES: The adoption fees are between $3,000 and $10,000 USD for attorney fees. Please be aware the Honduran attorney's required fee is Lps. 25,000.00.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The documents necessary to adopt a Honduran child are currently under review by the Honduran Family Court (IHNFA). Please contact the IHNFA for more specific information.
Our current family code has been under review for 8 years, but right know the requirements have not change.
NOTE: If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how to get documents authenticated for use abroad.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:
After you finalize the adoption, USCIS must determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn more to file a Form I-600.
- Bring Your Child Home Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child)following both requirements: Honduran law & US law, there are a few more steps to take in applying for a visa. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport for the child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Honduras.
- U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the U.S. Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, contact the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa appointment for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician's medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more about obtaining a visa from the embassy. Please note that visas may not be granted immediately following the interview, if documents are pending or missing.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.
For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.
- Traveling Abroad
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Honduras. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.
Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.
Obtaining Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
To find information about obtaining a visa for Honduras, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.
The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Honduras, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Registration is free and can be done online.
- After Adoption
What does Honduras require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
Currently, there are no specified post-adoption requirements. This may change as the intercountry adoption process is being reviewed by the Honduran Family Court. The family code already establishes that the adoptive parents must send the adoptive child follow ups, until the age of 14.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
- Contact Information
Honduras' Adoption Authority
Instituto Hondureño de la Niñez y la Familia (IHNFA)
Honduras, Centro America
Tegucigalpa, Col. Humuya, Calle la salud,
Apartado Postal 3234
Direct line (504) 235-3565
Fax: (504) 23.53.598
Embassy of Honduras
3007 Tilden Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 966-7702
NOTE: Honduras also has consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan, and Tampa.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
Or, contact USCIS in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at:
Tel: 011-504-236-9320 ext. 4500