The National Directorate for the Protection of Minor Children (Direccion Nacional de Proteccion de Menores) oversees adoptions in Ecuador. Adoption decrees are issued by the courts in Ecuador. The Tribunal de Menores (Juvenile Court) must grant permission for the child to depart the country. This permission is only valid for one year.
In order to be eligible for adoption in Ecuador, a child must be considered either abandoned or orphaned. U.S. citizens residing outside of Ecuador who wish to adopt an Ecuadoran child should file an application with the representatives of a private adoption agency which is authorized to arrange placement of Ecuadoran children. The prospective adoptive parent(s) must come to Ecuador and appear in court in order to begin the adoption process.
Children Available: Healthy infants, older children, and sibling groups are available for adoption from Ecuador. Both girls and boys are available for adoption. Special needs children are also available for adoption from Ecuador.
Parent Requirements: Parents must be at least 25 years old. The younger parent should be at least 14 years older than the child. Single women may adopt girls. Single men may adopt boys. However, if the single parent is 30 or more years older than the child, the gender restriction is usually waived.
Travel Requirements: Two trips are required. Both parents must travel for 3-4 weeks on the first trip. Only one parent is required to travel for one week on the second trip. (However, both parents are strongly encouraged to travel for both trips.)
Time Frame: From the time of initial application until you bring your child home averages six months to one year.
Number of Children Adopted by Americans in 2004: 28
Additional Information: Some children are in orphanages, while other children are in foster care.
Credits: The International Adoption Guidebook, © Mary M. Strickert
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