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Disclaimer: The following is intended as a very general guide to assist U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a child in El Salvador and apply for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. Two sets of laws are particularly relevant: 1) the laws of El Salvador govern all activity in El Salvador including the adoptability of individual children as well as the adoption of children in country. 2) U.S. Federal immigration law governs the immigration of the child to the United States. The information in this flier relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual state of the laws of El Salvador and is provided for general information only. Moreover, U.S. immigration law, including regulations and interpretation, changes from time to time. This flyer reflects our current understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

PLEASE NOTE:The local adoption process typically takes between 18 to 36 months to complete. The Supreme Court of El Salvador advises that the granting of guardianships to prospective foreign adoptive parents for the purpose of allowing children to leave El Salvador for eventual adoption abroad is prohibited.

PATTERNS OF IMMIGRATION OF ADOPTED ORPHANS TO THE U.S.: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued

FY 2004

16

FY 2003

6

FY 2002

13

FY 2001

4

FY 2000

9

ADOPTION AUTHORITY IN El Salvador: There are several Salvadoran governmental bodies involved in the adoption process. These include the Family Courts and the Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR). The Procuraduria is responsible for family welfare law in El Salvador. The Instituto Salvadoreño Para el Desarrollo Integral de la Niñez Adolescencia (ISNA) is responsible for the care of orphans and other children in government custody. Representatives from ISNA and the PGR oversee international adoptions in El Salvador’s adoption central authority called the Oficina Para Adopciones (OPA). Information regarding Salvadoran laws and procedures for the purposes of adoption may be obtained by contacting:


Oficina Para Adopciones
Jefe de Sección de Adopciones
Procuraduría General de la República
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador, El Salvador
Phone (503) 222-4444 or (503) 222-4133

Credits: U.S. Department of State

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