El Salvador Frequently Asked Questions

What are El Salvador’s adoption requirements?
Please see the Requirements page for adoption requirements set by El Salvador.
Do both parents have to be a U.S. citizen?
No, only one parent must be a U.S. citizen.
Can U.S. citizens who live abroad adopt through America World?
Yes. We will work with families living abroad on a case by case basis.
Are single women allowed to adopt from El Salvador?
Yes, single women are allowed to adopt from El Salvador.
What is the age range of children that are available?
Older Child Adoption Program: Boys ages 10-14 and Girls ages 12-14, healthy or with medical needs. We are only accepting new applications from families interested in learning more about a referral of a waiting child of a boy over the age of 10 or girl over the age of 12 years old, healthy or with medical needs. Sibling groups are available on a case by case basis.
Why aren't you accepting applications for families wishing to adopt children under the age of 10?
Currently the children who are known to be available for international adoption are over the age of 10. There are many children in foster care or in orphanages, and every effort is made by the El Salvadorian orphanages and governments to help these children to be reunited with their biological family or relatives or to let them be in foster care or adopted domestically. Some orphaned children are adopted by their relatives living overseas.

Due to all these factors, the only referrals available are for international adoption are older children, typically above the age of 10 years of age. In some cases there may be children younger than age 10 who can be adopted but since there are no known referrals of these ages at this time, we are only accepting new application for families open to children whose paperwork has been approved and who are currently waiting to be adopted.
What is the process timeframe?
The adoption process timelines are subject to vary per family and can change as the family moves through each stage of their adoption process. The total timeframe it will take each family to complete their adoption will depend on the following: Family Document Collecting timeframe (average time “paper-chasing” takes 4-7 months), and approvals by the central adoption authorities in El Salvador and USCIS. Families should expect a long and unpredictable adoption timeframe.
Can I complete a concurrent adoption or pregnancy while adopting from El Salvador?
Families cannot participate in a concurrent family building plan while pursuing adoption of a waiting child in El Salvador.
Can a family adopt two children at the same time?
In some cases, older sibling sets are available for adoption.
Do I need a visa to enter El Salvador?
Yes, the visa is obtained from the airport upon arrival in San Salvador.
Do I have to book my own flights/can I book my own flights?
America World books international flights for families as a special service offered in the travel stage of the adoption process. We have a very knowledgeable and experienced travel department who is able to assist your family with all details of your adoption trip and is aware of some of the best flight options that are available.

In booking flights for families, families give us their first and second preference for airport departure locations and we will check both locations and compare prices, routing, times, etc. We will then place the proposed flight itinerary on hold and contact your family prior to booking. Families also have the option to book their own flights using our set guidelines to assist in the research. Families who would like to purchase tickets with frequent flyer miles will need to plan their own international flights.
Does America World arrange all of my travel while in country?
Yes, we arrange one travel package for all of a family’s expenses while they are in El Salvador. The only items not included in this package are meals. Your package includes all in-country transportation (ground and air), hotel or apartment accommodations, expert guide services, tips for guides and travel coordination and processing. Families can choose their accommodations.
Does America World have staff in El Salvador? Will I travel alone?
Our staff in El Salvador will be there to pick each family up at the airport upon their arrival and be there to see you depart to the U.S. Our in-country staff and guides will be with families to assist with all of the adoption paperwork in country and can host sightseeing trips. Families will have the option of participating in cooking and culture classes. Families typically do not travel with a group due to the nature of the referral and approval process, which occurs at various times.
What post adoption requirements will there be once I bring my child home?
Post adoption reports are due at 1, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. The one month report is a self report written by the family and the other reports are written by the social worker who visits the home.
Will my child be a US Citizen upon returning to the U.S.?
Yes. Your child will become a US Citizen upon entry into the U.S. They will receive a Certificate of Citizenship in the mail within 45 days of that time.
What is re-adoption?
Re-adoption is a means of documenting the parent-child relationship under U.S. law. Re-adoption is based on state law, not federal, so the process varies widely among each state. Depending on the state, it can range from filling out a form and paying a fee to more detailed court processes that may require an adoption attorney.
Why should I re-adopt?
In some states, it is the first step in obtaining a US birth certificate. Re-adoption also ensures that the validity of the adoption cannot be challenged in the event of a change in the political situation with the child’s country of origin. It also protects the child’s rights in many other ways. Re-adoption will simplify certain processes for the child as they get older, because they will have a U.S. birth certificate. Having a U.S. birth certificate, in addition to other important government documents, will simplify some of the following processes: registering for school, applying for a driver’s license, applying for college scholarships, employment, or voting.