If you are adopting from Chile then you can find the first steps to an inter-country adoption listed here under US adoptions. Much like other countries such as adoption in Bulgaria in Chile the country first has to try local adoptions before the child or children become available for a foreign adoption. All legal adoptions in Chile are done by the SENAME (Servicio Nacional de Menores). They manage all the adoptions in the country for Chile.
Now as stated before local Chilean families get priority when it comes to adoption. The current wait time is three years but this is only an indicator as it can be longer. Much like other adoptions you will first need to ensure that you are eligible for adoption in the United States. This starts the ball rolling in terms of the adoption process. The following are the basics for the adoption from Chile. Note that since Chile is a Hague Convention country that the Form I-800A which was completed has a the period of approval is 15 months from the date that USCIS was notified of your fingerprint record check results.
Adoption from Chile – Criteria
- You have to be a married couple between the ages of 25 and 60;
- Couples must also have been married for two years (unless they are infertile);
- Note that applicants in a same-sex relationship are ineligible;
- Also note that both members of the couple must be at least 20 years older than the child;
- Also note that least one member of the couple must be a US citizen;
- All the adoptive couples must be in good health, both physically and mentally.
- This is important as there must be at least a very basic level of Spanish language proficiency. They expect this as most of the children in need of adoption are over five years old;
- Also note that couples are expected to be able to communicate with adoptive children in Spanish at their first meeting.
Note also that most of the inter-country adoptions in Chile tends to be sibling groups. The average age in Chile tends to be 6 months to 7 years old on average however it can range from 5 years to 10 years of age. Many of these children have experienced social and emotional deprivation during the course of their lives so speaking some level of Spanish will be very helpful post-adoption. There are not administrative or processing fees with SENAME however you will encounter other fees such as translation fees, travel and accommodation costs, immigration fees as well as other incidentals.
Both adoptive parents will have to go to Chile to complete the adoption process. You can expect to stay in Chile for 40-60 days to complete the adoption as well as organise the appropriate visa for the child. This would normally be an IH-4 visa for the child or children. This process can take time so this is a basic estimate. Many countries do have a post adoption reporting process and for Chile this is SENAME which requests a report every semester during the first two years after the placement, and one report per year during the third and fourth years.
U.S. Embassy in Chile
Consular Section – Immigrant Visas
Avenida Andrés Bello 2800
Tel: (56)(2) 335-6550
Fax: (56)(2) 330-3005
Chile’s Adoption Authority
Servicio Nacional de Menores de Chile (SENAME)
Unidad de Adopción
Telephone: (56)(2) 398-4447