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International Adoption of a 9 year old girl

Hello, my name is Megan and I am from the United States. I am in the process of pursuing an adoption of a precious nine year old girl in Honduras who I met multiple times while on mission trips and who calls me her mother after spending a few weeks together and exchanging frequent letters through a local ministry in her area that helps her.  Honduras adoption policy makes it pretty much impossible for me to actually adopt her from Honduras to the United States.  My only real options are to move there and adopt her domestically, move there and just unofficially help her current guardians to care for her, or bring her to the states on a student visa but not legally be her mother.  I am praying about which option is best for us, and am looking into everything to make sure that all 3 options are even possible and legal.  I am looking for anyone who has done something similar and may know what my options are and where to start.  My little girl is an orphan; both parents are deceased.  She lives with an aunt who doesn’t really care about her (no abuse or physical neglect that I know of; just indifference towards her and no love or emotional connection).  I will be visiting in January and want to talk with the family about everything, but need to know what to even discuss with them.  Legally, is it as easy as her aunt saying, “I am letting her stay with friends in the US to get a better education.” and then me getting her a visa/passport?  She is in the process of learning English, but will probably need another year of English classes before she could actually easily come here and attend school and such.

Also, does anyone have any insight on older children being adopted when they have distant relatives still living who they can live with?  How difficult is it for the child to leave those relatives?  Obviously moving overseas to a brand new place and having a new family is always a transition for a child.  But I want to make sure that while the transition may be a challenge, that it will be best for her in the long run, even though she still has distant biological family.  Even though they don’t really care about her, I’m sure she still has some comfort just in familiarity after living with them and their own children for 2 years. 

Disclaimer: I will be talking to actual agencies and officials about this and doing everything properly.  I just want to also get input from others who may have done something similar.  Thanks!


Since the little girl is the legal ward of her aunt, perhaps if the aunt goes to court with you in Honduras and voluntarily gives up her ‘parental’ rights and allows you to adopt the child, that might be a way forward.  You would need to contact a lawyer in Honduras to ask if this is possible.  You and the aunt can explain to the child that she would still know her birth family and retain contact, but that it would be best for her life if she came to you for the rest of her growing-up years, etc. I wish you all the best with this journey!

Posted by VintageMom on Nov 22, 2015 at 9:32pm

Having her call you mother so quickly is not necessarily a sign of attachment but may be a sign of insecure attachment. It is very difficult for a child to move away from all she knows. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it but have realistic expectations.

Many cultures view adoption as an opportunity for a child to become educated. They expect the child will return, help support etc. Be sure you and the family are on the same page.

Two excellent movies would be Mercy Mercy (you need to google mercy mercy adoption movie or you get hits for the song

and First person plural.
Both about international adoption I think you would learn a lot from them.
Best of luck to you and the little girl

Posted by Regina on Mar 05, 2016 at 12:21am

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