In a nutshell:
Certain children have adoptable status and others do not because they will return to family members, or for other reasons. As for the adoptable children, three groups of people may adopt if approved to do so by the court and social welfare system in Bolivia:
- Bolivian citizens living in Bolivia
- Foreigner citizens living in Bolivia for at least two years (according to date on first visa)
- Foreign citizens of a handful European countries approved to do adoptions within Bolivia, such as Spain, Italy, France, and Denmark.
(*Taken from the new CDA child sponsorship info)
As you can now deduct, US citizens currently residing within the United States are unfortunately NOT eligible for Bolivian adoption.
Theoretically, with the Hague Intercountry Child Adoption Act now up and running in the US, Bolivia-US adoptions are possible. However (and isn't there always a "however" in Bolivia), Bolivia has not granted any licenses to US agencies yet. In fact, they would rather cut down on the number of international agencies they already work with to 20.....although 22 US agencies have their papers in order to open offices in Bolivia. I imagine Canada might be in the same boat.
As for other countries, if no credited adoption agency in your country has a Bolivia program, then I cannot help you either.
Rather than bemoaning the fact that our fellow countrymen cannot adopt, we are very, very grateful that our kids have at least some options, and for the extremely dedicated couples who wait an extremely long time to adopt a Bolivian child.
For example, the couple that is just about to meet their new child at the Baby Home on Wednesday have been waiting for 4 years (5 years is the max allowed), and that's AFTER their papers got to Cochabamba. Sometimes the process before can take 2 or 3 years, depending on the country.
The familes also live in Bolivia 6-8 weeks to complete the adoption, so it's quite the process for all involved. It's hard to fathom the amount of paperwork that goes on at every level and we learn more of it with each adoption: us as a children's home, the couple, their agency in both the home country and Bolivia, the Bolivian court system, the child welfare system, Child Defense's part, the adoption viceministry in La Paz, etc., etc. We all have massive amounts of work to do to carry out an adoption, from start to finish.
So, that's the scoop! Even though adoptions of Bolivian children are not possible in many countries, if you are reading this and have a desire to give a child in need a home, please please do look into the many other options that may be open to you! Thousands of children throughout the world need loving homes with dedicated parents to overcome many challenges to living a healthy, wholesome, productive life.
"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:5
"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me, declares the Lord." Jeremiah 22:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us...let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth." I John 3:16-18