Everything You Need to Know to Adopt from Costa Rica

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    Adoption laws in the UK are complex and rigid and, for many couples and individuals, this time consuming process ends in disappointment – particularly in the case of adopting a child as a single parent. There are many reasons for adoption bids being declined in the UK, and these include previous criminal behaviour, health issues, financial issues, and even obesity.

    For this reason, an increasing number of people choose to adopt a child from overseas. Costa Rica, in Central America, is fast becoming one of the more popular destinations for adoption.

    In this article, we’ll explore some of the main things you need to know to adopt from Costa Rica. Take a look…

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    How to Adopt from Costa Rica
    Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

    Why Adopt from Costa Rica?

    There are a few reasons to adopt a child from Costa Rica, and the two main ones are:


    Due to extreme poverty in parts of Costa Rica, many babies and young children are unfortunately sent to orphanages as their parents have passed away or simply cannot afford to keep them. While this is heartbreaking, it does mean that, for hopeful parents from the UK, there are considerable numbers of children in Costa Rica who are waiting for new homes.


    As well as being simpler and more streamlined, the process of adopting a child from Costa Rica is a lot less expensive than in the UK and other countries.

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    How to Adopt from Costa Rica

    Who can adopt a child from Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica allows adoption of children by single persons or by couples. If the adoptive couple is married, the marriage must have taken place at least five years previous to the adoption. All adoptive parents must be between 25 and 60 years of age to be eligible.

    Which children can be adopted?

    Under Costa Rican law, it is not possible to adopt a child who is younger than four years of age. Therefore, prospective parents will need to be prepared to accept a child of four years or above.

    Additionally, it is only possible to adopt a child whose circumstances meet Costa Rica’s Abandonment / Relinquishment requirements. This means that, although the child does not necessarily have to be orphaned, he or she must have been irrevocably surrendered to a government facility, private orphanage, a foster home, or the care of a friend or family member.

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    How long does it take to adopt a child from Costa Rica?

    You can expect the entire process to take up to eight months, and you’ll need to be prepared to spend a significant amount of time in Costa Rica during the process. As a rule of thumb, you should allow for two thirty day trips to Costa Rica in order to meet all of the requirements and complete the necessary paperwork.

    What Documents Do I Need to Adopt a Child from Costa Rica?

    It won’t come as a surprise that something as complex as adopting a child will require a large amount of documentation and verification. Before beginning the process, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are able to lay your hands on the following:

    • Certified and authorised birth certificates for all prospective adopted parents
    • Certified and authenticated marriage certificate, if applicable
    • Decree nisi if applicable
    • Certificate of good health
    • Verification of employment and salary, including bank statements
    • Results of a home study by an authorised professional
    • Family letter of intent to adopt

    What is the Process of Adopting a Child from Costa Rica?

    There are many stages which need to be completed during this process, and these are as follows:

    Checking in and getting checked out

    Your first port of call should be to find an adoption agency in the UK who can help to make the process go smoothly. Your adoption agency will take you through a series of eligibility checks to make sure that you are eligible to adopt a child and, if these are all approved, the agency will begin the process of finding a match.

    Apply within

    Next, your agency will help you to complete an application to adopt in Costa Rica. Your application will be reviewed, and you will be notified of the decision within a couple of months.

    It’s a match

    Once the central adoption authority in Costa Rica has approved your application, it will begin the process of matching you with a suitable child. You will then be given the opportunity to view details and photographs of the child in order to decide if you are happy to go ahead, and that you feel able to meet the particular needs of that child.

    Final checks and reviews

    If you decide to go ahead, the USCIS will begin the process of checking that the child is eligible for adoption. If so, your agency will then begin work on securing a visa for the child.

    The home stretch
    Photo: Gabe Pierce/ Unsplash

    The home stretch

    Once all of the above steps have been completed, PANI will be tasked with giving the child permission to leave the country. At this point, your agency is able to finalise the adoption in order for you to take your child home.

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    Want to Adopt from Costa Rica?

    Adopting a child, whether from the UK or overseas, involves a lot of time, paperwork and determination, and is often fraught with disappointments. When considering going down this route, you may find that a lot of soul searching is required, as well as a lot of research to ensure that you know exactly what the process entails and how it will affect your current lifestyle.

    A good adoption agency will help to prepare you for the ups and downs of the process, as well as walking you through the legal aspects of the adoption. Hiring a solicitor to assist is also a great way to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

    Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained adoption professional. Be sure to consult an adoption professional or solicitor if you’re seeking advice about adopting a child. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.


    Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay



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