Latin America adoption, while not a large presence in international adoption tallies, is a highly preferred locale for nontraditional adopters' international adoptions. Most Latin American countries have no regulations based on age or marital status. Guatemala does not even require an adopter to fly out to the country to pick up the adoptee - they can be escorted to North America by a proxy. Because Latin American countries are closer to America than China or Russia, flights to visit the child's country of origin are more affordable.
The top three countries in Latin America for adoptions are: Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala. Before the U.S. stopped counting the children being adopted from Guatemala (due to a dispute about the country's adherence to the Hague Convention guidelines), it had the fastest population-placement ratio than any other country, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The chartbook Adoption USA reported that in 2007, 11 percent of all international adoptees came from Guatemala.
Reasons for adoption in Latin American countries are primarily due to poverty levels and families' inability to support their children. Children placed for adoption are either kept in foster homes or orphanages and are likely to have experienced malnutrition and may have resulting health effects.
Adopters that want more information and advice on adopting from countries in Latin America can contact the Latin American Parents Association (www.lapa.com).