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Adoptions are very complicated and time consuming in El Salvador.  Please note that most adoptions in El Salvador take years to complete.  The U.S. Embassy is committed to providing assistance to U.S. Citizens by providing information about the adoption process in El Salvador.  However, the Embassy is constrained by law from providing legal counsel or acting as a legal advocate or representative on behalf of prospective adoptive parents. 

Both the United States and El Salvador are party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between El Salvador and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.  In order for an adoption application to meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention, a U.S. consular officer must review the case file and issue an "Article 5 Letter" to the Salvadoran Central Authority before an adoption or grant of legal custody takes place.

If you believe you do not meet the requirements for Hague adoption and plan to adopt a child through the “orphan” (I-600) or Immediate Relative (IR2) process you should notify the Consular Section immediately.  Please note that choosing to adopt your child locally and then seeking the Immediate Relative Visa through an I-130 petition process will require you to have legal custody of the child for two years before you can apply for the immigrant visa.  Legal custody is only granted at the time the adoption is complete in El Salvador.  This means that you should expect to reside in El Salvador for up to 4-5 years, and there may be no avenue for you to bring the child to the United States if circumstances change.
If you are interested in pursuing an adoption in El Salvador, you should contact the Salvadoran Central Authority for Adoptions to inquire about the local adoption process.   Please contact Lic. Fidelina del Rosario Anaya de Barillas,  Oficina para Adopciones (OPA) at:

Procuraduría General de la República
9ª. Calle Poniente y 13 Ave. Norte, Torre PGR,
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador, El Salvador
Teléfono  (503) 2231-9418 - 2231-9424, 2231-9412
Office for Adoptions (OPA- Oficina para Adopciones): 
E-mail address:
If you decide to begin the adoption process in El Salvador and the Salvadoran Central Authority confirms why a child is in fact eligible for adoption, you should visit the Department of Homeland’s Security’s USCIS website for information regarding the immigration process for adopted children.  Their website is

After meeting with OPA and discussing your adoption options, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy of the United States to make an appointment to discuss the situation at: