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U.S. Department of State
1995:  International Adoption -- Paraguay
Bureau of Consular Affairs



     
     
                  Paraguay Adoptions Microlog Text
                           (202) 736-7000

     
     The Government of Paraguay has suspended registration of new
     foreign adoptions, effective September 18, 1995.  Paraguayan
     judges and legislators have assured the U.S. Embassy in
     Asuncion that, all pipeline cases, those cases formally
     assigned a case number in a specific juvenile court before
     September 18, will be processed to conclusion.
     
     The Government of Paraguay has imposed this suspension in
     response to persistent allegations of adoption fraud.  The
     suspension, foreseen in principle for one year, will give the
     Government of Paraguay time to A) review current cases, B)
     write a new adoption law, and C) create a new governmental
     entity to regulate adoptions.
     
     The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Paraguay has warned,
     however, that some of the many new adoption cases which were
     registered during the last months preceding the September 18
     suspension might be fraudulent and all new cases will be
     examined closely.
     
     The Embassy will continue to do everything possible to assist
     adoptive parents in understanding how these changes will effect
     adoption processing in Paraguay.  U.S. citizens whose cases are
     already being processed should contact their adoption agencies
     and Paraguayan attorneys for confirmation of when their cases
     were registered.  U.S. citizens should consider with caution
     any offer of newly available orphans in Paraguay.  
     



                     INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION - PARAGUAY
     
                                                                     
     DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR RELATING TO THE
     LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS PROVIDED
     FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY.  QUESTIONS INVOLVING
     INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO
     FOREIGN COUNSEL.                                                
     
     TRAVEL NOTICE:  On May 20, 1994, the Department of State issued
     a Travel Notice regarding adoption in Paraguay.  This was the
     latest update on a series of travel notices beginning
     September 25, 1989.  The May 20, 1994 notice, which remains in
     effect as of the date of this information flyer provides:
     
         "Due to serious problems encountered in the adoption
         process in Paraguay, including chronic unpredictability in
         the issuance of final decrees and uncertainty over case
         processing and prospects for proposed adoption
         regulations, the U.S. Embassy strongly urges prospective
         adopting parents to postpone any commitment to a
         Paraguayan prospect until such time as the situation at
         minor court is clarified.  Some adoptions have been put on
         hold pending court investigations of local lawyers,
         notaries and government officials responsible for
         documentation of birth and abandonment.  American citizens
         who have secured court dates with the judge handling their
         international adoptions petition, should be aware that
         prospective parents' stay in Asuncion is often a prolonged
         one.  The consular officer is not authorized to act as
         agents on behalf of U.S. citizens seeking to adopt
         Paraguayan children.
     
     PROVISO:  On April 22, 1992, the Paraguayan Supreme Court
     promulgated new regulations regarding international adoptions. 
     These changes reflect the judiciary's efforts to bring
     Paraguayan adoption practice in line with the United Nations
     Declaration on the Rights of Children.  The general thrust of
     these regulations is an effort to locate adoptive parents in
     Paraguay rather than to send abandoned children abroad for
     adoption.  Many procedural innovations introduced by the
     Principal Minors Court judge as a check against induced
     abandonment, now expanded by the Supreme Court, also protect
     the adopting parent by flagging improprieties sooner rather
     than later.
     
     Internal Paraguayan politics recently have sparked a national
     debate on international adoptions, which resulted in a
     temporary suspension of the signing of adoption decrees by the
     Minors Court Judge in August 1993.  The judge has resumed
     signing decrees, but is doing so sporadically and generally is
     exercising great caution in approving adoption cases.  The U.S.
     Embassy is doing everything in its power to attempt to speed up
     the process, but the Department of State advises prospective
     adopting parents who have not yet initiated the adoption
     process to postpone any commitment to a Paraguayan prospective
     child until the situation at juvenile court is clarified.  The
     time frame for final decree signatures is still uncertain.  Due
     to judicial privilege, the U.S. Embassy must limit its
     intervention in the judicial process to status inquiries, but
     continues to do everything it can to help Americans already
     caught in the process.
     
     GENERAL:  
     
     U.S. citizens interested in adopting a Paraguayan child must
     comply with the laws of Paraguay, with U.S. Immigration laws
     and any state pre-adoption requirements (including home study
     and fingerprint check).  The American Embassy and the
     Department of State stand ready to assist adoptive parents,
     within the limits of our authority.  Reports to the American
     Embassy or the Department of State about successes or problems
     with foreign adoptions are very useful and any assistance
     adoptive parents can provide in this regard is much appreciated.
     
     AVAILABILITY OF CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION:  Recent U.S. immigrant
     visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance
     to orphans: 
     
                  IR-3 Immigrant Visas     IR-4 Immigrant Visas
     Fiscal       Issued to Paraguayan     Issued to Paraguayan
     Year       Orphans Adopted Abroad   Orphans Adopted in U.S.
     
     FY-1990              281                       30
     FY-1991              189                        2
     FY-1992              302                        5
     FY-1993              379                        3
     FY-1994              479                        4
     
     PARAGUAYAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
     
     Adoptions in Paraguay are the responsibility of the Protection
     of Minors Directorate (DGPM) and the Paraguayan courts.
     
     PARAGUAYAN ADOPTION PROCEDURES:
     
     There are two types of adoptions in Paraguay, full and simple
     adoptions.  The majority of the U.S. cases are simple
     adoptions.  Simple adoptions transfer parental authority to the 
     adopting parents.  Simple adoptions do not sever the child from
     his biological patrimonial rights.  Simple adoptions are easier
     and processing is limited  to the lawyer who prepares the
     groundwork for a natural parent to release the baby at court. 
     Full adoptions only proceed when the baby is an orphan (of both
     parents), abandoned or of unknown parents or the parental
     rights were cancelled.  
     
     For four years following a domestic adoption, a follow-up home
     study report must be received by the judge or social workers
     designated by the judge three times a year.  Foreign adoptive
     parents who come to Paraguay to adopt will be sworn by
     Paraguayan adoption judges to comply with this requirement
     three times a year for four years, either through their
     adoption agency, the Paraguay attorney or via whatever state
     agency in the state of the parent(s) residence would be charged
     with adoption issues.  The Paraguayan lawyer who handles the
     adoption case will be required to deposit a bond of three
     hundred Paraguayan minimum wage with the judge to guarantee
     that these follow-up home studies are actually performed.
     
     AGE AND CIVIL STATUS REQUIREMENTS:
     
     If you are a single parent, you must be more than thirty-five
     years of age.  Single parents adopting a baby of her/his sex
     must be at least thirty years older than the adoptive child. 
     If the parents are married, the age does not matter if they
     have been married for at least five years and have no
     children.  Nobody older than sixty years can adopt.
     
     TIME FRAME:
     
     Adoption in Paraguay can take 8 weeks from beginning to end. 
     However, delays of an additional 12 weeks or more are not
     unusual.  Recently, delays of 6 - 8 months appear to be the
     norm.
     
     PARAGUAYAN FEES:
     
     The average cost for adopting a child in Paraguay is $15,000. 
     This includes the sums the adopting parents are asked to pay to
     facilitate various states of the adoption process.  It is
     useful if American adoptive parents keep the Embassy and the
     Department of State informed about exorbitant fees for
     adoptions.
     
     ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ATTORNEYS:
     
     Lists of English speaking attorneys are available from the
     American Embassy or the Department of State.  Although a number
     of U.S. based adoption agencies are involved in Paraguayan
     adoptions, the Government of Paraguay has not specifically
     authorized any U.S. based adoption agencies to place Paraguayan
     children for adoption by U.S. citizens.
     


     PARAGUAYAN DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS:
     
     What Documents Does Paraguay Require:
     
        certified copy of marriage certificate (if married)
     
        certified copy of home study
     
        power of attorney, if dealing with a lawyer; application if
     dealing with an agency, with the name of the child to be adopted
     
        2-3 letters of recommendation
     
        Police clearance from the town where prospective adoptive
     parents reside
     
        passport-size photos of adopting parent(s)
     
        Clearance from medical doctor
     
        proof of economic condition (income, employment, savings,
     mortgage)
     
     Translation Requirements:
     
     All English language documents must be accompanied by a
     certified Spanish translation.
     
     Authentication Requirements:
     
     In addition, all foreign (U.S.) documents, including
     translation certificate, must be authenticated.  
     
        Generally, U.S. civil records, such as birth, death, and
     marriage certificates must bear the seal of the issuing office,
     then be authenticated by the state Secretary of State in the
     United States, then by U.S. Department of State Authentication
     Office, then by the Paraguayan Embassy or Consulate.  
     
        Tax returns, medical reports and police clearances should
     likewise be authenticated, beginning with the seal of a notary
     public in the United States or some appropriate issuing
     office.  The notary's seal should be authenticated by the clerk
     of court of the county where the notary is licensed or some
     similar authority.  The document should then be authenticated
     by the state Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State
     Authentication Office, and the Paraguayan Embassy or
     Consulate.  
     
        The U.S. Department of State Authentication Office is
     located at 2400 M Street, N.W., Room 101, Washington, D.C. 
     20520, tel:  (202) 647-5002.  Walk-in service is available 8
     a.m. to 12 noon Monday-Friday, except holidays.  The Department
     charges $4.00 per document for this service, payable in the
     form of a check drawn on a U.S. bank or money order made
     payable to the Department of State.  
     
        It is advisable to bring several copies of the completely
     authenticated documentation with you to Paraguay.
     
     PARAGUAYAN EMBASSY AND CONSULATES IN U.S.:
     
     Embassy of Paraguay
     Consular Section
     2400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
     Washington, D.C.  20008
     tel:  (202) 483-6960
     
     Consulate of Paraguay
     7205 N.W. 19th St.
     Miami, FL  33126
     
     Consulate General of Paraguay
     Consular Section
     611 Gravier St., Suite 903
     New Orleans, Louisiana  70103
     
     Consulate General of Paraguay
     Consular Section
     1 World Trade Center, Suite 1609
     New York, NY  10048
     
     In addition, Paraguay has honorary consuls in Anchorage,
     Alaska; Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California;
     Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
     
     U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS:
     
     Orphans adopted abroad who have been in the custody of the
     adoptive parents less than two years require orphan petitions
     for U.S. immigrant visa processing to enter the United States.
     
     Get Started Early With U.S. Immigration Procedure:
     
     Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that, whether they
     identify a child prior to leaving the U.S. or locate the child
     on a trip to Paraguay, certain very time consuming processes
     will have to be completed before the required U.S. Immigration
     petition(s) (either the preliminary I-600A or the final I-600 
     petitions) can be approved.  These include, but are not limited 
     to satisfactory completion and submission to INS of a home
     study of the adopting parent(s), compliance with any state
     pre-adoption conditions and a fingerprint check by INS of those
     parent(s), certified copy of prospective adoptive parents'
     birth certificate in U.S. or other evidence of U.S.
     citizenship; certified copy of marriage certificate (if
     applicable); certified copy of death certificate or divorce
     decree reflecting termination of previous marriage (if
     applicable).  It is therefore suggested that prospective
     adopting parents get in touch with the INS office having
     jurisdiction over their place or residence in the U.S. at the
     earliest opportunity.
     
     Unconditional Abandonment and Meeting the Definition of Orphan:
     
     U.S. law provides for the immigration of children adopted
     overseas by Americans under section 101(B)(1)(F) of the
     Immigration and Nationality Act.  The law states that an
     eligible child must be under the age of sixteen at the time the
     immigrant visa petition is filed.  The child must have no
     living parents or only one living parent who is incapable of
     providing for the child according to local living standards and 
     has irrevocably released the child for emigration and
     adoption.  A child with two living parents can meet the 
     definition of an orphan only through the disappearance of,
     abandonment or desertion by or separation or loss from both
     parents.  Abandonment of a child must be unconditional. 
     Agreeing to give a child up for adoption by a specific person 
     does not constitute unconditional abandonment, since the
     parents are giving up custody with the understanding that the
     child will be cared for and will be adopted by a particular
     individual.  The Board of Immigration Appeals of the U.S.
     Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has ruled that a
     child with one surviving parent who has not been abandoned may
     qualify for orphan status only if the sole surviving parent is
     destitute by local standards or is otherwise physically or
     mentally unable to care for the child.  This means that the
     child may not be classified as an orphan unless the sole or
     surviving parent cannot provide the child the nourishment and
     shelter necessary for subsistence consistent with the local
     standards of the child's place of residence.  The parent must
     also irrevocably release the child for emigration and
     adoption.  INS usually requires consular officers to
     investigate the parent's inability to care for the child.  
     
     Consular Authority to Approve a Case:
     
     ;nder the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), consular
     officers can only approve clearly approval I-600 petitions.  If
     there are any questions regarding the eligibility for orphan
     status or whether petition conditions have been met, consular
     officers must refer these petitions to the nearest INS office.
    
     Taking the Child to the U.S.:
     
     The U.S. immigrant visa petition (I-600) may be filed for the
     child at the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion or any INS office.  If it
     is filed at the Embassy, the petitioner (or at least one of the
     members of a married adoptive couple) and the child must be
     physically present in the consular district.  The I-600 is
     filed by one person, but if the petitioner is married, the
     petitioner's spouse must also sign the petition.  Both parties
     must sign the I-600 after the child has been identified.  This
     means that if one party has already gone abroad to arrange the
     adoption, the I-600 must be sent by the spouse abroad to the
     spouse in the United States (generally by express courier).  If
     the petitioner is married and his or her spouse has not seen
     the child before or during the adoption proceedings, then the
     child must be readopted in the U.S.  To do this, the petitioner
     must show he or she has met state pre-adoption requirements. 
     INS makes this determination at the time the I-600A is filed or
     it must be established that pre-adoption requirements have been
     met at the time of filing the I-600 at the Embassy.
     
     If the INS has already approved an I-600A advanced processing
     application, the I-600 petition may be filed and adjudicated at
     the post to which the I-600A was sent.  If advanced approval
     has not yet been granted, the I-600 petition must be forwarded
     to the INS for adjudication.  If so, as noted above, a home
     study and fingerprinting of parent(s) and any state
     pre-adoption requirements will be necessary, perhaps requiring
     several months.  
     
     Scheduling Appointment With U.S. Consular Officer:
     
     It is advisable to contact the Consular Section of the U.S.
     Embassy in Asuncion at least one day in advance to check that
     the documents are in order and to set an appointment for the
     immigrant visa interview.  The Embassy cannot guarantee
     issuance of the visa in advance of the interview.  If you are
     outside the U.S. and the child has completed his medical
     examination, you will have a preliminary interview with the
     consular officer in order to complete form I-604 "Request for
     and Report on Overseas Orphan Investigation".  The child must
     be present at the Embassy for the immigrant visa application. 
     The medical examination must be performed by a physician from
     an approved list of physicians using a specified form.  Unless
     special circumstances, such as a physical handicap, indicate
     the child's care will be particularly costly, the adopting
     parents will not be required to provide further proof of their 
     financial situation, as this information will have already been
     provided at the time of petition (I-600A or I-600) approval.
     
     What Documents to Bring With You to U.S. Embassy:
     
     Note:  Since each case is different, it is possible that the
     Embassy will request additional documents after a preliminary
     review of the application of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
     
     For the immigrant visa application the child will need:
     
     1.  Certified copy of child's birth certificate issued by the
     civil registrar indicating the name of both parents if known.
     
     2.  If birth father, mother or both are deceased, certified
     copy of death certificate issued by civil registrar.
     
     3.  Relinquishment of parental rights executed before
     appropriate Paraguayan authority.
     
     4.  Adoption decree or guardianship order issued by a judge
     with the future purpose of a full adoption in the U.S.
     
     5.  Authorization from a Judge to permit the minor to leave
     Paraguay.
     
     6.  Valid Paraguayan passport.
     
     7.  Two 1 3/4 inch color visa photographs.
     
     8.  Medical examination (according to Embassy instructions). 
     If the minor has a physical or mental disability, a notarized
     statement will be required from the prospective adoptive
     parent(s) in the United States indicating that they are fully
     aware of the physical or mental disability of the minor and in
     spite of that fact that they have the intention of finalizing
     the adoption.  This statement can be included in item 19 of
     form I-600 and also in the home study if more convenient.  In
     that case a separate notarized statement will not be required.
     
     9.  In cases where the minor has not been seen or observed in
     person by the prospective adoptive parent(s), a notarized
     statement by those parents will be required indicating that 
     although they have not seen or observed the minor in person,
     they are nevertheless willing to adopt or re-adopt the minor in
     the United States.  Both parties must sign the I-600 after the
     child has been identified.  This means that if one party has
     gone abroad to arrange the adoption, and the other remained in
     the U.S., the I-600 must be sent by one spouse to the other
     with the child's identity information completed and an original
     signature of the spouse reflecting their concurrence with the
     procedure.  This is generally done by express courier in the
     interests of time.
     
     10.  In the case of a minor taken to the United States by a
     third party, for example a legal representative or social
     assistant of an adoption agency or other entity, a notarized
     statement will be required authorizing that person to take the
     minor the United States with the purpose of placing him/her
     with the prospective adoptive parent(s).  This statement can
     also be included in the Judge's authorization for the child to
     leave Paraguay.  Note:  There are no provisions in INS
     regulations for approving petitions signed by agents with
     powers of attorney.  Consequently, even if an agent is
     physically accompanying the child to the U.S., the petition
     itself must be signed by the adoptive parent(s), after the
     child has been identified.
     
     U.S. FEES:
     
     INS Fees for I-600 and I-600A Petitions:  There is an INS fee
     of $155 for an I-600 or I-600A petition.  If you have a valid
     I-600A and file an I-600 within one year of the approval of the
     I-600A, no fee will be charged for the I-600 provided you are
     only petitioning for one child or for siblings.  If you are
     petitioning for more than one child and the children are not
     siblings, the I-600 fee will be charged.
     
     U.S. State Department authentication fee:  If you are having
     documents authenticated by the Department of State
     Authentication Office, there is a fee of $4.00 per document.
     
     Medical Examination Fee:
     
     The adopted child must have a medical examination performed by
     one of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate's panel physicians before
     the immigrant visa can be issued.  The cost of this medical
     examination is approximately U.S. $12.00 and must be borne by
     the adoptive parent(s).
     
     U.S. Immigrant Visa Fee:  The fee for the immigrant visa is
     $200.00 and may be paid either in U.S. dollars or local
     currency.  This $200 does not include medical examinations,
     costs of documents, the petition, etc.  The American Embassy
     does not accept personal checks or credit cards.
     
     ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
     
     Prospective adopting parents should consult INS publication No.
     M-249, "The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive
     Children" and the Department of State information flyer
     "International Adoptions".
     


     AMERICAN EMBASSY ASSISTANCE:
     
     Upon arrival in Paraguay to try to arrange an adoption, U.S.
     citizens should register at the American Embassy, Consular
     Section, American Citizens Services.  The Embassy will be able 
     to provide information about any outstanding travel advisories
     and to provide other information about Paraguay including lists
     of physicians, attorneys, interpreters and translators.  The
     American Embassy is located at 1776 Mariscal Lopez Ave.,
     Casilla Postal 402, Asuncion, Paraguay, tel: 
     011-595-21-213-715; fax:  011-595-21-213-728.  
     
     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in Paraguay
     may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or
     Consulate.  You may also contact the Office of Children's
     Issues, U.S. Department of State, Room 4800 N.S., 2201 C
     Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20520-4818, telephone (202)
     647-2688 with specific adoption questions.  Recorded
     information concerning significant changes in adoption
     procedures is available 24 hours a day at: (202) 736-7000, or
     by automated fax (calling from the telephone on your fax
     machine) at (202) 647-3000.  If the country you are interested
     in is not listed, procedures have not significantly changed. 
     Information on immigrant visas is available from the State
     Department's Visa Office, at (202) 663-1225.  This 24 hour
     automated system includes options to speak with consular
     officers during business hours for questions not answered in
     the recorded material.  Application forms and petitions for
     immigrant visas are available from the U.S. Immigration and
     Naturalization Service, the nearest office of which is listed
     in the federal pages of your telephone book, under  U.S.
     Department of Justice.
     
     In addition, the State Department publishes Consular
     Information Sheets and Travel Warnings.  Consular Information
     Sheets are available for every country in the world, providing
     information such as the location of the U.S. Embassy, health
     conditions, political situations, and crime reports.  When
     situations are sufficiently serious that the State Department
     recommends U.S. citizens avoid traveling to a country, a Travel
     Warning is issued.  Both Consular Information Sheets and Travel
     Warnings may be heard 24 hours a day by calling the State
     Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at
     (202) 647-5225 from a touch-tone telephone.  The recording is
     updated as new information becomes available.  In addition,
     this information is accessible through the automated fax 
     machine, as above, and is also available at any of the 13
     regional passport agencies, field offices of the U.S.
     Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates
     abroad.  Furthermore, you may write in requesting information,
     sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Overseas Citizens
     Services, Room 4811 N.S., 2201 C St., N.W., U.S. Department of
     State, Washington, D.C.  20520-4818.  Finally, information is
     available through your personal computer.  If you have a
     computer and a modem, you can access the Consular Affairs
     Bulletin Board (CABB).  This service is free of charge, and may
     be reached at: (202) 647-9225.  Consular Information Sheets and
     Travel Warnings may also be accessed by subscribers to many
     on-line services.  For complete information on accessing
     consular information via computer, please request document
     1016, entitled "Consular Information Program," from the
     automated fax system, which is described in the preceding
     paragraph.
     
     
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