Frequent staffing changes at the Ministry of Family and the preference shown to Nicaraguan citizens means that delays and backsliding are common. Before allowing a child to be adopted, the government will go to great lengths to ensure he/she has no living family members willing to provide care. It is strongly recommended that adoptive parents work with a Nicaraguan attorney to help keep things on track.
For more up-to-date information on how to adopt from Nicaragua, visit the Nicaragua page of the U.S. State Department’s website. Get parent-to-parent advice and support in the International Adoptive Families group in our online community, Adoptive Families Circle.
Nicaragua Adoption Fast Facts
- 2016 Adoptions: 12 children
- Hague Country: No
- Estimated Total Cost: $25,000 to $35,000
- Profile of Children: 59% of children are between 5 and 12 years old. 56% are girls (2015). By law, adoptions must be completed before the child’s 15th birthday. If the child has been under the adoptive parents’ care for three years, the adoption may be completed before the child turns 21.
- Parent Ages: In most cases, parents must be between 25 and 40 years old. However, these requirements can be waived on a case-by-case basis.
- Family Status: While both married couples and singles may adopt, the process is longer for single parents.
- Travel: Parents are commonly required to stay in Nicaragua for 12 to 18 months during the adoption process. There is a mandatory three- to six-month fostering period during which at least one parent must stay in Nicaragua.
- Timeline: The process for adopting from Nicaragua can be lengthy and full of delays. Two to three years is typical. Parents must obtain full and final adoption in Nicaragua before bringing a child to the U.S.