U.S. Embassy Managua, Nicaragua
Km 4 1/2 Carretera Sur
P.O. Box #: 327
Tel: 011-(505)-268-0123, ext. 4519/4767/4320
Fax: 011 - (505) - 266-9943

Nicaragua’s Adoption Authority
Mi Familia (Ministry of Family)
De ENEL Central,
100 mts.
Al sur, Managua
Tel: (505) 278-1837/ (505) 278-5637, ext. 220 or 233

Embassy of Nicaragua
1627 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (202) 939-6531/32
Consular Section:
Tel: (202) 939-6541
Fax: (202) 939-6574

*Nicaragua also has consulates in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

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Map of Nicaragua


Nicaragua is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Nicaragua did not change.

Nicaraguan law does not allow for a Nicaraguan child to travel to the United States to be adopted. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents must obtain a full and final adoption under Nicaraguan law before the child can immigrate to the United States. Prospective adoptive parents can expect a lengthy process to adopt a child in Nicaragua.




To bring an adopted child to United States from Nicaragua, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Nicaragua also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • Residency Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must either be Nicaraguan citizens or have a permanent residence in Nicaragua and plan to remain in Nicaragua until the child reaches 21 years of age. In the cases of U.S. citizens with an approved I-600 or I-600A, however, this residency requirement is typically waived.

  • Age Requirements: Officially, prospective adoptive parents must be between 25 and 40 years of age. However, the Ministry of Family has been somewhat flexible on this requirement on a case-by-case basis.

  • Marriage Requirements: Both single and married couples are eligible to adopt.



Nicaragua has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Nicaragua unless he or she meets the requirements.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her home back to the United States. Learn more about U.S. immigration requirements.



Nicaragua’s Adoption Authority
Mi Familia (Ministry of Family)

The Process
The process for adopting a child from Nicaragua generally includes the following steps:

1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3. Be Matched with a Child
4. Adopt the Child in Nicaragua
5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
6. Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

The first step in adopting a child from Nicaragua is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right agency.

Prospective adoptive parents must work directly with the Ministry of Family until the final stage of the adoption. Once the Ministry of Family authorizes the adoption, the prospective adoptive parents may hire a Nicaraguan attorney to complete the adoption procedures.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

To bring an adopted child from Nicaragua to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Ministry of Family will verify that the prospective adoptive parent(s) has/have been approved by USCIS to adopt a child from abroad and that they have translated and notarized copies of the home study conducted in the United States. Learn how.

In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Nicaragua as described in the Who Can Adopt section.

3. Be Matched with a Child

If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Nicaragua will place you on a waiting list until a child is identified. It is important to note that the Ministry of Family will go through a number of steps to ensure that the child has been abandoned and that no biological family members are willing to take in the child. During this time, you will remain on the waiting list pending further processing even if you have already selected a specific child. The Ministry of Family will then provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Nicaragua’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law. Learn more.

4. Adopt the Child in Nicaragua

The process for finalizing the adoption in Nicaragua generally includes the following:

  • Role of The Adoption Authority: Once all the data is evaluated and necessary investigations performed, the case is presented to the Ministry of Family's adoption advisory council for a final decision on the adoption. Either the adoptive parent(s) or their lawyer should be present for these proceedings.

  • Role of The Court: Once the Ministry of Family approves the adoption, the decision is then sent to a judge to formally order the decision. The judge has the authority to deny a case when there is a concern for the child's welfare. These are exceptionally rare cases, with only one case denied in the last ten years. The Nicaraguan court issues the final adoption decree.

  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Prospective adoptive parents must work directly with the Ministry of Family until the final stage of the adoption. Once the Ministry of Family authorizes the adoption, the prospective adoptive parents may hire a Nicaraguan attorney to complete the adoption procedures. This may be advisable due to the complexity of the Nicaraguan legal system. A list of attorneys is available from the U.S. Embassy in Managua.

  • Adoption Application: The prospective adoptive parents should file the application with the Ministry of Family.

  • Time Frame: A Nicaraguan adoption takes anywhere from six months to one year, and in some cases even longer, to complete.

  • Adoption Fees: The Ministry of Family does not charge fees for adoptions. Typical charges will be legal fees and fees for obtaining notarized legal documents. The legal fees generally range from $1,200 to $1,500 USD.

  • Documents Required:
    The following is a list of documents required for adoptions in Nicaragua:
    • Original authenticated notice of approval (I-171H) issued by USCIS;
    • Home study (I-600A fulfills this requirement);
    • Psychological evaluation by a U.S.-based adoption agency;
    • Birth certificate of prospective adoptive parent(s);
    • Marriage certificate of prospective adoptive parents (if applicable);
    • Letter of employment for the prospective adoptive parent(s);
    • Unites States police record (FBI fingerprints fulfill this requirement);
    • Medical examination of adoptive parent (s);
    • Two 2" x 2" color photographs of the prospective adoptive parent(s) with a white background; and
    • Letter from a U.S.-based adoption agency indicating that it will follow-up with the case in the United States once the adoption has been completed in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan Ministry of Family requires a U.S.-based adoption agency to conduct at least two family visits during the first year after the adoption and to report on the welfare of the child. These reports need to be sent directly to the Ministry of Family (Consejo de Adopción).

Note: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how to get documents authenticated for use abroad.

5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

After you finalize the adoption in Nicaragua, the USCIS must determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.

6. Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

When the final adoption decree is issued by the Nicaraguan court, the parents are able to attain a birth certificate (at least two original copies are recommended) from the Central Registry of Managua for a cost of 100 Cordobas ($6 USD).

Nicaragua Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he or she will need a travel document or passport from Nicaragua. As soon as the birth certificate has been issued, a passport should be attained from Nicaraguan Immigration for 350 Cordobas ($20 USD) with an expected eight day turn around. Expedited same day passports service is available for 300 extra Cordobas ($18 USD). The parents will also need to attain a “legal authority” from Nicaraguan Immigration at a cost of 350 Cordobas ($20 USD) in order leave the country with the child.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the U.S. Embassy for your child. After the adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of your child’s I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

When filing for the visa, the following documents are required:

  • I-600 approval notice;
  • Decree of Abandonment by the Ministry of Family;
  • Final Nicaraguan adoption decree;
  • Child's valid Nicaraguan passport issued with adoptive parent’s(s’) surname(s);
  • Medical examination (certified physician information is provided in the applicant's appointment letter);
  • Three 2"x 2" color photographs with a white background. Photos should be a frontal picture of the child's face;
  • Unsigned Form DS-230 completed with information regarding the child (not the parent(s));
  • Copies of last federal tax return as filed with the Internal Revenue Service, including, if applicable, 1040 A, W-2 forms,
  • 1099 forms, and all IRS Schedules. The U.S. Embassy requires adopting parents to provide a signed (not notarized)Affidavit of Support (I -864 EZ) proof of current employment;
  • Filing fee for the immigrant visa application; and
  • The U.S. passport(s) of the adoptive parent(s).

Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.


Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act. 


Statisitcs about adoption from $country_sm



Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Nicaragua. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining Your Visa

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Nicaragua, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information webpage.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Nicaragua registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.



What does Nicaragua require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

The Nicaraguan Ministry of Family requires a U.S.-based adoption agency to conduct at least two family visits during the first year after adoption and to report on the welfare of the child. These reports need to be sent directly to the Ministry of Family (Consejo de Adopción).

We strongly urge you to comply with the wishes of Nicaragua and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to the country’s history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

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Posted 2041 days ago
I have been thinking and tklniag about you guys all day today. I can't believe you guys are in central america right now!!!! Noah told me today in the car, peyton and i only live an ocean apart, he is just across the water . I started crying .He wants to release a message in a bottle to see if the boys will get it. The pics are just beautiful, the lighting is soft, and it seems like angels are hovering all around. I love them all. That was really kind of them to take your family picture. You guys look so peaceful and happy. How did the boys do on the long flight?? Enjoy and go put your feet in the central american sand! Hey, eat some iguana for me too!! JK, don't Noah would never forgive you. They say it's chicken of the tree!! P.s The one pic of Conner and Peyton is amazing, I epecially love Conner in that one, he has the eye of the tiger. Love, love and more love send over the ocean to you
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