Belize Adoption Programlast updated: 04/13/16
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CHILDREN AVAILABLE: Children are of Belizean, Guatemalan, Mexican, Haitian, Afro-Amerindian, Creole and/or Caribbean ancestry. The children available for adoption are individual school age (7+), sibling groups and special needs children of all ages. The children we place come from orphanages in Belize and some may come from private Christian orphanages.
ADOPTIVE PARENT CRITERIA: Little Miracles International accepts parents between the ages of 25 and up. At least one of the prospective adoptive parents must be a minimum of 25 years old and no fewer than 12 years older than the child. Both married and single individuals can adopt in Belize. Single men cannot adopt female children. There are no income requirements, but financial information in the Home Study will be considered. Belize is open to parents with some disabilities adopting. There is no limit to the number of children currently in the home.
REFERRALS: Your dossier will be sent to Belize. Once the dossier has been approved, the family will wait for a referral (which can take a year or even longer) After a referral is given and accepted, a final approval from USCIS must be obtained before the court processes can begin in Belize. LMI can work with relative adoptions in Belize. These typically will be shorter in duration since the child will already be pre-identified. Relative adoptions must follow the same Hague protocol as any other adoption.
JUDICIAL PROCESS: Belizean law requires that prospective adoptive parents complete a one year probationary period of custody of the child before a final adoption decree can be issued.
TIME FRAME: Belize adoption is often frustrating and lengthy. The time frame to complete international adoption from Belize is currently anywhere from 16-48 months. These adoption proceedings take from 3 months to one year. It is difficult to foresee a definitive timeline as there are many factors and many parties involved. Belize is a very relaxed Caribbean/Central American country and the process can be very slow, and many delays can occur.
TRAVEL: Families need to prepare to stay up to 6 weeks in country, and be prepared to take two trips if requested. Once to meet the child and then again to obtain custody for the return home trip.
POST ADOPTION REQUIREMENTS: Under Belizean law, there must be quarterly reports done for 12 months regarding the process of the child.
Modern-day Belize is the most sparsely populated nation in Central America. It compares with the state of Massachusetts in size. About a quarter of the people live in Belize City.
Belizeans are multiracial. About half of the population is mixed Mayan and European descent called Mestizo; a quarter are of African and Afro-European ancestry, called Creole; about ten percent are Mayan and about 6 percent are Afro-Amerindian, called Garifuna. The remainder includes European, Chinese, East Indian, Middle Eastern and North American populations. Functional literacy is 76%. School is compulsory for nine years. The average per capita annual income is $3,650.
Belize has made tourism a priority and taken a leadership role in creating sanctuaries for endangered wildlife and plants, and for marine and archaeological reserves.
Belize is characterized as a country where racial harmony and religious tolerance are manifest. The people are warm and gracious, like people through the Caribbean. Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, other Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Bahai and Rastafarian religions all contribute to Belize’s spiritual identity.
English is the official language. Creole and Spanish are also commonly spoken. The Garifuna, Mayas and Mennonites each speak their own language, as well.