Russia Travel Advisory
October 4, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Mexico

Mexico
United Mexican States
See state summaries and advisory levels below for information on your specific travel destination. Some areas of Mexico have increased risk of crime and kidnapping.

Last Updated: Reissued with updates to health information

See state summaries and advisory levels below for information on your specific travel destination. Some areas of Mexico have increased risk of crime and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

U.S. citizens are advised to adhere to restrictions on U.S. government employee travel. State-specific restrictions are included in the individual state advisories below. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, except daytime travel within Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Mexico.

Do Not Travel To:

Reconsider Travel To:

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Review the U.S. Embassy's webpage on COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s web page on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Mexico.
  • Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts, which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Aguascalientes state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Aguascalientes state.

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:

  • Mexicali Valley: U.S. government employees should avoid the Mexicali Valley due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions. The boundaries of the restricted area are: to the east, the Baja California/Arizona and Baja California/Sonora borders; to the south, from La Ventana (on Highway 5) due east to the Colorado River; to the west, Highway 5; and to the north, Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas/Highway 92/Highway 1 to Carretera Aeropuerto, from the intersection of Highway 1 and Carretera Aeropuerto due north to the Baja California/California border, and from that point eastward along the Baja California/California border.

Travelers may use Highways 2 and 2D to transit between Mexicali, Los Algodones, and San Luis Rio Colorado during daylight hours. Travelers may also use Highways 1 and 8 to transit to and from the Mexicali Airport during daylight hours. Travel on Highway 5 is permissible during daylight hours.

There are no other travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in Baja California state. These include high-traffic tourism areas of border and coastal communities, such as Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarito.

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur state, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Campeche state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Campeche state.

Chiapas state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state, which includes tourist areas in: Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, and Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Chihuahua state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Battles for territory between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees, including restaurants and malls during daylight hours. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez: U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juarez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ochampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border. Direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport (officially called Abraham Gonzalez International Airport) and the factories located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted. Travel to San Jeronimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa U.S. Port of Entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.

U.S. government employees may only travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Federal Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Federal Police station, the Umbral del Milenio overlook area, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Federal Highway 45 in the town of Villa Ahumada.

  • Chihuahua City: U.S. government employees may travel at any time to the area of Chihuahua City bounded to the north by Avenida Transformación; to the east by Avenida Tecnológico/Manuel Gómez Morin; to the west by the city boundary; and to the south by Route 16/Calle Tamborel.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime): U.S. government employees may only travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States, entering Mexico at the Palomas U.S. Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Federal Highway 2, and subsequently Federal Highway 10, to Nuevo Casas Grandes. Employees are permitted to stay overnight in the cities of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes only.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 and enter through the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas.
  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the U.S. Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Chihuahua, including Copper Canyon.

Coahuila state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity occur in parts of Coahuila state. 

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Zaragoza, Morelos, Allende, Nava, Jimenez, Villa Union, Guerrero, and Hidalgo municipalities: U.S. government employees may not travel to these municipalities.
  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña: U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. in both cities.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Coahuila state.

Colima state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.  

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.  Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed bystanders.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.  

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with noted restrictions: 

  • Manzanillo:  U.S. government employee travel is limited to the tourist and port areas of Manzanillo.  
  • Employees traveling to Manzanillo from Guadalajara must use Federal Toll Road 54D during daylight hours.  
     

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Colima state. 

Durango state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Durango state.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • West and south of Federal Highway 45: U.S. government employees may not travel to this region of Durango state.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Durango state.

Guanajuato state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state. Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Areas south of Federal Highway 45D: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area south of and including Federal Highway 45D, Celaya, Salamanca, and Irapuato.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Guanajuato state, which includes tourist areas in: San Miguel de AllendeGuanajuato City, and surrounding areas.

Guerrero state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Crime and violence are widespread. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping in previous years.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following area with the noted restrictions:

  • Taxco: U.S. government employees must use Federal Highway 95D, which passes through Cuernavaca, Morelos, and stay within downtown tourist areas of Taxco. Employees may visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park during the day with a licensed tour operator.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Guerrero, including to tourist areas in AcapulcoZihuatanejo, and Ixtapa.

Hidalgo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Hidalgo state.

Jalisco state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Jalisco-Michoacan border and Federal Highway 110: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area between Federal Highway 110 and the Jalisco-Michoacan border, nor travel on Federal Highway 110 between Tuxpan, Jalisco, and the Michoacan border.
  • Federal Highway 80: U.S. government employees may not travel on Federal Highway 80 south of Cocula.
  • State Highway 544: U.S. government employees may not travel on State Highway 544 between Mascota and San Sebastian del Oeste.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Jalisco state which includes tourist areas in: Guadalajara Metropolitan AreaPuerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit)Chapala, and Ajijic.

Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely. Petty crime occurs frequently in both tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico City.

Mexico State (Estado de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico State. Use additional caution in areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico State.

Michoacan state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Federal Highway 15D:  U.S. government employees may travel on Federal Highway 15D to transit the state between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Morelia: U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Federal Highways 43 or 48D from Federal Highway 15D.
  • Lazaro Cardenas: U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Michoacan, including the portions of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve located in Michoacan.

Morelos state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Morelos state.

Nayarit state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout Nayarit state.

  • There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Nayarit state, including tourist areas in: Riviera Nayarit (including Nuevo Vallarta, Punta MitaSayulita, and Bahia de Banderas), and Santa Maria del Oro.

Nuevo Leon state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Nuevo Leon state.

Oaxaca state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state.

U.S. travelers are reminded that U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Isthmus region: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Oaxaca bounded by Federal Highway 185D to the west, Federal Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca-Chiapas border to the east. This includes the cities of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.
  • Federal Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa: U.S. government employees may not use Federal Highway 200 between Pinotepa and the Oaxaca-Guerrero border.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in: Oaxaca CityMonte AlbanPuerto Escondido, and Huatulco.

Puebla state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Puebla state.

Queretaro state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Queretaro state.

Quintana Roo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have injured innocent bystanders. Additionally, U.S. citizens have been the victims of both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: CancunCozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del CarmenTulum, and the Riviera Maya. However, personnel are advised to exercise increased situational awareness after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, and to remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones.

San Luis Potosi state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in San Luis Potosi state.

Sinaloa state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based in and operating in Sinaloa. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel to Mazatlan by air or sea only, are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport and sea terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo: U.S. government employees may travel to Los Mochis and Topolobampo by air or sea only, are restricted to the city and the port, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Sinaloa state.

Sonora state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. Violent crime is widespread. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Travel between Hermosillo and Nogales: U.S. government employees may travel between the U.S. Ports of Entry in Nogales and Hermosillo during daylight hours via Federal Highway 15 only. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid unnecessary stops as security incidents, including sporadic, armed carjackings, have been reported along this highway during daylight hours.
  • Puerto Peñasco: U.S. government employees may travel between Puerto Peñasco and the Lukeville-Sonoyta U.S. Port of Entry during daylight hours via Federal Highway 8 only.
  • San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta: U.S. government employees may travel directly from the nearest U.S. Port of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta but may not go beyond the city limits.
  • Triangular region near Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry: U.S. government employees may not travel to the triangular region west of the Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar municipality.
  • Nogales: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area north of Avenida Tecnologico, west of Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio (Periferico), and east of Federal Highway 15D (Corredor Fiscal) and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles. U.S. government employees may not use taxi services in Nogales.
  • Eastern and southern Sonora (including San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos): U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16. U.S. government employees may travel to San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos; travel to Alamos is only permitted by air and within city limits. U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Federal Highway 15 (south of Hermosillo), as well as all points south of Guaymas, including Empalme, Guaymas, Obregon, and Navojoa.

U.S. government employees may travel to other parts of Sonora state in compliance with the above restrictions, including tourist areas in: Hermosillo, Bahia de Kino, and Puerto Penasco.

Tabasco state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tabasco state.

Tamaulipas state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria. Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo. In these areas, local law enforcement has limited capacity to respond to incidents of crime. Law enforcement capacity is greater in the tri-city area of Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira, which has a lower rate of violent criminal activity compared to the rest of the state.

U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo: U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius around and between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, their homes, the respective U.S. Ports of Entry, and limited downtown sites, subject to an overnight curfew.
  • Overland travel in Tamaulipas: U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways. Travel between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey is limited to Federal Highway 85D during daylight hours with prior authorization.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other parts of Tamaulipas state.

Tlaxcala state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tlaxcala state.

Veracruz state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity occur with increasing frequency in Veracruz, particularly in the center and south near Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos. While most gang-related violence is targeted, violence perpetrated by criminal organizations can affect bystanders. Impromptu roadblocks requiring payment to pass are common.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Veracruz state.

Yucatan state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which include tourist areas in: Chichen ItzaMeridaUxmal, and Valladolid.

Zacatecas state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Zacatecas City: U.S. government employee travel is limited to Zacatecas City proper, and employees may not travel overland to Zacatecas City.
  • U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Zacatecas state.
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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions to the United States from Mexico and from the United States to Mexico are possible.

Hague Convention Information

Please see our section on Adoptions from the United States for more information on the process for adopting a child from the United States. We urge prospective adoptive parents residing abroad who are considering adoption of a child from the United States to consult with Mexico’s Central Authority, the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) and the Department for Family Development (DIF), for their determination as to whether it considers your adoption to be subject to the Convention.

Mexico is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Mexico.

Intra-family or relative adoptions are allowed but must be completed through the same Convention process as non-family adoptions. The prospective adoptive parent of a relative child may specify an interest in adopting a family member in the adoption application submitted to the Mexican central authority. See also Adopting a Relative for Immigration to the United StatesAdopting a Relative for Immigration to the United States

The Mexican Central Authority is comprised of both federal and state entities. The two federal authorities are the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, or Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), which issues key Hague Adoption Convention documentation including the Article 23 Certificate, and the Department for Family Development, or Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), which coordinates national policy for child and family welfare, including processing of domestic and intercountry adoption cases and authorization of foreign adoption service providers in Mexico.  Both of these federal entities are headquartered in Mexico City.

Intercountry adoptions must also involve one of the 31 state DIF offices, or the DIF office in Mexico City.  The state DIF offices issue the Article 16 and Article 17 letters, important Hague Adoption Convention documentation as described below. The civil code in each state may vary, and prospective adoptive parents need to be aware of and abide by the applicable laws of the state from which they plan to adopt. Though state and regional DIF offices play an important role in intercountry adoption cases, all intercountry adoptions must be processed in coordination with the national DIF office and SRE, which are the entities with the authority to certify Convention compliance for intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents who hold dual Mexican and U.S. citizenship are cautioned that only plenary adoption (full adoption) is considered valid for intercountry adoption. A U.S. visa can only be issued to children adopted through a full adoption completed as a result of a Hague Convention adoption process. The full adoption decree must state that parents with dual nationality reside in the United States and must clearly state that the adoption is an intercountry adoption.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Mexico, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from Mexico must meet the following requirements imposed by Mexico:

  • Minimum Residency: Adoption requirements in Mexico include physical presence, cohabitation, and a pre-adoptive bonding period to allow for the bonding of the child with the prospective adoptive parents in the child’s environment in Mexico prior to determining the suitability of the adoption. DIF suggests adoptive parents be prepared to spend at least three months in Mexico prior to adoption, including the bonding period.

  • Age of Adopting Parents: The age of the prospective adoptive parents may vary depending on the applicable law in each state, and the prospective adoptive parents must know and comply with the applicable laws of the state from which they plan to adopt. 

  • Marriage:  DIF requirements vary by state.

  • Minimum Income:  Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate the means to support the physical and educational needs of children.  Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate that they are financially capable of caring for the children by showing evidence such as, but not limited to, employment letters, pay stubs, photos of their home in the United States, and bank statements.  They shall present these documents during the court process to support their financial status. 

  • Other requirements: Currently same-sex couples can adopt in some states in Mexico. There are no restrictions regarding the gender of the child that a prospective adoptive parent can adopt.  For example, a prospective single male adoptive father may adopt a girl. In addition, prospective adoptive parents who have previously adopted in Mexico can adopt again. There is no list of specific diseases or disabilities that prevent prospective adoptive parents from adopting. State DIF offices assess prospective adoptive parents on a case-by-case basis during the bonding period with the child.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Mexico is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Mexico must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Mexico have determined that placement of the child within Mexico has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, the child must also meet the following requirements imposed by Mexico:

  • Eligibility for adoption:  Only a civil/family judge, in a court proceeding, can determine if a child has been abandoned or relinquished through an adoptability letter (child’s legal status) issued the nation DIF. Public notaries are not authorized to make determinations of abandonment or relinqushment.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  No minimum or maximum age. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who meets the age and other requirements to immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)). Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18.

Intra-family or relative adoptions are allowed but must be completed through the same Convention process as non-family adoptions. The prospective adoptive parent of a relative child may specify an interest in adopting a family member in the adoption application submitted to the Mexican central authority. See also Adopting a Relative for Immigration to the United States

Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have not relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

How to Adopt

Warning:  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Mexico before:  1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of Mexico has determined the child is eligible for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Mexico’s Central Adoption Authority

Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, Family Law Office
Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Dirección de Derecho de Familia (SRE)

Department for Family Development – National and State offices
Desarollo Integral de la Familia (National DIF)

Mexico has designated SRE, National DIF, Mexico City DIF, and the 31 state DIF offices to perform various central authority functions. SRE is the lead authority to which all applications and Convention process communications must be submitted. National DIF makes the match to a child based on the prospective adoptive parents’ preferences and oversees authorization of U.S. adoption service providers in Mexico. State DIF offices handle much of the hands-on processing of intercountry adoptions, including making a referral of a child and providing written documentation regarding the child’s background.

The Process

Because Mexico is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Mexico must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may cause significant delays or result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by Mexico’s Central Authority to Operate in Mexico

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)

3.  Apply to Mexico’s Authorities to Adopt, and Be Matched with a Child

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United

States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with

   the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)

5.  Adopt the Child in Mexico

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home[M1]

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by Mexico’s Central Authority to Operate in Mexico

The first step in adopting a child from Mexico is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens and that has been authorized by the Government of Mexico. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case. Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Supervising and being responsible for any supervised providers, and otherwise complying with the requirements regarding the provision of adoption services using other providers (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

Mexico requires foreign prospective adoptive parents to use an adoption service provider that has been accredited or approved in the United States and has also been authorized by the Mexican Central Authority. The U.S. accrediting entities maintain information about adoption service providers’ programs in particular countries as part of their adoption service provider directory. You may wish to contact each adoption service provider that indicates they work in Mexico to confirm they currently have the required authorization from the Mexican Central Authority.

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Mexico, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Mexico and U.S. immigration law.

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.  You will need to submit a home study, provide biometrics, and cooperate in a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.

3.  Apply to Mexico’s Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child

Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority

After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Mexico as part of your adoption application.  Mexico’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Mexico’s law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority

If both the United States and Mexico determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and Mexico’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is eligible for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in Mexico may provide you with a referral. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child.  The adoption authority in Mexico will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral. We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child.  You must also adhere to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS with respect to the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in Mexico.  Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility

After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to be admitted to the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application

After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Mexico.  

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number.  Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child.  An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.  A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Mexico’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Mexico if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Mexico’s Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Warning:  Do not attempt to adopt a child in Mexico before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5.  Adopt the Child in Mexico

Remember:  Before you adopt a child in Mexico, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption.

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

  • Role of Mexican Central Authorities:
    • Receives and registers adoption dossiers and forwards to appropriate state DIF offices (National DIF)
    • Reviews and makes determination on applications for authorization to provide adoption services in Mexico by U.S. Hague accredited or approved adoption service providers (National DIF)
    • Documents child’s social and medical history in an Article 16 report/referral (National DIF)
    • Refers a child to prospective adoptive parents (National DIF and state DIF)
    • Oversees court adoption process (National DIF and state DIF)
    • Reviews adoption process and issues required Article 23 Hague certification after adoption if adoption was Hague compliant (SRE)
    • Receives post adoption reports and forwards to appropriate DIF office (SRE)
       
  • Role of the Court:
    • Reviews intercountry adoption applications submitted to court by national DIF or state DIFs once the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez issues the Article 5 letter.
    • Issues an adoption order for the placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents.
    • The court process generally takes four to six months, depending on the court’s workload. 

Note:  Prospective adoptive parents must appear in person at least twice during the court process for hearings and to provide testimony to the Civil/Family judge and state DIF representatives.  

Note:  Prospective adoptive parents must obtain three certified copies of the full and final adoption decree.  These three copies are necessary to:  1) request a new birth certificate from the Civil Registry listing the child's new name; 2) apply to SRE for the Mexican passport; and 3) request the Article 23 Certificate from SRE. 

  • Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers:  The U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) facilitates adoptions by U.S. prospective adoptive parents in Mexico. 
  1. The U.S. adoption service provider either conducts or oversees the prospective adoptive parents’ home study to ensure that it complies with U.S. and state law where the prospective adoptive parents reside. 
  2. Once the prospective adoptive parents are found eligible and suitable to adopt (Form I-800A is approved), the ASP submits the adoption dossier to the SRE and may communicate with the appropriate DIF office regarding the application. 
  3. The ASP receives the Article 16 referral and assists prospective adoptive parents in submitting Form I-800 to the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC). 
  4. After provisional approval of Form I-800, the ASP coordinates with the U. S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to provide the necessary documentation for the Article 5 review.
  5. Once the Article 5 letter is issued, the ASP helps the prospective adoptive parents to comply with the court's requirements and to obtain the necessary documentation for the final visa application, including a new birth certificate and Mexican passport for the child. 
  6. After the adoption is final and a visa is issued, the adoption service provider assists the family with Mexican post-adoption reporting requirements. Please note that Mexico requires the primary adoption service provider to continue to assist the family in meeting Mexican post-adoption reporting requirements once the adoption is completed. 

Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case.  Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

  • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parents, in coordination with their adoption service provider, must submit an online application.

  • Time Frame:  The timeframe for intercountry adoptions in Mexico varies widely by state, from as short as four months (rare) up to 25 months.  The average timeframe is 18-20 months.  After the prospective adoptive parents have a provisionally approved Form I-800, it generally takes at least three months or more (depending on the state) to complete the Mexican adoption process and secure the necessary documentation.  Necessary documentation includes the issuance of a final adoption decree, the issuance of the child’s new birth certificate and CURP (Clave Única de Registro de Población - similar to a social security number), and the issuance of the child’s new Mexican passport.  Note that obtaining a Mexican passport for an adopted child often takes additional time.

  • Adoption Fees: Your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process on the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the process.  DIF does not charge any fees in connection with processing an adoption in Mexico.  Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Mexico may include fees charged by specialized professionals (legal services, medical services, counseling, translator, etc.), issuance of a new birth certificate, passport, legalization of documents, emigration/exit fees, and visa fees, among others.

We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by them directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of Mexico, with your adoption service provider, and, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry. Improper payments violate applicable law or create the appearance of buying a child and could put all future adoptions in Mexico at risk.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties.  These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing functions as a competent central authority, or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your adoption service provider will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Mexico include:

  • Documents Required:  Mexican Central Authority requirements to issue an Article 23 certification that an adoption was made in accordance with the Convention:
    • Original birth certificates of the child (the birth certificate indicating the child’s previous name, as well as the new one listing the name after adoption);
    • Certified copy of the adoption decree;
    • Certified copy of the document that declares that the adoption decree is finalized (causó "estado" or "ejecutoria");
    • Original and copy of the adoptive parents' passports;
    • Copy of a document showing the adoptive parents’ current address; and 
    • Original documents, issued by the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez (Article 5 letter), as well as by the Mexican Central Authority (Article 17 letter), demonstrating compliance with Articles 5 and 17 of the Convention. These documents must have been issued prior to the date of the adoption decree.

*SRE will return original documentation.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested. The ordinary time for delivery of the Hague Adoption Certificate is up to five business days.  Because of the pandemic, this period could be extended.

  • Authentication of Documents: The United States and Mexico are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

Note: All documents must be translated into the Spanish language; prospective adoptive parents should verify this requirement with the state DIF.

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

You will need to obtain a new birth certificate for your child.

If you finalized the adoption in Mexico, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

After finalizing the adoption process in court, the judge will issue a final adoption decree stating the child’s new name, if applicable, and the name of the adoptive parents.  Adoptive parents should use this adoption decree to apply for a new birth certificate reflecting the child's new name and parents.  The new birth certificate can be obtained by submitting the original final adoption decree or a certified copy to the Civil Registry office where the child's birth was originally registered.  Obtaining the new birth certificate can take from three days to one month.

Please note that Mexico requires that an adoption be finalized prior to the child's departure for the United States in order to meet Convention requirements.  Court-ordered grants of custody for purpose of adoption in the United States do not comply with Mexico’s Convention requirements.  Prospective adoptive parents who have not yet completed a full and final adoption in Mexico will not be able to obtain a new birth certificate for the child and will not be able to complete Mexico’s Convention process. 

Mexican Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Mexico.  You may use the new birth certificate to apply for your child's Mexican passport.

Mexico requires that the child and both adoptive parents appear in person to apply for the child's Mexican passport.  For more details on the Mexican passport application process and requirements, you should refer to the provided by the SRE[WK2] .

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child you need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez.  After the adoption is granted, visit the U.S. Consulate for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child.  Please contact the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez by email at cdjadoptionsmbx@state.gov to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment.  As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the Form I-800 provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination for adopted children and Medical Exam instructions specific to Mexico.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).  You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number.  You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child.  You should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview.  Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Please note that the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez processes immigrant visas for non-U.S. citizens located in Mexico.  Additional information concerning immigrant visa processing at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez can be found on the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez’s website.

Upon receipt of the case at post, the Consular Section notifies the adoption service provider. Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 1 to 2 business days.  It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview.  You should verify current processing times with the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez before making final travel arrangements. Additional information on immigrant visa processing can be found on our website.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States:  An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon admission to the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Once your child acquires U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for international travel.  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 Department of State’s 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 a Visa to Travel to Mexico

In addition to a U.S. passport, you must also obtain a visa.  When traveling to Mexico to adopt, a visa is affixed to your passport to allow you to enter a foreign nation.  Mexico requires U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico for adoption purposes to obtain a visa for purposes of adoption prior to entering Mexico.  Once in Mexico, adoptive parents will be given a certain period of time to register with the Mexican Immigration Authority (Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM).  For information on obtaining a visa for Mexico, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides country-specific information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling abroad during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country.  Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Mexico, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

Mexico requires post-adoption reporting twice a year for three years. All reports must be submitted to SRE by an accredited adoption service provider that is also authorized to provide services in Mexico. 

We urge you to comply with Mexico’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Mexico’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

 

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.  Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800/A petition process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet-based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Mexico
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtémoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.
Tel:  011-52-55-50-80-2000 ext. 2203 and 2202
Email:  MexicoCitySCS@state.gov
Internet:  mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/embassy/

U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez 
Paseo de la Victoria 3650
Fracc. Partido Senecu
Ciudad Juarez, CP
32543, Mexico
Immigrant Visa Unit/Adoptions email: cdjadoptionsmbx@state.gov

Mexico’s Adoption Authority
Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE)
General Directorate for the Protection of Mexicans Abroad
Deputy General Directorate of Family Law
Plaza Juarez, number 20, 17th floor
Colonia Centro, Cuauhtémoc, CP 06010, Mexico City, Mexico
Tel:  52 (55) 3686 5100 x 7543
Email:  dgpmexterior@sre.gob.mx
Internet:   gob.mx/sre/acciones-y-programas/adopciones-internacionales?state=published

Department for Family Development (national SNDIF) 
Federal Attorney for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (PFPNNA)
Francisco Sosa 439, Colonia Del Carmen, Coyoacan, CP 04100, Mexico City, Mexico
Tel. +52 (55) 3003-2200 ext. 4428, 4429, 4430 and 4434
Email: luis.pena@dif.gob.mx
Email: dulce.mejia@dif.gob.mx
Internet: sitios.dif.gob.mx/transparencia/transparencia_focalizada/adopciones/

Embassy of Mexico
Consular Section
2827 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009-4260
Tel: (202) 736-1000
Internet:  embamex.sre.gob.mx/eua/index.php/en/home

Mexico also has 50 consulates in the United States. A listing of them can be found at the following website: Consulados de México (sre.gob.mx)

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  Adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:

USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):

Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1-913-214-5808
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:

USCIS Contact Center
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

Note: The Mexican Central Authority informed the U.S. Central Authority it does not issue statements of habitual residence in connection with the 2017 USCIS Policy Memo (PM 602-0095) regarding Criteria for Determining Habitual Residence in the United States for Children from Hague Convention Countries.

Last Updated: October 6, 2022

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Ciudad de Mexico
Mexico
Telephone
+52-55-5080-2000
Emergency
U.S. Citizen Services: (From Mexico) 1-800-681-9374 (From the United States) 1-844-528-6611
Fax
+52-55-5080-2005

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