EL SALVADOR - Foreign Authorization

Last Updated: July 13, 2023

El Salvador – Foreign Authorization – Requirements and Procedure

To support the viability of intercountry adoption as an option for permanency for children in El Salvador, the Office of Children’s Issues and the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador sought information from the Salvadoran Central Authority regarding its legal requirements for the authorization of adoption service providers (ASP), pursuant to Article 12 of the Hague Adoption Convention.

El Salvador ratified the Convention on November 17, 1998, and it entered into force on March 1, 1999.

Salvadoran law requires U.S. ASPs be authorized by the Oficina para Adopciones (OPA).

ASPs with questions about intercountry adoptions from El Salvador should contact the Salvadoran Central Authority:

Procuradoría General de la República (PGR), Oficina para Adopciones
Address: 13 Av. Norte y 9a. calle poniente, Torre PGR, 1º Nivel, Centro de Gobierno, San Salvador
Phone: +503 2231-9565
E-mail: oficinaparaadopciones@pgres.gob.sv

Website: www.pgr.gob.sv

Contact person: Manuel Antonio Sanchez Estrada, Executive Director of the Salvadoran Solicitor General's Adoption Office.

To obtain authorization, a U.S. adoption service provider must complete the below process and provide the requested documentation, translated into Spanish and apostilled according to the Apostille Convention (for more information see https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/specialised-sections/apostille). The authorization is valid for two years and then needs to be renewed.

For additional information, ASPs may wish to review the El Salvador country information page.

The Adoption Oversight Division in the Office of Children’s Issues can provide an accreditation verification letter to satisfy El Salvador’s requirement of authorization and accreditation in Section I(a) below.  ASPs may email ASPadoption@state.gov to request this official communication.  We do not provide recommendation letters, as requested in Section IV(e), but the verification letter is generally accepted for this purpose. 

Mandatory procurement

Any accredited organization that requests to be authorized to act and perform cooperation functions in international adoption procedures in El Salvador, must act through a legally constituted Representative.

Accredited organizations must provide a power of attorney to a representative in El Salvador to be authorized to provide adoption services in the country.  For more information see Article 69 of the Civil and Commerical Procedure Code.

Authorization request

The authorization procedure of an accredited organization begins with a request submitted to the OPA, addressed to its Board of Directors, by the legal representative or person empowered by the organization.

The request must contain the following:

  1. Identification of the accredited body indicating the Central Authority of the receiving State that accredited it;
  2. Name and credentials of the person representing the accredited organization;
  3. Designation of the address, place or technical means, whether electronic, magnetic or any other, indicated to receive notifications;
  4. The factual and legal reasons on which the request for authorization to operate in the country is based;
  5. The request in precise terms;
  6. Place and date; and,
  7. The signature of the representative of the Accredited Body, by the legally established means.

The requesting accredited body must justify through a certificate issued by the Central Authority of the receiving State, that it is aware of the presentation of the request for authorization to perform its functions in El Salvador.

Requirements for the authorization of an Accredited Body.

For the authorization of the accredited organizations that request to exercise their functions in El Salvador, they must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Verify the experience of accredited bodies, which may be at the national level in their State or at the international level, with signatory states of the agreement;
  2. Accredit the competences of the managerial and operational personnel that work for the accredited organization, in matters of adoption, rights of children and adolescents and human rights;
  3. Verify the ability to provide accompaniment to applicants in a personalized way during the adoption procedure;
  4. Have a transparent and lawful source of financing; as well as demonstrate the financial sustainability of your Agency; and,
  5. Have programs that guarantee quality services, with special emphasis on the characteristics of children and adolescents in El Salvador and with a human rights approach, during all the phases that require their intervention, including post-monitoring.

Documentation attached to the authorization request

In order to verify compliance with the requirements established in article 14 of these regulations, the interested Agency must attach the following documents to the authorization request:

I. From the profile of the requesting organization:

a. Documentation that proves the legal existence of the organization, its accreditation and authorization granted by the competent authority in its country of origin, in matters of international adoption;

b. Certification of the Statutes and Internal Regulations of the requesting organization. Its Statutes must state that it works on the subject of international adoptions, without profit;

c. Functional organization chart;

d. Documentation that proves the experience of the accredited body, in matters of international adoption;

e. Annual reports of your work on intercountry adoption for the past three years, and;

f. CVs of the professionals that make up the Board of Directors of the accredited organization.

II. Of the personnel of the requesting organization:

a. List of professional staff who are responsible for the study, selection, evaluation, follow-up of requests from families for the international adoption of girls, boys and adolescents and post-adoption follow-ups; which will include, as a minimum, the disciplines of law, social work, sociology, psychology, family education or pedagogy.

b. CVs of the personnel indicated in the previous paragraph and a copy of the attestations or certificates of professional training and specialization in which their experience is evidenced.

III. Regarding the financial situation of the requesting organization:

a. Financial statements for the last three years;

b. Information about the costs of the services they provide;

c. Statement about your funding sources, and;

d. Results report of the external audit of the previous year.

IV. Regarding the quality of the services provided by the requesting agency:

a. Protocol or Line of Work of the accredited organization in which its methodology, work topics, evaluation times, responsible for the preparation and advice to families applying for adoption and the procedures used in the development of post-adoption follow-up are expressed;

b. Sworn statement signed by the person who exercises the legal representation of the organization, in which he commits to comply with the regulations that regulate the aptitude and suitability of the applicant family in their country of origin;

c. Express written declaration of the legal representative of the organization, through which the commitment to carry out post-adoption follow-ups is assumed, every four months, during the period of three years, once the international adoption has been decreed, in accordance with the provisions of the article 122 of the LEA;

d. Document of guarantee of post-adoption follow-up of international adoption, which must be extended by the Central Authority or the entity designated for it;

e. Recommendation issued in favor of the organization, by the central authorities of the countries in which it is already authorized as an accredited organization, in the event that it already performs functions in a country other than El Salvador; and,

f. Report provided by the Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador on the actions carried out as an accredited organization, within the framework of current national regulations and the international agreements ratified by El Salvador.

Report of the Attorney General of the Republic

Article 16. The report referred to in Roman IV) letter f) of the previous article, will be provided to the requesting accredited body, within fifteen business days and must contain at least the following:

  1. Identification of the accredited body;
  2. If the accredited body has had its authorization suspended or cancelled;
  3. Indication of whether or not there has been a complaint for improper practices against the accredited body; and,
  4. Of the adoptions concluded with the cooperation of the accredited body, how many post-adoption follow-up reports were provided to the central authority of El Salvador.