Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to License an Adoption Agency in Ecuador


Licensing an adoption agency in Ecuador is a huge undertaking. From beginning to end, an agency's first adoption may take two years to complete, and the agency will probably not perform more than a half a dozen adoptions a year. However, there is a need for agencies in Ecuador, a developing nation with too many orphanages and too many orphaned children. These parentless children are cared for by a state that cannot support them.


Difficulty: Moderate



Step One

Organize a formal application, which will be presented to a lawyer working for the National Council of Childhood and Adolescence in Quito, Ecuador. You can request this application from the Ministry of Social Well-Being in Quito.

Step Two

Prepare your agency's U.S. issued license as part of the application. Ecuador requires that agencies have at least three years of experience in performing successful adoptions before applying.

Step Three

Include your agency's accreditation papers, which should outline your agency's authorization to handle international adoptions in foreign countries. Accreditation papers are not licenses from other foreign countries in which you are working, but accreditation from the country in which the child will be living.

Step Four

Submit legal documentation that your agency is a non-profit organization with the specific goal to work as an intermediary in international adoptions.

Step Five

Find a legal representative and submit an "Official Statement," outlining this person's position, contact information and nationality. This person should be bilingual and living in Ecuador, as they will be working with the country's government agencies, your adoption agency and all of the adoptive parents. Keep in mind that legal representative, does not mean lawyer; this person may be anyone that you feel is capable of handling the job.

Step Six

Include your agency's statutes, which should include a statement committing to the dedication of the safety, security and overall well being of the child above all else.

Step Seven

Request apostilles for all of your documents by sending them to the State Secretary in the state where the document was issued. According to the Hague Convention, an official document is only considered legal in a foreign country when it has an apostille.

Step Eight

Send your documents with apostilles to your legal representative in Ecuador. He will then need to take the documents to the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Quito for legalization and translation.

Step Nine

Turn in your completed application to the National Council of Childhood and Adolescence and wait. The council decides on the legalization of agencies during formal meetings, which vary in frequency. An agency may have to wait from two to eight months before receiving a response.

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