International Adoption » Panama
The Panama program is open to British Columbia families only. CHOICES offers in- house facilitation for the Panama program. Panama has signed and ratified the Hague Convention.
There are no upper age limits for applicants, but they must be at least 18 years and not more than 45 years older than the child to be adopted. Married and common-law couples must be married or co-habiting for two years. Single women may also apply.
Boys and girls five years of age and older are available for international adoption. Occasionally sibling groups are available. Children are generally available due to abandonment. Any known birth family information is provided with the child's documentation. All children reside in orphanages.
After completion of the homestudy, a dossier is prepared in Canada, which will constitute the official application to adopt in Panama. The combined homestudy and dossier process may take several months. It is difficult to provide a specific time frame for the adoption process as the political situation and legislation of any country is subject to change; therefore, CHOICES cannot estimate at this time how long it may take to receive a proposal. Adoptive families are required to take one trip to Panama, which should be at least one month.
Once an application is received and the home study is approved, CHOICES will assist in completing your paperwork and preparing the dossier for Panama. CHOICES will provide a complete list of document requirements to applicants. Once the dossier is submitted and accepted in Panama, applicants are officially on the wait list. When a child is matched, applicants receive notification from CHOICES or Provincial Ministry representatives, and are asked to review the information with an international medical specialist. Upon acceptance of the referral, the adoption procedure is triggered and prospective parents will be invited to travel to receive the child. The length of stay is a minimum of one month. During this time, prospective parents will go to court to receive the Adoption Order. After this, they will apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a visa for the child, and travel home when ready. Four post placement reports completed by a social worker are required for the first year.