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It is possible to carry out either a Spanish or international adoption via the Andalucian Regional Government. However, not everyone is eligible for every type of adoption. As requirements are continually changing, it is best to contact the "Centro de Atención al Niño" - a branch of social services - nearest you to meet with a social worker who will introduce you to the process and ask you a few questions as well as answer any initial queries you might have. For those who are able to proceed and decide to go ahead, these are the general stages you can expect:

"Suitable Parent" Certificate
The first stage involves passing a number of "controls" in order to obtain what, in Spanish, is called the "Certificado de Idoneidad". This is issued by the regional government after the future adoptive parent or parents have been approved by both a psychologist and a social worker.

To achieve this approval you can either sign up for a no-fee interview process that is conducted by the government. However, it might take up to two years for your number to be called. Therefore, those who can afford it often opt to pay the Psychology College and the Social Workers College to perform the required studies, tests, interviews and home visits and produce the lengthy report on the couple, family and home that will form the basis for future procedures.

Working with Agencies
Once you have obtained your certificate - and this could take up to six months from the time you made your initial visit to the "Centro de Atención al Niño" - you will be ready to proceed with the adoption. Most of these involve international adoptions as competition is so tough for Spanish babies.

Only a handful of countries have adoption agreements with Spain, so in the case of an international adoption, you must select from those available. You will probably also receive information regarding which countries are currently most co-operative and which provide the most guarantees for both children and their adoptive parents.

How long this second stage takes will depend on the country where your future child is from.

Finally, you will have the opportunity to travel to your child's place of birth in order to complete the bureaucratic procedures involved and bring him or her back home with you. Some countries, such as Russia, might still require more than one visit.

Throughout the long procedures involved you will be asked to produce numerous documents, which could include: certified copies of your identification, official birth certificates, international marriage certificates, criminal records, architectural plans of your home, certification of your income and expenses, proof of employment and photos of family and home. Be sure, however, that if you choose to work with an adoption agency, you will have ample help along the way.

Living in Andalucia