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Family Law

Gain insight into issues of adoption, paternity, custody, and guardianship, as well as country-specific legal frameworks and practices.

Child Detention Crisis Initiative
Informal Care and Adoptions in Central America

Learn about informal care and adoptions in EL Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua as well as information about relevant U.S. immigration policy, including family separation and DNA testing. This Issue Alert was created as a collaboration between The Young Center and Justice in Motion and is co-authored by Ellie Norton and Glykeria Tsiokanou.


In response to numerous technical assistance requests for proof of foreign law, Justice in Motion and the ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) collaborated to secure general affidavits from family law experts in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The experts are all members of the Justice in Motion Defender Network. 
The affidavits set forth the laws relating to paternity in each country and may support state court suits requesting SIJ findings. Each affidavit packet contains a signed affidavit by a foreign law expert in Spanish, the expert’s CV, and translations of the Spanish documents into English, complete with a notarized certificate of translation. In addition, they include a verification from CILA that the original affidavits are on file in the CILA office. 
We encourage practitioners to reserve submission of the affidavits to instances in which a court is requesting proof of the foreign law.  This project was a tremendous undertaking. We appreciate your feedback as you access and utilize them in your cases!

El Salvador
Written by Krissia Morena Aguirre Rosa
November 2020


Written by Claudia Gonzalez Orellana
April 2020

Written by Dora Isabel Melara Aguilar
March 2020
Anchor 1
Legal Representation of
Minors in Adoption Cases
Presented by Rebeca Sanchez Ralda

JUNE 25, 2020

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About the Presenter

Rebeca Sánchez Ralda is a Guatemalan lawyer and notary. For more than 10 years, Ms. Sánchez Ralda has maintained a private practice, with a focus on family law, with an emphasis on children and adolescents. More recently, Ms. Sánchez Ralda has been working on migrant rights cases.

Anchor 2
Adoption and Paternity
Cases in Honduras
Presented by Leonardo Rojas

JULY 27, 2020

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About the Presenter

Leonardo Rojas is a lawyer with a specialization in labor law. Since 2008, Mr. Rojas has provided representation to Hondurans who need assistance with migration-related matters. Mr. Rojas is currently a Legal Representative at SISCO and also offers his services to U.S. attorneys needing assistance in Honduras as a member of the Justice in Motion Defender Network.

Adoptions in El Salvador
Presented by Rhina Graciela Juárez Lazo

JULY 16, 2020

About the Presenter

Rhina Juárez is a Lawyer and Notary as well as a Human Rights Defender. Ms. Juárez is a member of the Legal Aid Center of the Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace (ORMUSA). She focuses on cases related to gender and violence against women, labor rights, and reproductive rights.

Anchor 3
Paternity Cases in El Salvador
Presented by Rhina Graciela Juárez Lazo

JULY 16, 2020

The content in these resources is purely informational and does not constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on these resources are for general informational purposes only. Information contained in these resources may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.

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