The legislative reforms that were brought into place through the work of Leonie and Heart4Honduras between 2005 and 2012 remains active within the National Congress of Honduras.
Leonie led the process with IHNFA (Honduran Social Services) to ensure a child-focussed legislative approach, which emphasized the needs of the child above the legal framework.
The positive outcome of this new legislation was to expedite the process under which displaced and abandoned children are granted a Certificate of Abandonment ('Decree de Abandono'),
Since a Certificate of Abandonment confers legal status upon the child that they are available for adoption, this legislation has effectively reduced the time before a child is available for adoption from 18 months to 6 months. It impacts both national and international adoption of abandoned Honduran children.
Dr Fernando Mejia, a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist working in Tegucigalpa, continues as the advocate for this legislation with the Honduran government to ensure that it remains active.
Leonie remains in contact with Dr Mejia to offer advice and support on a monthly basis on this and other adoption issues in Honduras.