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Saturday28 February 2015

Adopting from Colombia

Columbia adoption

WHFC has been placing children from Colombia with loving families for 38 years. Colombian heritage families can expect an expedited application process.

WHFC is a proud partner of the Colombia Kidsave Summer Miracles Program. Clients identifying children through Kidsave will receive excellent guidance on completing their adoption efficiently. They will also receive strong professional support before and during travel as well as a generous adoption subsidy.

Adoption subsidies are also available to all parents adopting children waiting now in Colombia.

About KidSave


  • WHFC partners with Kidsave, a 4-week summer host program for Colombian children.  These children are chosen from among their peers in the orphanage as most likely to benefit from experiencing life in an American family during a beautiful month of summer in the US.
  • Hosting a child through Kidsave gives you the opportunity to advocate for a child without a family and, perhaps make the decision to adopt an older Colombian girl, boy or sibling group.  
  • Is this the summer where your family could begin the journey of a lifetime with a child?  Call WHFC today to learn more about this amazing opportunity!
  • This video features a WHFC family who adopted their son through the Colombia Kidsave Summer Miracles program with the support of our WHFC experienced staff. The family speaks candidly about their decision to experience hosting, and ultimately adopting. They also ask realistic questions and speak about some of the joys of the parenting an older child through adoption.

  • Colombia is a Hague Convention Country
  • Foreign Provider is Central Authority of Government of Colombia, Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)

colombia-mapThe Republic of Colombia is home to more than 45 million people, predominantly of Mestizo, Caucasian and African descent. Colombia’s ethnic diversity has contributed greatly to its music, dance and folklore. Spanish is the official language, but many regional dialects are also recognized. Roman Catholicism is widely practiced.

WHFC has helped place close to 1,600 children from Central and South American countries, including more than 260 children from Colombia.

Children Who Need Families

Boys and girls age 7 or older, sibling groups and waiting children are available. Families are especially needed for individual children over the age of 9, sibling groups with an older child of 9 or older and sibling groups of 3 or more children. Colombia has an excellent child welfare system and children receive high quality care including counselling and educational services.  They are cared for in government sponsored orphanages or foster homes. Children are individually screened to determine their readiness for adoption and continue to be prepared prior to and after the identification of a family.

Most children available for adoption in Colombia come from marginalized families with difficult social histories.  In general, children are either relinquished by their birth families or removed from the custody of their birth parents by the child welfare authority.  If efforts to reunify the child with his birth family have failed, and the child has not been adopted by a family within Colombia, then he/she is deemed eligible for intercountry adoption.

WHFC also places children in partnership with the Kidsave hosting program described above. The children who participate in this program are already eligible for intercountry adoption, are typically between 10-14 years of age, and sometimes have siblings. Most Kidsave children have shown progress in recovering and managing their traumatic history and they want to have a second chance with a healthy loving family.  Perhaps because they are old enough to participate in their process, the Kidsave children usually do very well in their new families, especially once they acquire language skills and begin to understand their new school environment.   Your WHFC program manager will help you prepare to meet the unique needs of your older child.

Families of Colombian heritage can expect an expedited application process, and may be granted an exception to adopt a child of any age, gender or race.

Adopting a waiting child can be a wonderful option for some families! If you are open to a school-aged child, a sibling group with a school-aged child or a child with an identified medical need, you could request a match with a waiting child and arrive home in under a year. Eligibility requirements are generally more flexible, and photos and medical information can be reviewed prior to match. Subsidies are often available. View waiting child profiles.


Please note that eligibility requirements for adoptive parents are usually determined by adoption officials in the child’s birth country, not WHFC.

Single heterosexual women and men, and married heterosexual couples over 25 years old are eligible to adopt from Colombia.

Adoptive parents of non-Colombian heritage must be open to adopting a child or siblings who are at least 7 years of age.  If age 7-8 is the maximum age of child requested, applicants must be married couples between the ages of 25 and 49 at the time of application to ICBF in Colombia.  

Age requirements are very flexible for single men, single women and married couples who wish adopt children age 9 and older, or siblings groups where one or more of the children is age 9 or older, or children with special medical needs of any age. Single men may only adopt boys.

 Adoptive parents of Colombian Heritage only are eligible to adopt children of any age, in accordance with the chart below:

Requested Child’s age

Colombian Heritage

Adoptive Parents’ age

0-2 years old 25-40 years of age
3-4 years old Up to age 45
5-6 years old Up to age 50
7-8 years old Up to age 54

Please note that the above criteria are not all-inclusive; all international programs require proof of financial stability and have additional restrictions with respect to criminal history, physical and mental health. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Information You Can Expect to Receive

You will receive photos and detailed medical and socio-developmental information on your child. Some information on family history is also available upon referral.

Estimated Wait Times for a Referral

This can be a fast-moving program for older children. If adopting a child age 7 or older, you may expect to receive your child’s referral 12-24 months after submitting your dossier. Families of Colombian heritage who request to adopt children under age 7 may receive a referral 12-36 months after dossier submission. Families adopting a child from the Kidsave program can expect to bring their child home in under a year.

Travel Requirements and Experience

One trip of about 6 weeks is required to bring your child home. Your child will reside with you during your stay. You will travel to Colombia about 8 weeks after receiving your child’s referral. If married, both parents must travel to meet the child and initiate the legal process, but one parent may return home after the first week.

Accommodations in Bogota, Cali and Medellin are modern and comfortable. Colombia is a beautiful country and even WHFC’s less experienced travellers are amazed at the support they receive from our warm, competent representatives in country.  Many stay in touch for years after their adoption.

Program Cost

Please download our information packet for a comprehensive list of fees and other important information on all WHFC adoption programs.

How to Get Started

If you have registered with us, complete your application as soon as possible to begin the process. If you are not a current WHFC client, register online today..

WHFC Colombia Adoption Program Staff

WHFC’s program staff will guide you throughout the entire adoption journey.  In both the United States and Colombia, you will have the extensive adoption expertise and support of the WHFC Colombia team.

WHFC’s US staff have deep knowledge of Colombia and the child welfare and adoption system in this country.  We maintain strong and warm relationships with adoption authorities and our in-country representative, with whom we have worked for over 20 years. From your first moment with us, our staff will provide emotional and logistical support through every step of your process – including dossier preparation, match with your child, travel preparation, in country stay and your return home. WHFC’s team includes a bi-lingual program manager with ten years experience guiding families in adopting from Latin America, and a clinician with over twenty years of experience helping build families and helping children transition to new lives in the US.  We are confident that your family can be successful in this wonderful program and we know that a child’s life can be transformed.  Please contact us any time with questions.  We look forward to working with you!

Edna Cruz Lisa Lovett  
Edna Cruz
Program Manager
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Lisa Lovett
Clinical Manager
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Learn More!


View Our Other Work in Colombia:


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