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Thursday24 April 2014

Adopting from Colombia

Colombia OBrien-040

WHFC has been placing children from Colombia with loving families for 38 years. Colombian-American families can expect an expedited application process. We also partner with Kidsave to process adoptions of older children hosted through its Summer Miracles program. Generous subsidies are available for waiting children!

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


The 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.



The following applicants are eligible for the WHFC Colombia Adoption Program. Please note that eligibility requirements for adoptive parents are usually determined by adoption officials in the child’s birth country, not WHFC.

Married Heterosexual Couples Age 25+

  • More flexible age requirements for couples adopting older children, sibling groups and waiting children
  • Married 3 years or more; premarital cohabitation is recognized

Single Heterosexual Women and Men Age 25+

  • May adopt children age 7 or older

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.

Children Who Need Families

Boys and girls age 7 or older, sibling groups and waiting children are available. Families are especially needed for older children and those of Afro-Colombian descent. Families of Colombian-American descent can expect an expedited application process, and may be granted an exception to adopt a child of any age, gender or race. Children are carefully screened before referral, and are well cared for in government-sponsored orphanages and foster care settings. The orphanages provide quality medical services for the children and a good education, including counseling and language training. Counseling services are also available to birth mothers.

Most children available for adoption in Colombia come from extremely impoverished families with little or no education. In general, children are either relinquished into the care of a private placing agency or declared abandoned and referred for adoption by government officials.

WHFC also partners with Kidsave, a 5-week summer host program for US families. Kidsave offers older children living in Colombian orphanages the opportunity to experience life in an American family and have a memorable summer vacation.

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.

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 and children of Afro-Colombian descent. If adopting a child age 7 or older, you will receive your child’s referral 12-24 months after submitting your dossier. Families of Colombian-American heritage may adopt children 0-6 years and will receive a referral 12-36 months after dossier submission.

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 about 6 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. Our representatives are available to assist you throughout your stay.

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

We invite you to learn more about our Colombia Adoption Program by viewing our program presentation. 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

Our Colombia team includes bilingual staff with extensive adoption experience. We work with representatives in Bogota, Cali and Medellin who are available to guide you through the entire process. Contact us for more information. We look forward to working with you!

Edna Cruz Lisa Lovett  
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Case Manager
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Program Manager


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