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Saturday28 November 2015

Adopting from Colombia

Columbia adoption

WHFC has been placing children from Colombia with loving families for 40 years. Families of Colombian heritage can expect an expedited application process. Generous subsidies are available for eligible waiting children.

Is this the summer your family could begin the journey of a lifetime with a child? We are a proud partner of the Colombia Kidsave Summer Miracles Program. Clients identifying children through Kidsave receive excellent guidance on completing their child's adoption, strong professional support before and during travel and a generous adoption subsidy.

Call us today to learn more about this amazing opportunity!

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 one-month summer stay.
  • Hosting 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.  
  • This video features a WHFC family who adopted their son through the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program with the support of our experienced staff. The family speaks candidly about their decision to host and ultimately adopt a Kidsave child. They also ask realistic questions and speak about some of the joys of 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 close to 300 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 couples should be married for 3 years or more; premarital cohabitation recognized
  • All adoptive parents of non-Colombian heritage must be open to adopting a child or siblings who are at least 7 years of age
  • Married couples between age 25-49 at the time of application to ICBF may request a child under age 7
  • Age requirements are very flexible for applicants who wish to adopt children age 9 or older, sibling groups where 1 or more children are age 9 or older, or children of any age with special needs
  • Single men may adopt boys only
  • Adoptive parents of Colombian heritage are eligible to adopt children of any age as follows:
    Age 0-2 years...Adoptive parents must be age 25-40
    Age 3-4 years...Up to age 45
    Age 5-6 years...Up to age 50
    Age 7-8 years...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 Colombia@whfc.org 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 children over age 9, sibling groups with a child age 9 or older and sibling groups of 3 or more children. 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.

Colombia has an excellent child welfare system; children receive high-quality care, including counseling 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 a family is identified.

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 child welfare authorities. If efforts to reunify the child with birth family have failed, and the child has not been adopted by a family in Colombia, he or she is deemed eligible for intercountry adoption.

WHFC also partners with Kidsave to place children as described above. Children who participate in the Summer Miracles Program are already eligible for intercountry adoption. They are typically between ages 10-14 and may have siblings. Most Kidsave children have shown progress in recovering and managing their traumatic histories and want a second chance with a healthy, loving family. Perhaps because they are old enough to participate in their process, 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 prepare you to meet the unique needs of your older child.

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. 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 a child under age 7 may receive a referral 12-36 months after dossier submission. Families adopting through 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; even our families who are less-experienced travelers are amazed at the support they receive from our warm, competent representatives in Colombia. Many stay in touch for years after their child's 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 expert program staff will guide you throughout your adoption journey In both the US and Colombia. We have extensive knowledge of the country and its child welfare and adoption system. We maintain strong, warm relationships with both adoption authorities and our in-country representative, with whom we have worked for more than 20 years. From your first moment with us, our staff provides emotional and logistical support throughout every step of the process – including dossier preparation, match with your child, travel preparation, your stay in Colombia and return home. Our team includes a bilingual program manager with 10 years' experience guiding families adopting from Latin America, as well as a clinician who has helped build families and support children transitioning to new lives in the US for more than 20 years.

We are confident that your family can be successful in this wonderful program, and we know that a child’s life will be transformed! Please contact us any time with questions. We look forward to working with you!

Edna Cruz Kim  
Edna Cruz
Program Manager
Kim Bernstein
Program Manager


Learn More!


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