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Monday05 December 2016

Adopting from Costa Rica

CostaRica-IMG 6926

THIS PROGRAM IS ON HOLD TO NEW APPLICANTS - Please contact us for other program options

Children age 8 or older, sibling groups of 3 or more, with at least one child over age 8, and waiting children are available.Generous subsidies are available for eligible waiting children!

  • Costa Rica is a Hague Convention Country
  • Foreign Provider is Central Authority of Government of Costa Rica, Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI)

The Republic of Costa Rica is home to more than 4.6 million people, primarily of Caucasian (including Mestizo) ancestry. Just under 5 percent are of African and Amerindian descent. Spanish is the official language, although English is also spoken. Roman Catholicism and other Christian religions are widely practiced.

WHFC has helped place close to 1,600 children from Central and South American countries, including more than 75 children from Costa Rica.




The following applicants are eligible for the WHFC Costa Rica 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 25-57

  • Married 5 years or more
  • Applicants must be at least 15 years older than the child

Single Heterosexual Women and Men Age 25-57

  • Applicants must be at least 15 years older than the child

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 CostaRica@whfc.org for more information.

Children Who Need Families

Boys and girls age 8 or older, sibling groups of 3 or more, with at least 1 child over age 8, and waiting children are available. You may specify gender for older children. Children are generally well cared for in state-funded orphanages and small group homes, and receive good nutrition, schooling, counseling and advocacy services to help promote their physical, psychological and cognitive well-being and prepare them for adoption.

Children are usually placed into care due to the judicial termination of parental rights. They are made available for international adoption only after efforts to reunite them with birth family fail and Costa Rican authorities are unable to find a family in Costa Rica to adopt them.

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 available. View waiting child profiles.

Information You Can Expect to Receive

You will receive photos and comprehensive medical, social and family background information on your child. Additional medical testing may be available in Costa Rica upon request.

Estimated Wait Times for a Referral

Depending on the age of the child(ren) requested, you are likely to receive your child’s referral 12-24 months after your dossier is approved by the Central Authority (PANI) in Costa Rica.

Travel Requirements

One trip of 4-6 weeks is required to bring your child home. Your child will reside with you during your stay. You are likely to travel 3-5 months after accepting your child’s referral. If married, both parents are required to travel, as you will be parenting your new child(ren) throughout your stay.

Travel Experience and Resources

Accommodations in Costa Rica are modern and comfortable. Resort stays are possible, and English is widely spoken. You will receive excellent support services during your trip.

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 Costa Rica Adoption Program by contacting our expert program staff. If you have registered with us, complete the application as soon as possible to begin the process. If you are not a current WHFC client, register online today.

WHFC Costa Rica Adoption Program Staff

We have a long-standing history with our representative in Costa Rica. You will receive excellent support services during your stay. Contact us for more information. We look forward to working with you!

Edna Cruz
Edna Cruz
Program Manager


Learn More!


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