Colombia Adoption

Wide Horizons For Children has been advocating for children in Colombia since the late 1970s. Children of all ages need families. Adoption in Colombia is open to married couples and single individuals, including gay and lesbian applicants. Colombia is a Hague Convention Country. Foreign Provider is the Central Authority of Colombia, named Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).

adopting children from Colombia

Colombia Adoption FAQs

Q: Am I eligible for the Colombia program?

A: To apply to this program, you must meet the following criteria:


  • Married couples should be married for three years or more; premarital cohabitation is recognized.
  • The oldest applicant must be no more than 45 years older than youngest child being adopted.
  • Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for up to a 50-year age difference between parent and child.
  • Gay or Lesbian applicants are welcome.
  • Single men may adopt boys only.
  • Openness to mild/moderate medical needs are required for children under age 8.
  • Adoptive parents of Colombian heritage are eligible to adopt children with no medical needs of any age.
  • Applicants must be in good physical and mental health. Please contact Wide Horizons For Children to discuss specific eligibility requirements.
  • All applicants should have a clean criminal history. However, some minor infractions may be accepted.

Q: Who sets the eligibility requirements?

A: Eligibility requirements for adoptive parents are determined by adoption officials in the child’s country of birth. In Colombia, all adoptions are overseen by the Central Authority of the Colombian government, named Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).

Q: Who are the children available in Colombia?


  • Boys and girls ages 1-15 years, sibling groups and waiting children are available. Families are especially needed for children over age 8; sibling groups with a child age 8 or older; and sibling groups of three or more children.
  • Families of Colombian heritage can expect an expedited application process, and may 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, private 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 inter-country adoption.
  • Wide Horizons For Children partners with Kidsave to place older children. Children who participate in the Summer Miracles Program are already eligible for inter-country adoption and are typically between ages 10-14 and may have siblings. Kidsave children usually do very well in their new families.

Q: How long does it take to adopt from Colombia?

A: This is a fast-moving program for individuals adopting older children. If adopting a child age 8 or older, you may expect to receive your child’s referral 12 months after submitting your dossier. Families of Colombian heritage who request a child under age 8 may receive a referral 12-24 months after dossier submission. Families adopting through the Kidsave program can expect to bring their child home in under one year.

Adopting a waiting child can be a wonderful option for some families. Most families who request a Waiting Child match have their child home in under one year. Eligibility requirements are generally flexible, and photos and medical information can be reviewed prior to match. Adoption subsidies are often available.

Q: Will I need to travel to Colombia?


One trip of about six weeks is required to bring your child home. Your child will reside with you during your stay, and you will travel to Colombia about eight 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 usually return home after the first week. A U.S. citizen parent must be present for the child’s U.S. Embassy immigrant visa issuance.

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. Accommodations in Bogota, Cali and Medellin are modern and comfortable.

Q: How much does an adoption from Colombia cost?

A: Financing Your Adoption explains how Wide Horizons For Children structures adoption fees and provides information on funding your adoption.

Download the Adoption Information Guide for specific fee sheets on each Wide Horizons For Children adoption program. The Central Authority of Colombia, the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF) charges no fees no fees for its adoption and post adoption services.

Kidsave Colombia Adoption

Wide Horizons For Children is a proud partner of the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program, a four-week summer host program for Colombian children.


One of the many firsts our new kids got to experience this year was the beauty of a New England fall. The sheer delight and determination seen in the younger boys as they try to catch leaves is a small reminder that our new children are now comfortable enough to be, well, kids. Shrieks of joy and laughs of delight remind us to have patience and perseverance during the more difficult times as we graft these two families together into one.

—Brent and Linda on siblings Maria, Daniela, Mateo and Carlos, Adopted through the Wide Horizons For Children Colombia Program

Interested in Colombia Adoptions?

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