Adopting From Colombia
Wide Horizons For Children has worked in Colombia for more than 40 years and has placed 1,600 children from Latin American countries, including 300 children from Colombia, with loving families. Adoption is open to all married couples as well as single men and women. Families of Colombian heritage can expect an expedited application process. Children of all ages need families. Generous subsidies are available for eligible Waiting Children.
Colombia is a Hague Convention country and all adoptions are overseen by the Central Authority of the Colombian government, named Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).
Wide Horizons For Children is a proud partner of the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program, 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.
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.
Download our Adoption and Information Guide about our programs, services and fees
|"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
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.
MARRIED COUPLES, SINGLE WOMEN AND MEN Age 25 or Older
- Married couples should be married for three years or more; premarital cohabitation recognized
- Oldest applicant must be no more than 45 years older than youngest child being adopted.
- Exceptions on a case by case basis for up to a 50 year age difference between parent and child.
- Gay or Lesbian applicants welcome
- Single men may adopt boys only
- Openness to mild/moderate medical needs required for children under age 8
- Adoptive parents of Colombian heritage are eligible to adopt children of any age, with no medical needs
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.
Children Who Need Families
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 3 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 also partners with Kidsave to place older children. Children who participate in the Summer Miracles Program are already eligible for inter-country 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 Wide Horizons For Children program staff 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.
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 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 a year.
Travel Requirements and Experience
One trip of about six weeks is required to bring your child home. Your child will reside with you during your stay. 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 return home after the first week. A U.S. citizen parent must be present for the child’s US Embassy immigrant visa issuance.
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.
Our 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 have maintained strong relationships with both adoption authorities and our in-country representatives for more than 40 years.
We offer free consultations with an adoption specialist who can explain the process and start you on your adoption journey.
We look forward to working with you.
- Steps in the international adoption process
- Wide Horizons For Children Colombia Adoption Program Fees
- Financing your adoption
- Family stories