Colombia Adoption Program
WELCOME TO COLOMBIA
Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services (JOH) is pleased to offer the Colombia Adoption Program. International adoptions have been occurring in Colombia for over 30 years with consistency, all under the supervision of the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF). Journeys’ consulting staff has over 30 years experience working in Latin American adoptions and 30 years experience working in Colombian adoptions. Colombian staff are in place (representative and attorney) who have many years of experience working with ICBF and placing children with American families.
COLOMBIA PROGRAM SUMMARY
25 – 50 years old, possibly older for older children.
Colombian families ages 25-45 are given preference; they may adopt child 0-4 years old (up to 59 months, which is the youngest category that can be requested) or 2 siblings 0-6. The typical wait can be 6 months to 2 years. Colombians 46-50 may adopt children 5-9 years old or 2 siblings 7-9.
Non-Colombian families ages 25-50 may adopt healthy children 7 and up. The wait for children 7-8 is currently 3-4 years. The wait for children 9-10 is currently about 24 months. Children 11 and up can be assigned very quickly. There are also many younger children with special needs available, as well as sibling groups in which the oldest is 10 or older.
Each family is considered on an individual basis.
Characteristics of the Child
Healthy children 7 and older; many sibling groups in which the older child is 7 and up, and children with special needs.
Approximately $24,500 to $26,500.
Married couples who have been married for 2 years or lived together prior to marriage for a continuous 2 years and are now married; up to 2 divorces per parent is acceptable if current marriage is of sufficient length to show the strength of this marriage; single men and women may adopt children 10 and up or children with special needs.
Adoptive parents’ medical issues are considered on an individual basis.
This is an excellent program for families who want to adopt an older child or a sibling group. The children reside in foster homes and orphanages, all run by ICBF. All the children have a legal abandonment/adoptability decree.
Although the length of time to wait for a referral varies according to the age of the child or children, generally adopting families travel within 8 to 12 weeks after receiving and accepting the referral.
The stay in Colombia is generally 6-8 weeks. One parent may return to the US after the first ten days; the other parent must remain in Colombia until the adoption is complete. While the adopting parent is in Colombia they are assisted by Journeys’ representative who coordinates all of the agency’s adoptions in the country. The adopting parents stay in small hotels in safe and quiet neighborhoods in the region where the adoption is occurring. All adoption related appointments and necessary transportation are arranged by the Journeys’ representative. Exploring the region the child is from, eating the fruits and local dishes, and meeting warm and friendly Colombians, is a wonderful experience with which to begin an adoption.
Medical history is available on each child and results are available to adopting families. Many children are tested for HIV and Hepatitis B prior to being assigned to a family, but for those who have not been, adopting parents may request that the tests be done at their expense (approximately $100 per child). These tests can usually be done within just a week or two.
Families also receive a social report and pictures at the time of child referral. All background and birthparent information available is provided to adoptive parents. Since families travel soon after assignment, there is generally not enough time to establish communication with the child; however, if a family has additional questions about the child’s current weight and height, needs a medical test done, or has a few questions about the child’s development, these can be obtained either before the family has formally accepted the assignment or after (in cases where the acceptance of the referral was not contingent on the additional information.)