In February 2016, my husband and I flew to Colombia to adopt a sibling group of 3. It was not the sibling group we originally imagined 6 years ago when we began the process of adoption 2 siblings 0-4. As the wait continued to get longer and longer in Colombia, we talked about whether we would be willing to change our preferences and adopt a larger sibling group with 3 children up to age 10. After a lot of thought and discussion, we decided to make this change. We were nervous about our decision but when we got our referral and we talked some more, it just felt right.
We were in Colombia for a month and brought home Valentina, age 9, Bradimir, age 6, and Lorena, 18 months. It has not been an easy year, but as we come together as a family, I can see how much we have changed and grown in the past year. Both Valentina and Bradimir initially struggled in school. However, after some English tutoring over the summer, they started school in the fall acting like traditional ELL students. In fact, their ELL teacher nominated Valentina and Bradimir for a Hope award in courage. They were selected to receive the award together because of the courage they have shown over the past year. We are so proud of them.
Lorena also continues to bring us joy everyday with her stubbornness and silliness. She was not walking at 18 months when we arrived in Colombia. She was taking her first steps with us within a week. When we arrived home and had our first doctor visit, she was behind for her age. She has been in daycare and by her 2 year old visit she had caught up.
If we have learned anything from this process it’s that kids are resilient. We still have struggles but I am so glad we decided to open our hearts to considering a larger sibling group.
-Gene and Joletta
Colombia is a fascinating country where adoptive families come and go without difficulty. Colombia has a long history of adoption. They have had a very organized central authority in Bogotá for many years, known as the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) which processes the Colombia adoptions and oversees the licensing of private orphanages.
Children aged 1 through early teens are available for Colombia adoption. There are many sibling groups available, as well as special needs children. Many children are abandoned by single parents who simply cannot afford to feed them, or who must work to survive and cannot afford child care while they work. Others come from families where they have been neglected or mistreated and their parent’s parental rights have been taken away from them. All of them need a permanent family.
Couples and single parents are allowed to adopt from Colombia. However, if you are single, you need to be open to a child 10 years of age and older. Couples 25-45 years old can adopt a child 0-4 years old; couples 46-50 years old can adopt a child 5-9 years old. One of the adoptive parents should be no more than 45 years older than the child Couples must be married for 2 years.
Currently Colombia is only taking applications for healthy younger (1-9) children from parents where at least one parent is Colombian. We can take applications from Colombian families for any age healthy child. The youngest age range you can request is 0-4
For non- Colombian families,
For singles; special needs only (see above) for what is considered special needs) no more than 45 year age difference between child and family. For special needs, the age difference can be up to 50 years old.
For Colombian families wanting to adopt a healthy child the wait is 2-5 years depending on the age child you request. For special needs, older or sibling groups the waiting times could be less than 1 year.
1 trip 3-5 weeks in length. Both parents must travel for the bonding period of at least 2-3 weeks.
Approximate cost without travel $17,210. Approximate travel fees (2 parents) $7,700-$8,600. Other various fees not included; home study, US immigration/fingerprinting, dossier documentation, visas to Colombia.
We are currently taking applications from all families interested in older children – 10 years and older, sibling groups and special needs children.
Photos on this page are used by permission. The children pictured are not available for adoption.