Colombia Revises International Adoption Process


Colombia has joined the list of Central American countries where international adoption has been slowed and made more difficult. Colombia’s Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) recently announced that they are revising their process for determining eligibility of children for intercountry adoptions. This may negatively impact families from the United States hoping to adopt from Colombia by creating delays and allowing fewer children to be adopted internationally.

Colombia’s ICBF is calling for more stringent investigations to determine the adoption eligibility for the children under their care. The investigation is required to make sure that there is not a family member that could care for the child. This deeper scrutinizing happens after the match has been made and thus creates an increase in time required in country.

In light of these additional delays and hurdles, not only in Colombia but other Central and Latin American countries, why do families want to adopt from these countries? Families are committed to adopting from Central and Latin America for a variety of reasons including:

1) They possess an existing connection to the culture

2) They speak Spanish

3) They served on a mission or service trip to the area and formed an attachment to the culture

4) They have previously adopted a child from Guatemala and want to adopt another child with a shared heritage.

So, what options are available to families with the desire to adopt a child of Latin or Central American descent? Positive signs have begun to appear in Nicaragua. Recently, MLJ Adoptions’ Nicaragua clients have received several referrals of young children, all under the age of two and we are expecting 1-2 more referrals before the end of the year!

MLJ Adoptions’ Nicaragua Adoption Program is a viable option for families who have a flexible work schedule or lifestyle. Nicaragua requires an in-country stay of 10-16 weeks. This in-country stay allows families to experience attachment with their child in a quiet environment without the daily interruptions of life. Nicaragua adoption is an option for those families wanting to adopt young children, older children or even children with special needs.

To find out more about MLJ Adoptions’ Nicaragua adoption program click here. For more information about all of MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

Lydia Tarr works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Bulgaria and Ukraine. She is the adoptive mother of four children from Ukraine and was recognized as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program.