In 1978 The Barker Adoption Foundation began its now-decades-long Colombia adoption program in partnership with the Fundación para la Asistencia de la Niñez (FANA; the Foundation for the Support of Abandoned Children) in Bogota.
Since 2006, the Colombian government’s Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (Bienestar; the Colombian Institute for Family Well-Being) has licensed Barker as “Fundacion Barker.” In addition to traditional adoption services, Barker also offers Colombia homeland tours.
Adoptive Parent Eligibility Guidelines of Bienestar
- Couples married for at least two years or single heterosexual women are eligible.
- One parent must be a Colombian citizen to adopt a child younger than age eight who has no known medical needs.
- All adoptive parents must be at least age 25. Parents cannot be older than age 38 to adopt a child three years old or younger, and parents must be at least 15 years older than the prospective adoptee.
- Adoptive parents must have good physical and mental health.
- Adoptive parents must be financially stable and be able to provide a safe and secure home for a child.
Circumstances of Children in Need of Adoptive Families
- Infants typically range from 6 months old to 18 months old at the time of referral.
- Children with medical needs.
- Older Children are typically age eight and up.
- The majority of children were relinquished to the orphanage by the birth mother. The orphanage may have information about birth mothers because often during pregnancy, birth mothers stay in a home for birth mothers. In some cases, the children were removed from their birth parents after the court terminated the parents’ rights.
Process & Timeline
- Submit an adoption application to Barker.
- Complete the pre-adoption group, the on-line training, and the home study.
- Complete and submit an adoption dossier for Colombia.
- Receive a referral of a child 12 to 24 months after the dossier is sent to Colombia.
- Once a referral has been accepted, travel to Colombia about two months later.
- Stay in Colombia for approximately six to eight weeks, though one parent can usually leave sooner. English-speaking guides in Colombia help the family through the process in-country.
- Welcome your child home and begin the two-year post placement period. In addition to Barker’s standard reporting requirement, Colombia requires reports to be completed at 9, 15, and 21 months post- placement. The child obtains U.S. citizenship on arriving in the United States. Send Barker a copy of your child’s Certificate of Citizenship when received.