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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 45 to adopt a child four years old or younger.  Parents from 46 to 50 years of age must be open to adopting a child 5-9 years old. Parents cannot be more than 45 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

  1. Submit an adoption application to Barker.
  2. Complete the pre-adoption group, the on-line training, and the home study.
  3. Complete and submit an adoption dossier for Colombia.
  4. Receive a referral of a child 12 to 24 months after the dossier is sent to Colombia.
  5. Once a referral has been accepted, travel to Colombia about two months later.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 

* Barker is currently only placing children under seven years of age through our international programs. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.