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Preparing Children for Host-to-Adopt

Older Child Adoption Hosting a Child Colombia

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  Written by International Adoption Staff on 27 Mar 2016

Spence-Chapin is proud to partner with The Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children (FANA) for our Colombia host-to-adopt program. This program allows families interested in adopting an older child the opportunity to host a child in their home for three weeks before committing to the adoption.

Children in the program, who are matched with a family, gather at FANA, an adoption home in Bogota, for two weeks to prepare for their trip to the United States.  This two-week preparation process is essential in helping the children navigate their fears, expectations, and excitement about traveling to a different country and living with host families.  Even before the children embark on their flights to the U.S., many of them fly into Bogota from other cities within Colombia.  In most cases, this is the child’s first time on a plane which is both thrilling and nerve-racking!

Many emotions can accompany the excitement of being in a hosting program.  The staff at FANA help the children make sense of these emotions.  Some children are apprehensive about leaving their home.  Some may fear being rejected by their host families and not finding an adoptive family. 

Staff members do their best to empathize with these concerns, knowing that this transition is hard and that each child experiences this process through his or her own personal experience. The staff also discusses how to balance the hope of possibly being adopted while maintaining realistic expectations.

The goal is to prepare the children for the host-to-adopt experience so that the children can enjoy their time with their American host families.

Children have simple questions about what to expect in New York/New Jersey. They want to know what food they will eat, what games they will play, where they will live, and what their host families will be like.  Each host family mails a photo album to the child or children with pictures of their family, the child’s room, bed, and toys.  Because extended family is such an important component of Latin American life, children enjoy looking at the pictures of their extended host family.

FANA has found families for over 9,000 children through this process, so we know the host-to-adopt program is a successful way to connect families and older children while giving each child a voice in the adoption process. Adriana Chavez, head of Clinical Psychology at FANA, said, “The kids that live now in the United States that have been adopted through the host-to-adopt program are happy. The families are really happy. They are very thankful.”

When asked why the Colombia host-to-adopt program is special, Adriana explained, “We have a lot of experience working with older kids and this is something that we love to do. FANA is an adoption institution that has been working for over 40 years doing this with love. We think that every child deserves a family, so that’s how we do our job.”

Adriana also said, “All these kids want to have a very good family and they deserve that opportunity. They’ve never been nurtured enough. They need a family to nurture them and they all deserve one.”

Our adoption team is here to answer your questions about the Colombia host-to-adopt program. Contact us at info@spence-chapin.org or at 212-400-8150.

 




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