LGBTQ South America
By Laura Savage
In November of 2015, the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled to lift the country’s existing restriction on gay and lesbian couples’ right to adopt. This landmark ruling will not only allow same-sex adoption within Colombia, but will extend internationally, thus granting same-sex individuals and couples in other countries the ability to adopt Colombian children—a huge victory in the continuing battle for equality.
Kidsave, an advocacy agency that seeks to find adoptive families for older children living in foster care and orphanages worldwide, is especially excited to see this legislation go into effect. Every year, the organization’s Summer Miracles program brings Colombian children growing up without families to the United States, where they spend four weeks living with encouraging, supportive advocates.
These advocates (called “hosts” within the Kidsave Community) help children to create connections with supportive adults, experience the joys of family life, and cultivate a sense of self-worth and excitement for their future. Throughout the summer, hosts work with Kidsave to find every child a permanent adoptive family.
The Colombian Court’s decision expands gay and lesbian individuals and couples’ advocacy and adoption networks on a global scale, providing more opportunities for the LGBT community to act on a genuine love for children, a heart for community-building, and a desire to help those in need.
The ruling is anticipated to be officially published and instituted within coming months. The Instituto Colombiano Bienestar Familiar (ICBF) has advised Kidsave and Kidsave’s Colombian partner, La Casa de la Madre y el Nino, that gay and lesbian individuals and couples will be able to host Colombian children with Summer Miracles 2016! This will give LGBT couples the ability to get to know and advocate for Colombian children currently living in foster care and orphanages.
This news is exciting and encouraging; Kidsave can’t wait to welcome LGBT families as host families in this year’s Summer Miracles program! To get involved, visit www.kidsave.org or call (310) 642-7283.