Abandonment Process Step 2 -- Placement of Child

Once the child has been deemed healthy enough to leave the hospital, temporary placement for the child will be determined. The following guidelines are typically used. For children under 7 years of age the placement should be in a foster home. For children over 7, when no foster home is available, placement is in an orphanage.

It is important to note that there are many more orphanages than there are CASAS PRIVADAS DE ADOPCION. Nearly every larger city has orphanages, some run by religious orders, others are secular in nature. In smaller cities or towns, even older children are often placed in foster homes because there are no orphanages.

When considering placement, there is an effort to keep sibling groups together, though it is not always possible. Sometimes, boys are sent to one institution while girls are sent to another, or older siblings are sent to an institution while younger siblings are sent to a foster home.

Additionally, sometimes even younger children, particularly in the largest cities, are sent to orphanages because of a lack of space in foster homes. ICBF will also send children to the CASAS PRIVADAS, in these cases ICBF pays the CASAS or other orphanages for the child's care each month.

When a child is released into protective care, the recommendations made the professionals in the initial evaluations are provided to the Foster Mother (madre sustituta) or the Institution (orphanage) that will assume the care of the child.

One foster mother that I interviewed explained that they are given strict instructions which they are to follow in order to help the child/ren regain their health. In her case, she had one set of siblings that arrived very malnourished, with distended bellies and in very poor hygiene. She was told exactly what to feed them each day, including amounts, so that the children could begin to recover. She was told that if she gave the children too much food, they would get sick. She was also given medicine for them and told when and how to administer each dose. She was also given a date and time for a follow-up appointment. During the time she fostered the children, she was told to record every appointment that the children had and keep a record of the children's progress.

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