Overview
Colombia is party to the Hague Convention.
They formally announced several important changes in Colombia’s management of intercountry adoptions.
As of July 15, 2013, Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) Announced it will no longer accept new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens living abroad for healthy children under 6 years and 11 months old. ICBF expects this limitation to last 2 years.
Families whose applications had already been accepted at that time for the adoption of a healthy child under 6 years 11 months, will maintain their place and random the waiting child list. To learn more about the waiting children, go to www.icbf.gov.co
Who Can Adopt
You must meet eligibility requirements in the United States as set by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as those of Colombia.
Colombia country requirements include:
  • Heterosexual couples and heterosexual single men and women between the ages of 25 and 54 years of age. There must be a 15 year age difference between the parents and the child.
  • Couples must be married for at least 2 1/2 years in a first marriage and for 3 years in a second marriage. No more than 3 previous marriages for each spouse.
  • Adoptive parents must be free of any serious physical or health conditions. Each must also pass a psychological evaluation to determine that they are physically, mentally, morally and socially capable of parenting.
  • Adoptive parents must be fee of any criminal record.
  • Must meet US Poverty Guidelines.
  • College graduates are preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide a safe family environment and meet the needs of a child, including an understanding of risks, developmental delays, identified and potential medical needs, and the adjustment course for an internationally adopted child.
  • Applicants must complete Adoptive Parent Training and Education, including awareness of how to maintain the child’s connection to culture and heritage.
  • Agreement to complete all Country and US requirements, including a period of post-adoption reports required.
Children Awaiting Adoption
Colombia makes every attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition, the child must meet the US definition of an orphan.
As of July 15, 2013, Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) Announced it will no longer accept new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens living abroad for healthy children under 6 years and 11 months old. ICBF expects this limitation to last 2 years.
Families of Colombian heritage may adopt children of all ages, although age of adoptive parents influence referral age of children available for adoption.
Families may choose the gender of their child. Families of Columbia heritage must be open to a child of either gender, when requesting a child under 9 years of age. Siblings are available.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – USCIS Form I-800A.
Apply to ICBF. Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period.
Referral – Acceptance or refusal of referral.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-800.
United States notifies adoption authority via the Article 5 letter, that child is eligible to immigrate.
Adoptive parent(s) go to Colombia for 5 to 7 week period. While it is preferred that both parents remain in Colombia for the full time, one may return to the US after a 2 week “bonding period.” All adoptive parents must be physically present when the court/judge makes the “adoption presentation.”
Finalizing the adoption occurs when the Colombian court receives a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota stating that they will issue an immigrant visa to the child, plus other documentation. The court then issues an adoption decree, new Colombian birth certificate and new Colombian passport.
Apply for child’s visa (DS-260) – adoption agency submits immigrant visa appointment request.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows the child to acquire American citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent resident.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when an adoption decree is issued by a US court. Failure to obtain citizenship, may put your child’s status in jeopardy.
After Adoption
Complete post-adoption reports – 5 post placement reports are due at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months after the adoption.
Adoptive Parents must provide an adoption application letter that makes clear the applicants’ willingness to allow post-placement follow-ups and provide post-placement reports as required.
U.S. Embassy in Country and in U.S.
U.S. Embassy in Colombia
Carrera 45, No. 24B-27
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel: 011-571-383-2795, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Email: [email protected], Attn Adoptions
Colombia’s Central Authority
BIENESTAR FAMILIAR (ICBF)
Grupo Nacional de Adopciones
Avenida 68 # 64-01
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel: 011-57-1-437 7630 – Ext. 3158 – 3157
Website: www.icbf.gov.co (Spanish)
Embassy of Colombia
2118 Leroy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 387-8338
Fax: (202) 232-8643
Website: http://www.colombiaemb.org/
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Internet: adoption.state.gov
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).