Adopting from Colombia
Notice: As of July 14, 2014, all individuals and agencies facilitating international adoptions must be in compliance with the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act.
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A nearly five-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia as a formal organization had ceased to function. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, but continue attacks against civilians. Large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. In November 2012, the Colombian Government started formal peace negotiations with the FARC aimed at reaching a definitive bilateral ceasefire and incorporating demobilized FARC members into mainstream society and politics. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. Despite decades of internal conflict and drug related security challenges, Colombia maintains relatively strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties. To learn more, read About Colombia (The Country).
To learn more about specific facts regarding Colombia, read the Colombia Travel Fact Sheet.
Read about the story and lyrics behind the Colombian National Anthem.
Colombia Adoption Alert
There have been multiple adoption alerts for Colombia over the years. To learn more please read the Colombia Adoption Alert page.
Hague Convention Information
Colombia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all adoptions between Colombia and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law and regulations implementing the Convention.
Colombia's Central Authority for adoptions, the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), is the only means of adopting a Colombian child; Colombian law prohibits private adoptions. Please note ICBF does not allow for a Colombian child to travel to the United States to be adopted. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents must obtain a full and final adoption under Colombian law before the child can immigrate to the United States. Adopting parents are required to be physically present before a "family judge" at the time of adoption. No exceptions are made to this requirement.
NOTE: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Colombia is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Colombia, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more, read about Who Can Adopt from Colombia.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because Colombia is a member of the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Colombia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Colombia attempt to place a child with a family in Colombia before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Colombia's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
Learn more about the Convention's requirements for adoptable children.
How to Adopt
Because Colombia is a member of the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Colombia must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements for adoption.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600A with Colombia before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention does not apply to your adoption; it could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for orphan adoptions. Learn more.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Adopt the Child in Colombia
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more, read about How to Adopt from Colombia
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Colombia. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place. To learn more, read about Traveling Abroad in Colombia.
What does Colombia require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?
Colombian law does not currently have any post-adoption requirements.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons
Child Welfare Information Gateway
North American Council on Adoptable Children
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
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: IVBogota@state.gov, 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: Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)
Embassy of Colombia
2118 Leroy Place, NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 387-8338 Fax: (202) 232-8643 Email: email@example.com Website: Embassy of Colombia
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 Email: AskCI@state.gov Website: U.S. Department of State
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=colombia