The Process

Because Colombia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions 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 so that your adoption meets all applicable legal requirements.  

1.  Apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services in your country to be found eligible to adopt.

2. Be matched with a child by authorities in Colombia.

3. Apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services for the child to be found eligible for immigration to your country and
receive agreement to proceed with the adoption.
4.  Adopt the child in Colombia.
5.  Obtain an immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home.


1.  Apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services in your country to be Found Eligible to Adopt

You must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible of the Citizenship and Immigration Services in your country.

2. Be Matched with a Child in Colombia

If both your country and Colombia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Colombian Central Authority determines that a child is available for adoption and that inter-country adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Colombian Central Authority or the agency may provide you with a referral for a child.

To request a referral, prospective adoptive parents need to submit the following documents (in addition to your Form I-800A approval notice) to agency or the approved adoption institution:

  • Application Form for adoption (this can be provided by the ICBF or found on the ICBF website;
  • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
  • Marriage certificate or proof of common law relationship of prospective adoptive parents;
  • Social and psychological study of the prospective adoptive family that establishes physical, mental, moral, and social capacity.  The home study  can fulfill both your country and the Colombian requirements. 
  • Medical examination(s) by board-certified physicians clearly stating that the prospective adoptive parent is mentally and physically capable of caring for a child. 
  • Note: Prospective adoptive parents who are taking (or have recently taken) prescription medication for mental illnesses, including attention deficit disorder or any type of depression or any psychological or emotional issue, must ensure that the medical exam includes a diagnosis of the issue and a discussion of the treatment.  Prospective adoptive parents who have been arrested for any drug or alcohol related offense (to include possession and driving under the influence) should ensure that the medical exam clearly discusses whether there is any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction;
  • National law enforcement clearance issued by a competent police authority.  
  • Note: Prospective adoptive parents with a criminal record, even if the charges were subsequently dismissed, should ensure the home study includes a detailed discussion of the charges including their nature, their resolution, and whether this criminal history would affect their abilities as parents.
  • Birth certificates of any children previously adopted by the prospective adoptive parent(s);
  • Certificate of financial ability and employment letters explaining length of service and monthly salary;
  • If self-employed, a certified document regarding the parent's(s') financial resources or last income tax return with supporting documents;
  • If there were previous marriages or partners of the prospective adoptive parent(s), proof of divorce and reasons for such dissolutions should be presented;
  • Notarized statement clarifying any changes in name or "also known as" name.  Generally, Colombian women do not change their name to that of their husband’s.  As a result, Colombian courts are accustomed to birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports with no variation in name.  If you have documents in both maiden and married names, you must submit a notarized statement indicating the reasons for the discrepancies in your documents;
  • Signed commitment to complete post-adoption reporting requirements.

Note:  Colombia requires that all documents submitted to be authenticated and include an official Spanish translation by a qualified translator.

The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Colombia.  The adoption authority in Colombia will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not.  A family can request additional information about the child before making a final decision.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

3. Apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services for the child to be found eligible for immigration to your country and receive agreement to proceed with the adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to your country.  It will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter your country and reside permanently as an immigrant.