Adoption from Colombia

Adopting from Colombia has also become ore strict over the years. For children under the age of 6 at least one of the applicants will need to be of Colombian descent. Much like Chinese adoption the rules are become more strict and the wait times are increasing for the adoption process to complete. Colombia is a Hague Convention country and the adoption process in Colombia is managed by the  Instituto Colombiano Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).

Adoption from Colombia

The wait times for Colombia is very long as there are not many children in the adoption process when balanced at the applications for adoptions. Much like other countries adoptions are first given to those who are family of the child before the child is put up for adoption to others.  Adoption opportunities for placement of the child or children first go to the biological and extended families, before placing a child for domestic or inter-country adoptions.

Firstly you will need to have done all your homework and this starts with the USCIS as they will check to see if you qualify for a foreign adoption. Once this is complete you will also need to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the Colombian government. Much like adoption in Chile there is a language requirement of Spanish or at least a basic conversational use of Spanish which would be needed. Those who have Spanish language will move to the front for adoption compared to those who have no Spanish language ability. There many children with ‘special needs’ however special needs does not always mean having a disability but they they are older children or siblings of 2 or more. See also the US Embassy in Colombia.

The basic requirements for adoption from Colombia would be:


  • Couples need to be legally married to adopt in Colombia.
  • The government does allow De facto couples (including same-sex) who have been living together for two years to adopt.
  • Note that a single applicant (male or female) may be eligible to adopt an older child.


  • Adoption applicants must be older than 25 years and at least 15 years older than the child being adopted. The ICBF prefers to place younger children with younger parents and older children with older parents. Colombia’s preferred age ranges for children and parents are set out below
ApplicantsSingle childSibling group
25 to 45 years0 to 4 years (59 months)Oldest sibling 0 to 6 years and 11 months
46 to 50 years5 to 10 years (60 months to 9 years and 11 months)Oldest sibling 7 to 9 years and 11 months
  • If you are in different age categories at least one person has to be no more than 45 years older than the child;
  • If the adoption is for sibling groups, the 45 year age rule is calculated from the youngest person;
  • If however you are adopting a sibling group of two children, the age limits would normally be increased by an additional 2 years.
  • There circumstances where there is no maximum age limits to adopt from Colombia:
    • children with special needs be it physical or mental;
    • if the sibling group is three children;
    • if the sibling group of say two with one aged over eight years;
    • if it is a healthy child aged over eight;
    • if the child has a chronic disease (eg HIV, heart condition, liver condition).


  • At least one of the applicants must be an American citizen.


  • The applicants must be in good health, both physically and mentally;
  • An applicant has a serious disability, a severe health issue will not be considered eligible to adopt;
  • Note that applicants must undergo psychological evaluation to ensure thier mental capacity to adopt.
  • Also note that any applicants with alcohol or drug problems will not be considered.


  • There are no requirements.

Language Skills

Families with at least some basic conversational Spanish language skills have higher priority.


  • There are no requirements for this.

Number of children in family

  • There are no set limits for home many children are in the family already.


  • Applicants must be in a position to ensure that they meet the ability to care for the child or children.

Criminal record

  • Like any adoption a criminal record check must be provided.
  • Applicants convicted of any offences below are not eligible to adopt:
    • crimes against freedom
    • integrity or sexual crimes
    • crimes relating to prostitution or child pornography, child neglect, domestic violence
    • any previous criminal history which may pose a threat to an adopted child.

You can speak to an adoption agency when not sure. The child or children will also need an IH-4 visa so you will need to apply for this once they are adopted and have a Colombian passport. The US Embassy in Colombia will be able to assist you with this. Note that the final process both parents will need to collect the child or children. The process takes a while and you will need to set 6-8 weeks aside for this final process. Note that the Colombian government has put a hold on adoptions for 0-6 years of age children except for special needs children or large sibling groups. also note that the ICBF requires four post-placement reports following the adoption. The first report must be sent three months after the adoption has been finalised.

Colombia Adoption Authority

Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)
Grupo Nacional de Adopciones
Avenida 68 # 64-01
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel:  011- 4377630 ext. 101000 o 101062

See also the eligibility to adopt article as well as adoption from Colombia and adoption from China. You will also see the who can adopt as well as adoption from Chile.

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About Andre Hector

I develop websites and content for websites related to embassies from around the world. See more pages and content about US embassies from around the world. From Canada to Nepal all US embassies have been listed here. See the other websites listed on the sidebar for Thai, Canadian and British embassies.

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