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Colombian adoption.


My husband and I are considering adopting from Colombia. We just started with all the research. I am a Colombian national so I understand the process is different. I just want to hear from some families who have gone through the process or are beginning. We don’t know what angency to use or go directly to colombia. We just want some guidance. Any information would be great.


I don’t think you can go directly to the country. You need a home study which needs to be done locally and loads of paperwork.

Posted by Regina on Nov 07, 2017 at 3:13am

1.  Please remember that international adoption has two components,adoption and immigration.  Just because you adopt a child from outside your country of residence, it does not automatically mean that you can immigrate the child into your country of residence.

2.  Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, if you live in the U.S. and want to adopt a child from overseas and bring him/her to the U.S., either you or your lawful spouse must be a U.S. citizen.  If neither you nor your spouse is a U.S. citizen, you will not be able to immigrate a child on an adoption visa, even if you complete an overseas adoption, and even if you are a biological relative of the child.

3.  If either you or your spouse (or both of you) hold U.S. citizenship, you MUST go through a specific process, known as the I-800 process, if you wish to adopt from any Hague compliant country, including Colombia, and get USCIS permission to immigrate a child as your adopted child.  If you are adopting from a non-Hague country, you must use the I-600 process to adopt and immigrate a child to the U.S.  IF YOU DO NOT GO THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE PROCESS, YOUR CHILD WILL NOT QUALIFY FOR AN ADOPTION VISA. 

3.  In order to adopt from any country outside the U.S., including Colombia, you will need to have a homestudy completed by a provider authorized to perform homestudies for Hague adoptions in your U.S. state of residence.  Be aware that you will not be allowed to start a homestudy for international adoption until at least one spouse is a U.S. citizen.  A homestudy will take approximately one to three months.

4.  Once you have an approved homestudy, you will need to file the I-800a form, along with the homestudy report, some other documents, and a fee with the USCIS.  You can download the I-800a form and instructions from the USCIS website.  USCIS review time varies, but it can take a few months. 

5.  You will need to select a Hague-accredited adoption agency located anywhere in the U.S. to serve as the primary provider for your adoption.  Even if you know of a child in Colombia who needs to be adopted, you MUST use the Hague-accredited U.S. agency as a primary provider, according to the Universal Accreditation Act, to ensure that you complete all the requirements of the U.S. and Colombia in a legal and ethical manner. 

6.  If Colombia designates only certain Hague-compliant U.S. agencies as eligible to conduct adoptions from that country, you will need to be sure that your primary provider has an approved Colombia program.

7.  Your agency will advise you on the documents you will need to supply for sending to the Colombian government, and ensure that they are prepared correctly.  It will also give you up to date guidance on whether Colombia is currently placing children with American families and what age of child can be adopted.  Be aware that Colombia has had moratoriums in the past, and currently is not placing children under 6 years and 11 months of age with overseas families, unless the children have special needs.  Whether it will allow an American couple of Colombian origin, living in the U.S. to adopt a healthy infant or toddler is something that your agency will have to determine but, frankly, it is unlikely, as there are many families in Colombia willing to adopt such children.

8.  Once your agency submits your documents to Colombia, you will wait to receive the referral of a child.  You will review the information and decide whether you can adopt that child, then notify your agency of your decision.  All Colombian adoptions are managed through ICBF or an authorized adoption institution (known in Spanish as “Institucion Autorizada para desarollar el Programa de Adopciones” (IAPA)).  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.  This means that you will need to travel to Colombia to complete adoption requirements.

9.  Before you go to Colombia, your agency will work with you to provide paperwork for the U.S. and Colombian governments.  As an example, you will complete the I-800 form for the USCIS.  This form is a companion to the I-800a form completed early in your adoption process, and reviews both your qualifications to adopt and your child’s eligibility to immigrate into the U.S.  Do NOT travel to Colombia until you receive something called an Article 5 letter from the U.S. government, as it proves, at least provisionally, to both the USCIS and the Colombian government that you are qualified to adopt the child and that the child is qualified to emigrate to the U.S.

10.  Your agency will advise you of the remaining steps in the process, which will include traveling to Colombia to finalize the adoption, bond with your child, obtain documents such as his/her birth certificate, adoption decree, and foreign passport, and so on.  Both spouses in a two parent family will need to travel for part of the often lengthy overseas period, but one spouse can go home for the remainder of the required stay.  If you need help with travel and lodging arrangements, your agency will assist you.

11.  Once you complete all requirements, you will bring your child to the U.S., possibly readopt him/her in your state of residence or do a “recognition” of the foreign adoption in your state of residence, and take steps to obtain such items as a Certificate of Citizenship and a Social Security number (SSN) for your child.  You will begin what will almost certainly be a wonderful but challenging life as parents.

Posted by sak9645 on Nov 09, 2017 at 1:50am

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