Adoption proceedings in Colombia
Adoption is a legal process by which a person or couple assumes parental responsibility for a child who is not biologically theirs, granting them all the rights and duties that come with the parent-child relationship.
In Colombia, adoption is regulated by the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), which is the entity in charge of protecting the rights of children and adolescents in the country. The ICBF establishes the procedures and requirements for adoption, ensuring that it is carried out in a safe manner and respecting the best interests of the child.
The adoption procedure in Colombia consists of the following steps:
- Evaluation and preparation: Those interested in adopting should go to the ICBF to begin the process. There they will receive information, be evaluated and receive orientation on adoption.
- If the application is accepted the ICBF will be in charge of finalizing the feasibility of the adoption in 3 phases:
- Suitability: This phase will be where it will be determined that the applicants have the capabilities to be parents, for this will be given some parenting workshops, multiple interviews, psychometric evaluations and home visits.
- Acceptance by the committee: Once the suitability stage is completed the results will be sent to the Adoption Committee, they must review all the evidence and if the adoption is accepted the applicants will enter the waiting list.
- Assignment of the child or adolescent: This is the final stage of the process and is where a child or adolescent will be assigned to the applicants, in this way the first approaches with the child will be prepared, after the meetings, and the verification of integration, the adoption can be finalized with the legalization of the adoption before a Family Judge.
- Finally, for the legalization of the adoption process, it will be necessary to carry out a judicial process before a family court, with the purpose of decreeing the adoption and its legal effects are activated. An attorney is required for this process.
The basic requirements to adopt in Colombia are
- To be fully capable.
- Be at least 25 years old.
- Demonstrate sufficient physical, mental, moral and social suitability to provide a suitable and stable family for a child under 18 years of age.
- Be at least 15 years older than the adoptable.
The documents required for spouses or permanent partners residing in Colombia are as follows:
- Single Application Form for Undetermined Adoption.
- Certificate or document that takes its place of attendance to the legal lecture, with an expedition not older than six (6) months.
- Post-adoption follow-up commitment form for indeterminate adoption.
- Photocopy of the citizenship card of each of the applicants.
- Copy of applicants’ birth records, with annotations in the margins, if applicable.
- Medical certificate based on the medical certificate of fitness form for adoption applicants.
- Labor certificates and income tax returns for the immediately preceding year, if applicable. In the case of self-employed, in addition to the income tax return, certification of income issued by a public accountant (attach a photocopy of the identification card and Professional Card of the Central Board of Accountants).
- Certificate of judicial and police antecedents.
- Form letter of commitment and responsibility for participation and information in the process of preparation, evaluation and selection for adoption.
Finally, it is important to mention that in the case of foreigners residing in Colombia or abroad, other documents must be provided.