ColombiaOfficial Name: Republic of Colombia
Embassies and Consulates
Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50
Bogotá, D.C. Colombia
Telephone: (571) 275-2000
Emergency Telephone: (571) 275-2701
Fax: (571) 275-4501
U.S. Consular Agent - Barranquilla
Calle 77B No. 57-141, suite 511
Centro Empresarial Las Americas, Barranquilla, Atlantico
Telephone: (575) 353-2001
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.
Fax: (575) 353-5216
The U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla provides many routine citizen services for travelers on Colombia's north coast. Hours are 8:00am to noon, Monday through Friday except holidays, no appointment is necessary.
Colombia and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since June 1, 1996.
For information concerning travel to Colombia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Colombia.
Hague Abduction Convention
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Departmen's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Colombia. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Colombian Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF). ICBF'ss role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children. They can be reached at:
Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)
Sede Nacional Avenida Carrera 68 No 64 C 75
Bogota, DC, Colombia
Telephone: 011-57-1-437-7630, Extension 101123
Website: Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Colombia the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the ICBF. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the ICBF, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Colombian central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Colombia. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Colombia. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Retaining an Attorney
Parents pursuing Hague applications in Colombia must be represented by an attorney. Parents may choose either to hire a private attorney or request that an attorney be appointed for them by the Colombian Central Authority. Some parents have reported that they prefer hiring their own private attorneys, because they tend to be the most responsive in following up on cases and providing direct information to a court. A privately-hired attorney should contact the Colombian Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the Colombian Central Authority.
The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The Colombian Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and if the case is filed with the ICBF, the ICBF will first attempt to mediate between the parties in Hague Abduction Convention cases before a case is forwarded to a court. This mediation occurs in all cases and has resulted in several returns of children to the United States since 2009.
We strongly discourage taking matters into your own hands. The measures could be illegal and may delay your child’s return. Attempts to re-abduct your child from the United States may:
- Endanger your child and others;
- Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make in the United States; and
- Could even result in your arrest and imprisonment.
Finally, there is no guarantee that the chain of abductions would end with the one committed by you. A parent who has re-abducted a child may have to go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his or her whereabouts, living in permanent fear that the child may be re-abducted yet again.
If you are contemplating such desperate measures, we advise you to consider the emotional trauma inflicted on a child who is a victim of an abduction and a re-abduction. We discourage re-abduction not only because it is illegal, but also because of possible psychological harm to the child.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.