Russia Travel Advisory
July 1, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


Republic of Colombia
Reconsider travel due to crime and terrorism. Exercise increased caution due to civil unrest and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Reconsider travel due to crime and terrorism. Exercise increased caution due to civil unrest and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • Arauca, Cauca (except Popayán), and Norte de Santander departments due to crime and terrorism.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as homicide, assault, and armed robbery, is widespread. Organized criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, and kidnapping, are common in some areas.

On June 23, 2016, the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). However, the National Liberation Army (ELN), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia terrorist organizations continue plotting attacks in Colombia, and may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, police stations, military facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. While terrorists have not specifically targeted U.S. citizens, the attacks could result in unintended victims.

Demonstrations occur regularly throughout the country. Large public demonstrations can take place for a variety of political and economic issues. Demonstrations can cause the shutdown of local roads and major highways, often without prior notice or estimated reopening timelines. Road closures may significantly reduce access to public transportation and airports, and may disrupt travel both within and between cities. During nationwide protests earlier in 2021, several cities experienced vandalism, looting, and destruction. Some demonstrations have resulted in fatalities and injuries.

U.S. government personnel cannot travel freely throughout Colombia for security reasons.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Colombia. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Colombia has a moderate level of COVID-19.  Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.  

If you decide to travel to Colombia:

Arauca, Cauca, and Norte de Santander Departments – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide, is widespread.

Terrorist groups are active in some parts.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government-personnel travel to these areas is severely restricted due to security concerns.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.


Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?

Hague Convention Information

Colombia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Colombia.

On July 15, 2013, Colombia's Central Authority for adoptions, the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), ceased accepting new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens living abroad interested in adopting a child under 6 years and 11 months old, unless ICBF considers the child to have special characteristics or needs (please see the Special Needs or Medical Conditions section below for more information). ICBF has indicated that this restriction will last at least two years.

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. The Colombian adoption process has two stages, an administrative process (with ICBF or an IAPA) and a judicial process before a family judge. Intercountry adoptions are only considered full and final in Colombia after the family judge issues the final adoption decree, called a “sentencia,” and the certificate of conformity issued by ICBF. Adopting parents are required to remain in Colombia during both stages of the adoption process.

Note:  Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Colombia, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Colombia obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Colombia:

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoptions from Colombia.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  Parent(s) must be 25 years old and at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted. In practice, newborns are assigned to younger couples and older children to older couples.
  • Marriage: Colombia permits adoption by both married couples and unmarried individuals, although Colombia has significantly stricter requirements on adoptions by unmarried individuals.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents are required to submit documentation confirming their ability to provide for the adopted child.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Colombia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Colombia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Colombia have determined that placement of the child within Colombia has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Colombia’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

Colombia only approves a child for adoption after completing an extensive review of the child’s situation and his or her extended family (a process known as the restoration of rights – “restablecimiento de derechos” in Spanish).

On July 15, 2013, ICBF ceased accepting new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens living abroad interested in adopting a child under 6 years and 11 months old, unless ICBF considers the child to have special characteristics or needs. ICBF has indicated that this restriction will last at least two years.


  • Relinquishment: Colombian law allows adoption by direct relinquishment to blood relatives within the third degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity. (Click here for a chart explaining consanguinity/affinity.)
  • Abandonment: Most intercountry adoptions from Colombia occur after a family defender issues a declaration of adoptability following an extensive review of the child’s living situation and his/her biological and extended family’s ability to care for the child (“restoration or rights”).
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Prospective adoptive parents with Colombian citizenship and U.S. families who reside in Colombia may apply to adopt children under the age of 16 (up 18 if adopted along with a younger sibling), although ICBF has established specific age ranges for different types of children and different family compositions.  ICBF no longer accepts new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens living abroad interested in adopting a child under 6 years and 11 months, unless ICBF considers the child to have special characteristics or needs.  ICBF intends to reassess these limitations on placement in July 2015.  
    • Note:  Families who have already been accepted by ICBF as prospective adoptive parents for a healthy child under 6 years and 11 months old will maintain their place on the existing waiting list and ICBF will continue to match and finalize adoptions for these children.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  Sibling adoptions may take place in Colombia.  Please see the Special Needs or Medical Conditions section below for more information.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  ICBF’s highest priority is to find home for children with special characteristics or needs:

a.  Three or more siblings
b.  Two siblings, one older than eight years of age
c.  Any child older than 8 years of age with no diseases or disabilities
d.  Any child of any age with a physical or mental disability
e.  Any child with a chronic disease (HIV, cardiac, liver, among others)

ICBF is committed to accelerating the entire adoption process – from declaration of adoptability through the final issuance of the adoption decree – for families interested in these children.

  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  There is no mandatory waiting period to be matched with a child.  ICBF does require, however, that prospective parents spend a minimum of three days (more typically one to two weeks) living with the child(ren) in Colombia before ICBF will allow the family to file their final adoption paperwork with a Colombian court.

How to Adopt

WARNING:  Colombia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention.  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Colombia before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Colombia’s Adoption Authority
Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF)

Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption:  1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Colombia as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or; 3) the adoption was completed.  Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  For more information, read about Transition Cases

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.  Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Colombia
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt the child in Colombia
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Colombia is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases.  Only adoption services providers accredited or approved by both the United States and Colombia may provide adoption services between the United States and Colombia.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case.  The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations.  Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

Note:  Colombian law allows prospective parents and their chosen adoption service provider to work with ICBF or an authorized adoption institution (IAPA).  A number of U.S. adoption service providers have pre-established relationships with IAPAs.  Adopting with the assistance of an IAPA can be more expensive than adopting directly through ICBF.  Prospective parents should review the pros and cons of both options with their adoption service provider before making a final decision about which option to pursue.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an adoption service provider accredited or approved in both the United States and Colombia, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A.  Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your Form I-800A approval notice, home study, and any other required information to ICBF, or your chosen authorized adoption institution (IAPA) in Colombia, as part of your adoption dossier (see a list of documents required by ICBF below).  Colombia’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Colombia’s law.

3.  Be Matched with a Child in Colombia

If both the United States and Colombia determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Colombian Central Authority determines that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Colombian Central Authority or IAPA 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 ICBF 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 required by USCIS can fulfill both the U.S. and the Colombian requirements.  ICBF reserves the right to request additional information or clarification of any information included in this study.  
    • Note:  Diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues with prescription medication is much more common in the United States than in Colombia.  As a result, ICBF staff and family judges (who must approve the adoption) may have additional questions for families addressing these issues.  By including a psychological study prepared by a psychologist or psychiatrist with their initial submission, a family dealing with these issues can provide additional information that could help avoid delays in the Colombian approval process.
  • 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.  For U.S. citizens, this consists of a set of fingerprints, and their results, issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 
    • 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 received in U.S. dollars;
  • 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; and
  • Family photo album.  There is no required format for this album.  ICBF and IAPA staff use this album during the matching process to get a more complete sense of the family and living situation.  Additionally, ICBF and IAPA staff share this album with the child to prepare him or her to meet the family and transition to his or her new family and home.

Note:  Colombia requires that all documents submitted (except the family album) 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.  If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the ICBF in Colombia.  Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800).  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Colombia.  A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING:  The consular officer will prepare a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Colombia’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Colombia where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform Colombia’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.  A representative of your adoption service provider will need to come to the embassy to collect this letter and deliver it to ICBF.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Colombia before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa at the final visa interview.

Obtaining the Article 5 letter is a two-step process:

  • You prepare and electronically submit an online DS-260 application for the child(ren) you will be adopting.

In order to submit the DS-260, you will need the Department of State case number (which will begin with “BGT” followed by 10 digits) and an invoice ID.  The National Visa Center (NVC) will mail this information to you generally within two weeks of USCIS’ approval of your I-800.  If you do not wish to wait for this letter from NVC, you may email five to seven business days after USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800 petition to request your case number and invoice ID.  Please include in this email your full name and date of birth, the full name and date of birth of the petitioner (if you are not the petitioner), and the USCIS receipt number (if you are adopting more than one child, please include the USCIS receipt number for each child as NVC will need to send you a separate case numbers and invoice IDs for each child).  Once you have this information, you can complete the online DS-260 application.  Please remember that you are filling this form out on behalf of your child(ren) – answer each question based on their current situation (to include using their biological names), not your own.

  • The local representative of your adoption service provider submits several additional items in person to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota on your behalf:
    • Two (2) color photographs of the child on a white background.  The total size of the photo must be 5 cm x 5 cm with the child’s head size measuring 3 cm x 3 cm.
    • The $230 immigrant visa application fee. 

Note: This payment must be made in person at the embassy, although the local representative may pay by cash or credit card.
Note:  A consular officer will confirm the validity of your USCIS-issued fingerprint clearance during the Article 5 review process.  If your fingerprints are scheduled to expire within three months, the embassy will normally request that you schedule a new fingerprint appointment with USCIS to update your prints prior to travelling.  We cannot issue a visa to your child if your fingerprints have expired, so you will prevent unnecessary delays by updating your prints before travel.  If you have already updated your prints, please e-mail a copy of the update (or a copy of the appointment letter showing the date of your fingerprint appointment) to so that we can work with USCIS to add these updated results to your file.

5.  Adopt or Gain Legal Custody of Child in Colombia

Remember:  Before you adopt a child in Colombia, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption in Colombia.

The process for finalizing the adoption in Colombia generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Central Authority:  Colombian law does not allow for private adoptions.  Children may be adopted only through the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) or approved adoption agencies (IAPAs).  ICBF or the IAPA will match the child with the prospective adoptive parent(s) and issue the required paperwork before the case moves to the Colombian courts.  Once a family judge issues an adoption decree, ICBF will issue the Certificate of Conformity for all adoption cases (whether completed through ICBF or an IAPA).
  • Role of the Court:  The Colombian family courts require a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota stating that they will issue an immigrant visa to the child if all adoption and U.S. immigrant requirements are met.  When all documentation is completed, the family judge will provide the adoption decree which the family can then use to obtain a new Colombian birth certificate from the National Registrar and a new Colombian passport from the Colombian passport office.

Note:  For children adopted by two parents, Colombian law requires that both parents travel to Colombia for the official integration period with the child (as established by ICBF) and for the initial court date.  Only one parent is required to remain in Colombia following the initial hearing with the judge.  Should one parent choose to return to the United States, the departing parent must go to a Colombian notary to prepare a travel authorization to allow the child to travel to the United States with only one parent.

  • Role of Adoption Service Providers:  A list of accredited U.S. adoption service providers authorized to facilitate adoptions in Colombia is available on the ICBF website.  The Department of State maintains a current list of accredited adoption service providers.  Not all Hague accredited adoption service providers are authorized to operate in Colombia.

Before traveling to Colombia, we recommend that you confirm with your adoption service provider the services that you will receive in-country.  Although the Colombian government requires adoption service providers to assist you throughout your time in country, families have reported differing levels of support.  In particular, we recommend confirming the type of translation assistance you will receive during the process as well as whether the local representative will attend any meetings with you.

  • Time Frame:  There is no set time frame for completing an intercountry adoption from Colombia.  There are many factors that determine how long the adoption and visa process takes, including paperwork approval times, desired gender and age of the child, and the age of the prospective adoptive parent(s).  Adoptive parents have reported the entire process taking 18 to 30 months from the start of the home study process.
  • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parents can find a description of the adoption process as well as the adoption application here.
  • Adoption Fees:  In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency should itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.  It is difficult to predict how much the entire adoption process will cost, as each case is unique.  Adoptive parents have reported spending between $12,000 and $30,000 to complete the adoption process.  ICBF does not charge for administrative processing.  Families working with an IAPA can find the list of allowable fees published on ICBF’s webpage.
  • Documents Required: See the section Be Matched With a Child in Colombia.
  • Authentication of Documents:  You will be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic.  If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist.  Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

6.  Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before you can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for four documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Certificate of Conformity
Your adoption representative will take the adoption decree issued by a family judge to the ICBF national headquarters to obtain a Certificate of Conformity which you will need to present to the U.S. Embassy on the day of your child’s immigrant visa interview.

Birth Certificate
If you have finalized the adoption in Colombia, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for his/her Colombian passport.

At present, Colombia does not have any provisions which would allow for the electronic delivery of the adoption decree or the new birth certificate.  Your adoption service provider will usually make arrangements to hand-deliver a notarized copy of the adoption decree to the registrar’s office where your child was originally registered.  That office will prepare a new birth certificate that someone will need to collect.  While this process usually takes just a few days, some families have experienced delays of a week or more due to difficulties in delivering/receiving documents.  Families may wish to consult with their adoption service provider prior to traveling to Colombia to review how much additional time this process could require.

Colombia Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Colombia.  Most families take the child’s new birth certificate to the Colombian Passport Office located at Calle 100 in Bogota to obtain the child’s passport.  A passport costs approximately $65 and is generally available for pick-up within two days.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.  After the adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, a final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

Once you have the documents listed under section 4 above, along with the required medical exams, your adoption service provider can request an expedited interview by emailing this request and a copy of the child’s biographical data page from the new passport to  In general, the Embassy can offer an appointment the next business day as long as you or your adoption representative sends the request and a copy of the passport biographical data page before 4:00 p.m.  After you or your representative requests the appointment from us, we will reopen your DS-260 application(s).  You will then need to return to and update the application to show your child’s adoptive name and correct passport information.  Note:  You cannot make these edits until after we have reopened the DS-260 application electronically.

  • On the day of the interview, you and your child should come to the Embassy at your scheduled time and bring:
    • Child’s new Colombian passport
    • Child’s new birth certificate and a copy of the child’s birth certificate prior to the adoption
    • Administrative resolution of the adoption that contains the declaration of adoptability.  This document must include ICBF’s approval
    • Final adoption decree
    • Medical examination results

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.  Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad


Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Colombia
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Colombia, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State.  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Colombia enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption


Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

For adoptions completed on or after August 12, 2021, Colombia requires post-adoption reports as follows:

  • Children up to age 7 years, 11 months (at time of adoption court order): 4 reports total at six-month intervals after adoption

  • Children aged 8 years and above (at time of adoption court order): 6 reports total at six-month intervals after adoption

We urge prospective adoptive parents to comply with Colombia’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Colombia’s history of positive experience with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

If your adopted child wants to learn about their biological family, please email

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Colombia
Carrera 45, No. 24B-27
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel:  011-57-1-275-2000, 2:00–3:00 p.m. (Colombian Standard Time)
Fax:  011-57-1-275-4545
Email:, Attn: Adoptions

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

Embassy of Colombia
2118 Leroy Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel:  (202) 387-8338
Fax:  (202) 232-8643

Colombia also has consulates in:  Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; San Juan, PR; New York, NY; Miami, FL

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Tel:  1-888-407-4747

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bogota
Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50
Bogotá, D.C. Colombia
+(57) (1) 275-2000
+(57) (1) 275-2000
No Fax

Colombia Map