Colombia – Foreign Authorization – Requirements and Procedure
To support the viability of intercountry adoption as an option for permanency for children in Colombia, the Office of Children’s Issues and the U.S. Embassy in Bogota sought information from the Colombian Central Authority regarding its legal requirements for the authorization of adoption service providers (ASP), pursuant to Article 12 of the Hague Adoption Convention.
Colombia ratified the Convention on July 13, 1998, and it entered into force on November 1, 1998.
Colombian law requires U.S. ASPs be authorized by the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).
ASPs with questions about the information below or about pursuing authorization in Colombia should contact the Colombian Central Authority, Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar ICBF, Avenida Carrera 68 No. 64 C 75 Bogota – Colombia
Phone: PBX (57) (1) 4377630 ext. 101123 and 101124
Contact Person: Lina Patricia Rodriguez, Sub-Directorate for Adoptions.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Lina.RodriguezR@icbf.gov.co
To obtain authorization, a U.S. adoption service provider must provide the following documentation, translated into Spanish and apostilled according to the Apostille Convention (for more information see https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/specialised-sections/apostille):
1. Certification or minutes stating the ASP’s governing entity decided to request authorization to provide international adoption services in Colombia and that the legal representative of the organization in the United States (Legal Representative) is authorized to submit the formal request before the Central Authority of the Colombian State.
2. An application letter for the granting of authorization signed by the Legal Representative.
3. Accreditation to act in the receiving country.
4. The Articles of Incorporation (or similar document) for the ASP, or the document that is equivalent to it.
5. A copy of the current bylaws of the ASP, or the document that may be equivalent to it.
6. The ASP’s Legal Representative must have a professional degree and at least six (6) months of work experience in the area of adoption. When the applicant does not have a professional degree, he/she must have a secondary education , and experience as a legal representative of an accredited organization in adoption matters, for a term of no less than five (5) years.
7. The Legal Representative of an ASP must provide:
- an act of designation as the legal representative,
- an identification document,
- a current Certification of Criminal Record, or the document that is equivalent, issued by the competent authority in the United States,
- a current resume with evidence of professional degree or high school diploma, supporting documents demonstrating the experience as a legal representative of an ASP in adoption matters, of at least six (6) months or five (5) years, if applicable. The experience must be certified by a different entity from the one that is requesting the fulfillment of the requirement, a professional card for the professions that are required in the United States.
8. The legal representative of the ASP in Colombia must have a professional degree and at least six (6) months of work experience in the area of adoption. When the applicant does not have a professional degree, he/she must have a secondary education degree and experience in international adoption in one of the receiving countries or countries of origin, for a period of at least five (5) years.
9. The ASP must have a valid certificate issued by the Chamber of Commerce providing legal representation in Colombia, or an equivalent document, which must provide the authority to conduct the actions such as the authority to act on behalf of the ASP in order to request new authorization, renewal of authorization, to deliver documents requested during these procedures, to request information on the families represented by the ASP, to be notified of the decisions adopted by the ICBF or Authorized Institution to Develop the Adoption Program (IAPA), related to the authorization or the procedure for family adoptions, depending on the case, and the subscription of contracts and/or agreements.
10. The Colombian legal representative must provide:
- a Personal Identification Document,
- a current criminal record certificate, issued by the competent authority in Colombia,
- a current certificate of disciplinary record, issued by the competent authority in Colombia,
- a current certificate of tax records, issued by the competent authority in Colombia,
- a resume with supporting documentation of the representative’s professional degree, or secondary education degree,
- supporting documents demonstrating the experience as a legal representative of an accredited or authorized international adoption agency or organization in any of the receiving countries or countries of origin, to provide international adoption services, from a minimum of 6 months to five (5) years, if applicable, and
- a professional card for the professions that require it.
11. The legal representative of the ASP in the United States must certify that the ASP is committed to carry out the post-adoption follow-up in the form and terms required by the ICBF, deliver the Nationality Certificate of the child or adolescent, exonerate the Colombian families living abroad from the costs or expenses related to the preparation and initial accompaniment in the adoption process, ensure that the management staff and the work team in charge of developing the international adoption service for Colombia are familiar with international and Colombian regulations on adoption, and must provide the agency's Tax Registration Number (RUT), issued by the competent authority in Colombia.
12. The ASP must demonstrate five (5) years of experience in the field of national and international adoption. If the ASP does not meet this experience, it may meet the requirement based on the accreditation of five (5) years of individual professional experience of the personnel in charge of the Colombian program who handle the evaluation, preparation, selection, and post-adoption monitoring of adopting families.
13. The ASP must submit an organizational chart showing the staff who will work in the Adoption Program for Colombia, both in the United States and in Colombia.
14. The ASP must show that the staff who work on the preparation, evaluation, selection and post-adoption follow-up of the adoptive families have a professional title and experience of at least six (6) months in terms of adoption. They must present the following documentation:
- A resume with supporting work experience in adoptions, a copy of the diplomas or certificates of undergraduate or postgraduate training related to adoption.
- A copy of the Professional Card in the cases that the profession requires it in the United States.
- Criminal records, or the document that takes its place, issued by the competent authority in the United States.
-Copies of contracts, agreements, or conventions signed with the ASP for professionals to provide services for the ASP in any of phases of the adoption program.
15. Regarding the personnel who work for the ASP in Colombia as State of Origin, the following documentation must be submitted:
- Personal Identification Document.
- Resume with supporting work experience.
- Copy of the diplomas or certificates of undergraduate training, and postgraduate if available, and are related to adoption.
- Copy of the Professional Card in the cases that the profession requires it in Colombia.
- Current criminal record certificate, issued by the competent authority in Colombia.
- Current certificate of disciplinary record, issued by the competent authority in Colombia.
- Current certificate of tax records, issued by the competent authority in Colombia.
- Disciplinary record issued by the competent authority as appropriate to the profession, where it is stated that he is not affected by sanction, impediment or inability to perform activities of the profession.
- Contracts, agreements, or conventions signed with the ASP for professionals who work with the ASP in Colombia to provide services for the ASP in any of phases of the adoption program.
16. Submit a copy of the international adoption service program of the ASP covering the methodology, the times and those responsible for preparation, accompaniment, evaluation, and post-adoption follow-up, in accordance with the Technical Guidelines of the Adoption Program of Colombia.
17. The Legal Representative must certify that the ASP undertakes to present applications for international adoption for children and adolescents with special characteristics and needs, in accordance with the need for the service defined by the ICBF.
18. Certify that the ASP has available to the public the list of costs and fees.
19. Provide a copy of the list of costs caused by the provision of the international adoption service of the ASP, which contains the specification of the procedures and fees generated in it. The list will be published on the ICBF website, if authorization is granted.
20. Certification issued by the ASP in the United States stating that the administrative procedures of the adoption process in Colombia before the ICBF, are free and are reported or available to the public, in particular, to adoption applicants.
21. The accredited International Organizations or Agencies that seek to be authorized to provide the international adoption service must comply with the following financial requirements:
- Demonstrate a solid financial situation.
- Have an effective internal financial control system.
- Have an external audit.
- These requirements must be certified clearly and unequivocally by the External Auditor, by means of an opinion, which must be a Certified Public Accountant, endorsed by the competent authority of the State of Reception.
The Adoption Oversight Division in the Office of Children’s Issues can provide an accreditation verification letter to satisfy Colombian requirement 3. ASPs may email ASPadoption@state.gov to request this official communication. The authorization is valid for two years and then needs to be renewed.
For additional information, ASPs may wish to review the Colombia country-information page.