Procedures and Requirements to Adopt a Child in Colombia

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Adoption constitutes a legal act in which a kinship bond is acquired between two (2) paternity persons, that is, a relationship analogous to that of parents and children is established and to form it it is necessary to comply with certain Requirements to adopt a child in Colombia.

The laws of the country establish several conditions for those who wish to adopt a child, which we will highlight throughout the article together with the corresponding procedures and other points of interest.

According to him Article 61 of Law 1098 of 2006,

Adoption is, mainly and par excellence, a protection measure through which, under the supreme supervision of the State, the parental-filial relationship between people who do not have it by nature is irrevocably established.

What are the requirements to adopt?

To adopt a child in Colombia, it must be taken into account that there is a set of laws that are regulated by the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF), the regulatory process has the purpose of guaranteeing a quality of life for the child.

This means that the adoption process cannot be assumed by anyone and if someone wants to give a home to a child who is up for adoption, they must meet all the requirements.

The legal requirements to formalize the adoption are the following:

  1. Suitable Age: In Colombia, one of the requirements is to be at least 25 years old for the adoption of a child and you must be at least 15 years older than the child or adolescent you are going to adopt. It should be noted that this requirement does not apply if the adopted person is the son of your spouse and blood or political grandson.
  2. Full Integral Capacity: To adopt a child you must demonstrate that you are fully capable, both financially, mentally and emotionally; To guarantee the capabilities of the person, the officials will evaluate all the mentioned aspects.
  3. Personal suitability: The person who wants to adopt a child must have a moral and social mentality suitable enough to offer an adequate and stable family to the minor who is up for adoption.
  4. Establish the Process: It is an essential requirement to determine if the process will be carried out by yourself or together with your spouse, since, you can adopt while single or widowed, together with your spouse or permanent partner (common-law partner). In addition, you can adopt your ward or ex-ward and your nephew if you are his or her blood uncle or politician.

It should be noted that people with blood children can also go through the adoption process if they meet the requirements, having or not having natural children is not an impediment when it comes to adoption.

Procedures to carry out the adoption

Apart from the requirements, you must carry out a set of procedures and documents if you want to adopt a child, below we will explain each of them in detail.

Adoption Request Form: It must be requested by the couple or adopter and delivered to the corresponding body (ICBF or IAPA).

Birth certificate: This document is mandatory for applicants, including the corresponding marginal annotations. In the event that there is a prior divorce, a photocopy of the identity card (whether citizenship or foreign) must be noted down and delivered. Also, the Civil Registry of the adopted child or adolescent must be submitted.

Civil marriage registration: To carry out the adoption, the Civil Registry of the applicant couple or suitable proof of extramarital coexistence is needed, this according to article 124, paragraph of Law 1098 of 2006.

In the event that one of the spouses has previous marriages, they must present the divorce decree, including in it, the reasons that motivated the separation in an explanatory way.

Criminal record: The certificate must be current and with less than six (6) months of issuance, issued by the competent authority (judicial certificate).

Certified Document of Economic Capacity: This certificate must be issued by the employer taking aspects such as the basis of salary and time of service, deeds, income statement, among others.

Physical Fitness Certification: It is issued by a legally authorized doctor.

All these certificates will be evaluated by the Defender or Lawyer assigned by the institution in order to guide the process and subsequently issue an invitation for the workshops, where the suitability of the person to be adopted will be evaluated.

Letter of engagement: A letter of commitment must be made for the respective follow-up of the process.

Accreditation of PermanenceCitizens who are foreigners residing in Colombia must prove, through documentary evidence, their prior and subsequent stay in Colombia.

ICBF Study: It is required to carry out a social and psychological study by the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) for families residing in Colombia.

Who can adopt in Colombia?

In the Colombian state, married, single, widowed or separated people can adopt a child or adolescent.

All those couples formed by a man and a woman can opt for adoption, as long as they meet the aforementioned requirements and demonstrate an uninterrupted coexistence of at least two (2) years.

It should be noted that couples made up of the same sex and a single person can also adopt in case of being a spouse or permanent partner who requests to adopt the child of their partner, as long as it demonstrates in the same way an uninterrupted coexistence of 2 years as minimum.

What children can be adopted?

To adopt a child, it must be taken into account that they must have certain aspects to consider, which are highlighted below:

  • It should be adopted at underage not emancipateds, the opposite will only be possible when there is a stable coexistence situation with the future parents for one year before emancipation.
  • To adopt a descendant, relative in the second degree by consanguinity and / or ward, the justified general account of guardianship; that is to say, before the adoption the personal and patrimonial management must have been carried out correctly.
  • You can only adopt more than one minor if the adoption process is carried out by a couple.
  • In the event that the minor remains if adopted due to death, a new adoption will be possible.
  • If the adoptee is in permanent foster care or guardianship for the purpose of subsequent adoption by a couple and the same intends to legally divorce, the adoption will be carried out jointly only if the effective coexistence of the adoptee with both parties for a minimum of two (2) years prior to the adoption proposal.

What does adopting a child entail?

To carry out the process of adopting a minor, the desire to do so is not enough, adopting a child entails multiple responsibilities that, if not known, can be difficult to face.

Below we will explain the aspects involved in adopting a child to be taken into account before formalizing the process.

  1. Circumstances where it comes from: It is important to know the child’s past circumstances and the reasons why he was abandoned by his biological parents, taking into account possible trauma, abuse, violence, among others.
  2. Life history, Siblings and Age: It is essential to know these 3 aspects, knowing their biological age, possible adoption history and attachment to possible siblings can determine the child’s behavior and knowing these situations will help to manage them.
  3. Skepticism: Do not assume that the people in charge of the adoption procedures know everything about the child, inquire as much as possible before assuming the adoption. Skepticism will help you to have a better understanding of what the child feels and the consequences that it entails.
  4. Consciousness: The adoption of a child not only involves emotional management, but also economic. It is important to have an awareness objective enough to understand the different aspects and consequences of raising a child. Counseling with a therapist is recommended for this area.
  5. Child Characteristics: You must know the psychological, physical and emotional characteristics of the child to evaluate if they match what you are looking for in a child.
  6. Disabilities / Treatment: By adopting a child, you also adopt the disabilities or treatments that they have, such as some type of therapy, illness, impossibility, among others. You must take this aspect into account before the adoption to evaluate if you are in the capacity (psychological, economic, etc.) to face their problems.

What body is in charge of the adoption of children?

To start the adoption process you must go to the different organizations related to the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), such as:

  • ICBF Zonal Centers.
  • ICBF regionals.
  • Sectionals of the ICBF.
  • Institutions authorized by the ICBF, known as Adoption Houses.

In conclusion, adoption represents the establishment of a true family similar to the one that exists between members united by ties of blood, with all Requirements to adopt a child in Colombia that carry rights and duties that imply that the adopter has the responsibility to care for and assist the adopted child in his education, support, affection and provide all the necessary conditions for him to grow up in an environment of well-being, affection and solidarity.

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