The Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) has recently advised the U.S. Department of State and other international adoption partners of several important changes in Colombia’s management of intercountry adoptions. Although ICBF is in the process of finalizing the specific details of these changes, the Colombian media has already begun reporting on the matter. This alert is intended to explain a proposed change.
The Department of State expects that Colombia will officially announce, during the early part of June, a temporary moratorium on the acceptance of new intercountry adoption applications from non-Colombian citizens interested in adopting a child aged 0 – 6 years old, unless that child has been characterized as “difficult to adopt” by ICBF.
At present, ICBF has a waiting list of more than 3,000 foreign families hoping to adopt children from 0 – 6 years old. Rather than continue to ask families to wait five to seven years on a waiting list, such a moratorium would keep new families from experiencing extensive wait times and encourage prospective adoptive families to consider adopting one or more of the nearly 8,000 Colombian children awaiting adoption who are older than six, part of a group of three or more siblings, or who have chronic health or developmental needs.
While a moratorium would affect families who have not yet filed adoption applications with ICBF, the Department of State expects that adoption processing will continue to operate normally in all other respects. Families who have already been accepted by ICBF for a healthy child between 0 – 6 years would maintain their place on the existing waiting list and ICBF would continue to match and finalize adoptions for these children as the need arises. Families interested in adopting older children or any child identified by ICBF as “difficult to adopt” should not experience any changes as a result of this decision. Furthermore, ICBF has indicated that any family currently on the waiting list for a 0 – 6 year-old, who is open to adopting a different category of child, should work with their adoption service provider to let ICBF know.
The Department of State will update this alert once ICBF publishes its final announcement on this proposed change.