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Childless married couples


Married couples with children


Single people


Same sex couples

 was reaccredited in Colombia by resolution Number 3492 dated 13/05/2020.

COFA Bordeaux COFA Bordeaux was accredited by Colombia until 26 November 2020.

COFA Bordeaux remains fully available for counselling to adoptive families in Colombian nationality, passport, and military situation procedures, and for birth parent queries.

COFA Bordeaux will continue offering Parenting Support Workshops, which are open to the adoptive families it has supported throughout their adoption procedure.



COFA Lyon and COFA Bordeaux have been working for over 35 years with Colombia, where they share a joint representative. Following a period when this country entrusted many children to us, we have noted a steady decrease in children, mainly due to the development of national adoptions.

In 2018, two Colombian children arrived in France through COFA Lyon.


Children are granted dual citizenship.


Signatory of The Hague Conventionsince November 1998.


Legally adoptable Colombian children are those whose parents or legal representative have consented to their adoption. Their appearances differ according to their origin (indigenous, Afro-descendant, mixed race).

When our accreditation was renewed, it was stipulated again by the Colombian Central Authority that COFA Lyon must present adoption applications that focus on welcoming special needs children (see the list of special needs below).

Based on Resolution No. 1600 of 5 March 2019 :

  •  the ICBF has placed a 2-year suspension on Colombia’s acceptance of new requests from foreign families who are looking to adopt a healthy child between 0 and 6 years and 11 months of age, or siblings in which the eldest is aged up to 6 years and 11 months.
  • Only those requests from foreign families for a healthy child aged over 6 years and 11 months or siblings in which the eldest child is aged over 7 years old shall be examined by ICBF/IAPAS.
  • Applications from foreign families may be filed regardless of age for welcoming special needs children.
  • Single people must be approved for Special Needs children as defined by Colombia, in other words, either in good health and at least 10 years old, or who have a health or developmental condition as per the following list.

By Resolution No. 2551 of 29/03/2016, amended by Resolution No. 13368 of 23/12/2016, the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF, Colombian Institute for Family Wellbeing) establishes that special needs children are :

  • children of 10 years of age or older,
  • two or more siblings in which one child is at least 10 years of age,
  • siblings of three or more children,
  • children of any age with a permanent handicap,
  • children of any age presenting a serious chronic illness or requiring specialised medical attention (serious generalised learning and developmental issues, HIV, heart and kidney conditions, for example).

There is no minimum age for the eldest of siblings of three children, but an approval of up to at least 8 years and 11 months of age seems advisable.

Please note that on the accreditation document, the words “Other characteristics” pertaining to the health condition of the future child must be filled out according to the application and advice of professionals.

If you wish to adopt one or several Colombian children with special characteristics and needs, as described above, COFA Lyon and COFA Bordeaux are here to support you in this project.


Colombia has very high requirements regarding the quality of social and psychological evaluation content. Personality tests are required, while social and psychological evaluations must be repeated according to the ICBF’s schedule.

Families must commit to learning the basics of Spanish conversation.

To apply with COFA Lyon or COFA Bordeaux, please send us by post:

  • a covering letter
  • photocopies of the approval, accreditation notice, the departmental council’s social and psychological reports
  • a copy of your family record book
  • a copy of the reasons adduced for a judgment if you are divorced
  • a photograph
  • a stamped envelope for our reply.

We will examine these elements and offer an initial appointment if we feel that your application might succeed in Colombia.




Waiting time:

The small number of adoptions in this country makes it difficult to estimate waiting times between the ICBF receiving an application and the matching of a child.


Families must plan on staying approximately six to seven weeks on location, depending on the region.


Applicants receive advice throughout their procedures in Colombia from our representative, based in Bogota. She will help with finding accommodation, travelling across the country, interpreting, ICBF procedures, and procedures with the French embassy in Bogota.

Please also view: MAI’s “Colombia” sheet.

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A legal adoption ruling in Colombia produces full adoption effects in France, including

  • severing filiation ties between the child and their biological family
  • creating filiation ties between the child and their adoptive family
  • adoption is irrevocable.

Colombian adoption rulings are entered directly by the Nantes public prosecutor.







If you intend to go to Columbia with your adopted children, or if they are going there by themselves, please be aware that a number of administrative formalities must be fulfilled before leaving.

Columbian nationality

There are two separate situations concerning Columbian nationality:

Columbian ruling obtained before 4 July 1991 :  Article 9 of the 1886 Columbian political constitution stipulated that: “Columbian nationality is lost when nationality from a foreign country is acquired.” Consequently, these adopted children shall only have French nationality. If they wish to travel to Columbia, they may enter and leave Columbia as French citizens, with their French passports.

However, adopted children may, if they wish, recover their Columbian nationality by completing the relevant procedures (described below) at the Columbian Consulate.

Having recovered their Columbian nationality (they then have dual citizenship), they will be obligated to travel to Columbia using their Columbian passport and therefore, to complete all relevant steps (described below) at the Columbian Consulate to comply with that requirement several weeks before their trip.

* Columbian ruling obtained after 4 July 1991 :  Article 96 of the Columbian political constitution of 4 July 1991 stipulates that: “Columbian nationality cannot be lost when another nationality is acquired.” Consequently, adopted children who were born in Columbia have dual citizenship. If they wish to travel to Columbia, they must enter and leave the country using their Columbian passport, and must therefore complete the relevant procedures (described below) at the Columbian Consulate to comply with this requirement several weeks before their trip.

 It is therefore imperative that children with dual citizenship be in possession of a valid Columbian passport to enter Columbia whether or not they are of legal age. They will be asked for this passport by Immigration Services at the airport.

In addition, boys of legal age must have taken steps to prove that they have been released from military obligations in France (see following paragraph).

Procedure for recovering Columbian nationality

Send an email to to request an appointment, attaching the following documents:

  • Reasoned written request in Spanish.
  • Columbian birth certificate (Registro Civil de Nacimiento) featuring the names of the adopting parents.
  • Copy of the Columbian passport with which the adopted child left the country following their adoption.
  • Copy of the French identity card.
  • Copy of the French birth certificate.

Note: This procedure is free.

Applying for a passport for an underage child

To apply for a Columbian passport, if the child is under the age of 18, they must go to the Columbian Consulate in person, accompanied by a parent.

Adress : 12 rue de Berri 75008 PARIS , Tel: +33 (0)1 53 93 91 91

Appointments are not necessary. Open from 8.30 to 13.30 on working days, last ticket issued at 12.30.

You must bring:

  • The original Columbian birth certificate (Registro Civil de Nacimiento) featuring the names of the adopting parents.
  • If the child’s blood type is not mentioned on this document, bring the child’s blood type records (you may need to ask for a test at a medical laboratory).
  • The child’s first Columbian passport, featuring the visa from the French Embassy granting entry into France.
  • The accompanying parent’s French identity card or passport.
  • A means of payment for the Columbian revenue stamp and fees (bank cards are accepted).
  • A Chronopost envelope (€29 in May 2020) for sending the passport to your home if you do not intend to collect it in person.
  • ID photographs for the passport are taken onsite.

In the waiting room, you will be asked to fill out the passport application form.

Applying for a passport for a child of legal age

This application must be accompanied by the application for a citizenship card (cedula de ciudadania), which is obtained free of charge..

The child must come in person, with the same documents as above, but will fill out the passport and ID/citizenship card applications him or herself.

They must also bring:

  • 3 passport photographs fulfilling the specifications provided on the Consulate’s website.
  • A French proof of identity.

In April 2019, the waiting time for a passport was under two weeks. ID cards take much longer but are not critical for travelling.

Military obligations

In Columbia, military service, which lasts 12 to 18 months, is mandatory for all male Columbian citizens of legal age (18 years), in accordance with Article 11, Law 1867 of 4 August 2017.

For adopted men of legal age to comply with Columbian legislation, they must be able to justify their French military obligations.

To obtain a Certificado Militar, issued by the Columbian Army Recruiting and Reserve Department (made possible pursuant to Article 25 of Law 48 of 1993, Columbia and France having signed a mutual recognition agreement), they must show the relevant French document, a Certificat Individuel de Participation à la Journée Défense et Citoyenneté, have a certified copy of the document made, have it apostilled by the Court of Appeal, and finally, have it translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

They must also be in possession of the Cedula de Ciudadania, or at least have its number (to be given when applying).

Then register on the following website, and upload the required documents.




Were you adopted through COFA Lyon or COFA Bordeaux?
Would you like to find out more about your origins, gain insight into your records, or speak with a professional?

If you are of legal age, a professional will see you after receiving a covering letter, a photocopy of your ID card, and anything you know that might help us identify you and refer to your archived file.

If you are underage, you must have the consent of your adoptive parents.

If you would like help or support from COFA Lyon or COFA Bordeaux, you will need to grant us a power of attorney authorising us to serve as your intermediary for these procedures.

Birth parent searches in Colombia are free for procedures undertaken with the ICBF..  

It is managed by professionals from this state organisation who work with COFA Lyon or COFA Bordeaux professionals, who will offer support and help in your procedures.