Basic Steps and Timeline of the Colombia Adoption Process

Timeline from Application Approval to Bringing Your Child(ren) Home:
Approximately 15 – 25 Months*


5 working days

Approved Home Study

Approx. 8 -10 weeks


Approx. 1-3 months

Child Match (for waiting child)

Approx. 6 – 15 Months

Travel to Colombia

Approx. 4 – 8 Weeks after Child Match, up to an 8 week stay in country

* The timeframe may vary while you are in process. However, the outline above reflects the timeline that families have experienced. This may not be your exact timeline.

There are benchmarks in every adoption. To give you an idea of what is involved in a Colombian adoption through CCAI, the following highlights the major steps and timeframe of the process. Because of the nature of international adoption, this timeframe can change during your adoption process, but CCAI is committed to keeping you informed of the current timeline as you work toward your adopted child(ren). Understanding the process and timeline now will enable you to be better prepared for this incredible journey that brings you and your child(ren) together.

CCAI Application for Adoption – 5 Working Days

Your application allows CCAI to screen your qualifications for an adoption from Colombia. From your application, we are able to determine whether or not you meet the requirements of our agency and the requirements of the various government entities that will be involved in your adoption - U.S. government, Colombian government, etc. If a family submits a complete and truthful application and is approved by CCAI, we are committed to serving you through all the stages of an adoption from Colombia.

Home Study - Approx. 8 to 10 weeks

Your dossier cannot be completed without your Home Study; if not in one of our licensed states, CCAI will provide a list of home study service providers and will be your link to the USCIS. (If in one of our licensed states of CO, FL, GA, KY, TX, or WY, CCAI will be your home study service provider.) Our Dossier Team will review your home study and once approved for Colombia, you will file your I-800A along with related documents and fees (including the home study) for immigration approval to adopt from Colombia.

Dossier Compilation – Approx. 1 to 3 months

Once your adoption application has been approved, you will begin to compile your adoption dossier. Your dossier is a collection of documents that report on various aspects of your life and represents you as adoptive parents to the Colombian government. This part of the adoption process often seems daunting to adoptive families, but it is important to remember that you are not alone! You will be given CCAI’s Adoption Dossier Guide for Colombia and full access to our knowledgeable Dossier Team for support and encouragement; you can do this!

Part of the dossier includes a psychological report, written by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist (with license attached). This report will be signed by a licensed professional and will include (but is not limited to) the following topics:

  • Description of the methodology used to evaluate the applicant(s) and create the report
  • Personality traits of each applicant
  • Ability to bond/attach to an adopted child
  • Marital adjustment, if applicable
  • Life history of each applicant, including specific life experiences of significance
  • How each applicant copes with loss
  • Motivation to adopt, including the decision-making process and expectations regarding the child(ren) to be adopted
  • Parenting end education styles of the applicants which will guide the parent/child relationship
  • Attitude regarding the anticipated adoptive child(ren)’s history and the biological family
  • Professional recommendation of suitability

Our Dossier Team will critically review your documents and upon approval, families will get their documents notarized and then sent to the appropriate Secretary of State office for apostille. Once complete, CCAI will send the dossier to Colombia for translation, legalization and submission to the Central Authority (ICBF) for review and approval.

Child Match – 6 to 15 months*

Upon review and approval, your family is placed on a list for those waiting for a Child Match. Once a child(ren) that meets your specifications becomes available, a Child Match will be issued to your family. You will be provided the original Spanish version of all received information as well as an English translation. Whenever possible, we will share this news and all Child Match information in person or via virtual meeting. If that is not possible, we will ensure you receive news of your Child Match by phone and all information by email, fax, and/or mail. You will have 2 weeks to make a final decision about the Child Match.

*The timeframe for this part of the process is dependent on your family’s openness to age, gender, and medical conditions of child(ren).

Once your family accepts a child match, CCAI will help you file the I-800 with USCIS. Upon issuance of I-800 Provisional Approval, USCIS NBC will forward the petition to the US Embassy in Bogotá in preparation for the visa process. CCAI will also continue to support you in preparing to bring your child(ren) home, and will conduct child-specific training with you and strongly encourage further conversation with your social worker while you wait.

Travel to Colombia – Approx. 4 – 8 weeks after Child Match, up to an 8 week stay in country

CCAI is excited to work with your family to determine the best option for your family related to travel. Several weeks after you accept your Child Match, you will travel to Colombia to meet your child(ren)! CCAI’s bilingual Colombia Representative will arrange/confirm your local adoption plan, travel, and if necessary, accommodations. They will support you in completion of any required paperwork and assist with all necessary appointments. CCAI will provide you with the needed travel training.

Both parents must travel to the region where your child(ren) reside and at least one parent must stay through the completion of the court adoption process. (Both parents are encouraged to stay if possible, however one parent may return home after the integration period (approx. 1-2 weeks) if necessary.) The timeline for this part of the adoption process are controlled by various Colombian government offices and as such, this timeline does vary with a total stay within a 4-8 week range.

Once you have received the adoption decree (called the “Setencia” in Spanish) a new birth certificate, passport and US visa for your child, you may return home as a family and your child(ren) will automatically be granted US Citizenship. Congratulations!

Should you express any difficulties during the travel process related to the integration of the child(ren) into your family, CCAI will provide unwavering support and get you the resources you need. We will provide you with an emergency phone number which can be used to contact CCAI support services at any time of the day or night, and clinical staff on hand to ensure you receive whatever support you need.

Post Adoption Support and Adoption Validation

After you return to the United States, CCAI will provide ongoing post adoption support to assist you with your adoption transition. Colombia requires adoptive parents to complete 2 years of post-adoption reports, at roughly six, twelve, eighteen and twenty-four months after you return home with your child(ren).

CCAI will provide you information on how to validate your finalized adoption, in order to obtain your adopted Colombian child(ren)’s birth certificate from your state and obtain his/her Social Security card and citizenship, if necessary.