Wat can you do yourself?
Your adoption file
Firstly, make sure your adoption file is as complete as possible and that you have a digital copy.
It must contain:
- Birth certificate
- Consent Form
- Copy of your
- Colombian passport
- Birth Name [Colombian name]
- Name of you biological mother/father
- Identification Number from Birth Certificate
- Cedula number of your biological mother/father
- The last known name of your biological mother
- Name of Hospital where you were born
- Declaration of abandonment
Organisations that you can approach
If you do not have your adoption papers, you can ask different agencies:
- The Mediation Office that helped your adoptive parents with your adoption
- The attorney who helped your adoptive parents with your adoption
- Child protection
ICBF (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar)
- The orphanage where you were before you adoption
Once you think your file is as complete as possible you need to translate it. That way, everything in your file can be understood.
Mediation agency and child protection
Requesting an adoption file at the adoption agency and child protection service can costs money. You can request a copy of your file by mail from ICBF, which increases your chance of gettingmore information about yourself. These email addresses can be used:
You can use this generic text in your email:
Estimado [naam contactpersoon],
Yo fui adoptado de [plaats waaruit je bent geadopteerd]. Me gustaria recibir una copia de mi archievo de adopcion. Me puedes ayuadar?
Saludes (jouw huidige naam)
They will reply within a month with a receipt and a form that you must fill in,sign and email back.
In the email you must mention the following:
- your birth name and your current name
- the name of the orphanage in Colombia where you were before your adoption
- the name of your adoptive parents
- the country you were adopted to
For the sake of completeness, send a copy of all the documents you currently have so far.. Also indicate that you are looking for your family and you would like to receive a copy of your adoption file.
The orphans in Colombia often indicate that due to a change of laws, the file can only be obtained from the child protection office in Bogota (ICBF). If you are in Colombia and visit the orphanage you were at they might help you.
Make yourself known on the internet
- Facebook: Write everyone who has the same surname as you. Create your own
- Facebook page for your search. It is useful if you also use your Colombian name on Facebook and that you have your birth date visible.
- Sign up for all online adoption registries, especially in Spanish.
- Make a video of yourself and place it on all social media and video channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- Sign up for various adoption groups on Facebook.
- If you own a cedula number, you can consult the following websites:
- Send your story to newspapers and television shows to reach even more people.
What you need to know about your biological family
- Your biological family has no right to search. All legal tires were cut.
Your biological family is not entitled to access your file.
- The chances of your family registering on on non-Hispanic adoption registries is very small.
- The only thing your biological family can do is go back to where they last saw you and leave their data in case you’re looking.
- There is a chance they do not know what orphanage you were in.
- Even though it does not seem likely, they might start to search.
- The chance that they are not interested is very small.
- Most biological parents are happy just to know that their children are alive.
- Searching for your biological family can take years.
We have set up our DNA project. We offer free DNA kits from Family Tree DNA to families looking for their children lost to adoption in Colombia. More donations mean we can buy more DNA kits. Every adoptee who is searching through Plan Angel is required to pay a 20 Euro administration fee. You need to notify us when the money has been sent. You can transfer your donation to:
NL 52 RBRB 0944 4048 71
If it is too difficult to be able to search by name, we recommend that you place a paid ad on Facebook, you decide how much you want to spend. Most people pay 50-80 euros for this. With this price you ad will reach about 400,000 people from Colombia. We can post a video on our Facebook page for you. All you will need to do is write the text for the subtitles and we can translate it for you.
Update and progress
Once you application has progressed we will identify how many women in Colombia have the same name as the mother listed in your documents. When you have progressed in the que we will begin on your case. This can take some time as we are helping hundreds of adoptees with only 5 contact people in Colombia. It generally takes about 3 months until we will start on your case. You are welcome to follow follow us up monthly for updates on your case.
Plan Angel’s work itself is free, but there are costs associated with the search as we have to pay our contact persons in Colombia. We have agreed with our contact persons that they receive 100 Euro for each solved case but only after it has been solved. Solved means that your mother or your mother’s family is confirmed to be your biological family. There may be additional costs incurred if your case is more challenging. We will discuss this with you beforehand to make sure you are aware of any additional costs.
Family Tree DNA
Plan Angel’s policy is that every person who enrolls with joins Family Tree DNA and Gedmatch. We offer free DNA kits from Family Tree DNA to families looking for their children lost to adoption in Colombia. Our project can only be successful if adoptees sign up to the Family Tree DNA database too .Our goal is that you only need to log into Family Tree DNA in order to find your family. In addition, we also advise those who have found their families to sign up too. We have suspicions that there are businesses taking advantage of adoptees and exploiting them for money with fake biological families. DNA does not lie so we work with the Family Tree DNA Family Finder Test to confirm the identity of biological families. We have a project on Family Tree DNA, you do not have to be affiliated with Plan Angel to sign up.