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Judicial Functions in Adoption Procedures 

by Paula Camacho

Published: April, 2020

Submission: April, 2020


The Ministry of Justice conferred judicial powers to the special public attorneys of family matters to carry on adoption procedures.

The Ministry of Justice decided to confer judicial powers to the special public attorneys for family matters to carry on with the adoption procedures and guarantee the protection of children’s rights during the crisis generated by the COVID 19.

Such a measure responds to the suspension of judicial procedures ordered by the Judicial authority in charge of the administration of judicial function in the country. This decision prevents family judges to carry on with adoption proceedings. Even if this authority through order PCSJA20 -11532 provided for an exemption of the suspension to all proceedings having the motion admitted by family courts, the right to have a family is not being fulfilled for those children whose adoption process did not achieve that stage of the proceedings.

Bearing in mind the principle of the best interest of the child, special public attorneys for family matters received special powers according to section 116 of the Colombian Constitution to carry on with all adoptions that are not expressly exempted from the suspension measures imposed to judicial functions. For that purpose, every procedure without an admitted motion in family courts shall be delivered to Colombia’s Central Authority for family protection, the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar to continue those proceedings before the authorities temporarily empowered as hereby stated.

In the event there are counterclaims to the adoption procedure, they must be sent to the family judges once the suspension measures finish. If the special attorneys decide, persons concerned can appeal that decision before the Superior Tribunals of the corresponding district.

These proceedings shall prefer virtual procedures, coordinate through electronic means and notify the registry and foreign relations authorities depending on the case. All physical documents will be sent to those interested once the country overcomes this crisis.

DECREE567 OF2020


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