Requirements: How to Adopt Babies in the Philippines

Inter-country adoption in Philippines for orphanage that has babies who can be legally adopted by foreigners has to undergo legal adoption process in the Philippines to ensure that the kids will be in safe hands and will have a better future. There are qualifications and requirements that must be fulfilled to be successfully granted of adopting a child.

You may have heard how Hollywood couples opt to adopt kids (Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt) from a foreign country. It’s no common that this have been a good opportunity for couples who have long to have kids that they can nurture in their country home. Fortunately, there are ways for this to possible. Through a legally processed way of adopting a kid, they’ll be able to fulfill that dream family picture of theirs.

Hague Adoption Convention

It was around 2008 when the Philippines have become a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption where in the Philippines and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Who Can Adopt?

You should be eligible as a parent and meet the following requirements both set by the U.S and Philippines Government.

Residency Requirements: 

  • S. citizens adopting a Filipino child should be a resident in the country for at least three years and possessing a certificate of legal capacity to adopt issued by the appropriate agency from the state of residence.
  • If you meet these requirements, you should file a petition for adoption with the Philippines Court to begin the adoption process.
  • S. citizens not meeting these residency requirements will have to adopt through the Inter-Country Adoption Board procedures.

Age Requirements: 

  • There is no age limit for married prospective adoptive parents.
  • Single adoptive parents must be at least 24 years old at the time of filing the adoption petition.

Marriage Requirements:  

  • If prospective adoptive parents are married, they must file jointly for adoption.

Income Requirements: 

  • There are no minimum income requirements set by The Philippines, but Adoptive Parents must prove they are financially stable to support the adopting kid.

Other Requirements: 
Guidelines on the Issuance of DSWD Certification Declaring a Child Legally available for adoption.
Republic Act No. 11642
Prospective adoptive parents must:

  • Not have ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Be in a position to provide proper care and support and to give necessary moral values and example to all his/her children, including the child to be adopted.
  • Agree to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under The Philippines laws and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Who Can Be Adopted?

You cannot adopt a child in the Philippines unless the child have meet the requirements set by the Government. Furthermore, the child must also meet the qualification set by the U.S law in terms of orphan adoption.

The child should be under “Deed of Voluntary Commitment.” It’s a document used by DSWD asking for signature from the biological parents prior to matching the child with a prospective adoptive parent. This document signifies that the child is legalized to be adopted.

How to Adopt?

Here are the steps to follows on the process of adoption:

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider

Select the adoption service provider from the United States that’s accredited to the processing. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and The Philippines.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After which, you may apply you to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Afterwards, the Philippines’ adoption authority will review your application after you’ve been determined as eligible by the U.S Government to determine if you’re also fit top adopt under their law.

3. Be Matched with a Child

The authority on the Philippines will match the child, who has been consented for adoption, for the prospective parents.

4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

If you have already agreed to child referred, you will then go back to the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States.

After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Philippines’ adoption authority (Article 5 letter).

5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in The Philippines

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in The Philippines generally includes the following:

  1. Role of the Court – This is where the adoptive parents should file the adoption petitions.
  2. Adoption Application – The Adoptive parents must contact the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) and meet the procedures required in adopting a child.
  3. Timeframe – Adoption processing depends upon many variables, including the availability of children to be matched with prospective adoptive parents, the number of prospective adoptive parents on the waiting list, and the caseload of social service agencies and the courts.
  4. Adoption Fees – Fees can vary widely depending upon the adoption agency used.
  5. Documents Required – The adoptive parents shall pass the following documents for adoption;
  • Family and Home Study Reports on the family and home;
  • Birth Certificates of prospective adoptive parents;
  • Marriage certificate or Decree of Absolute divorce, if applicable;
  • Written consent of the prospective adoptive parents’ biological or adopted children who are ten years of age or over, witnessed by the social worker after proper counseling;
  • Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychological evaluation by a psychologist
  • Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability;
  • Clearance issued by the police of other proper Government agency of the place of residence;
  • Character reference from the local church minister/priest, employer, or a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the prospective adoptive parents for at least five (5) years;
  • Certification from the U.S. Department of Justice or other appropriate Government agency that the prospective adoptive parents are qualified to adopt under their national law and that the child to be adopted is allowed to enter the country for trial custody and reside permanently once adopted; and
  • Recent postcard-size pictures of the prospective adoptive parents and all immediate family.

Bring your Child Home

After the adoption is completed, you’ll have to prepare documents for the child before he/she can travel abroad;

  • Birth Certificate
  • Philippines Passport

U.S. Immigrant Visa

What happens after adoption?

After the adoption, the adoptive parents shall enter a six-month trial period wherein the child welfare’s under the parents shall be monitored. After the trial period, the parents should file a petition for adoption before the court in the U.S. The final U.S. adoption decree should be submitted to the ICAB within a month after its issuance.

Adopting a child is a long process that you should be ready financially and emotionally, because we are talking about a life whose future will depend on its adoptive parents. And the parents themselves should also be definite that they are ready in all aspects to raise a kid on their own and build their new family.

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