How to Adopt a Child
How to Adopt a Child:
Adoption is defined as a
socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose
parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental
authority over the child.
There are three types of adoption in the Philippines:
1. Agency adoptions are those in which a licensed adoption agency
finds and develops adoptive families for children who are
voluntarily or involuntarily committed. The adoptive families go
through the process from application to finalization of the child's
adoption under the auspices of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development or a licensed child-placing agency like the Kaisahang
Buhay Foundation. Through this type of adoption, the legal rights of
the child, the parents who gave birth to the child and the parents
who will adopt the child, are all equally protected.
Effects of Adoption
The Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) is mandated by law (Intercountry
Adoption Law of 1995 or Republic Act 8043) to be the Central
Authority on matters relating to the foreign adoption placement of
Filipino children to applicants who are either former Filipinos or
foreigners permanently residing abroad. The Intercountry Adoption
(ICA) Law stipulates certain eligibility requirements for adoptive
applicants intending to adopt a Filipino child who may either be a
relative or non-relative.
Who is Eligible to Adopt?
Any foreign national or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an adoption application if he/she::
1. Is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and is at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted at the time of the application, unless the applicant is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or is the spouse of such parent by nature. A maximum of forty-five (45) years age gap between the adoptive child should be maintained except in cases where the circumstances will be favorable to the child;
2. Has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and responsibilities incidental to parental authority under his/her national law;
3. Has been married for three (3) years;
4. Has undergone appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;
5. Has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
6. Is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
7. Can provide the proper care and support and give the necessary moral values and example to the child and, in the proper case, to all his/her other children;
8. Comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations, maintains foreign adoption agencies, and whose laws allows adoption; and
9. Files jointly with his/her spouse, if any, who shall have the same qualifications and none of the disqualifications to adopt as prescribed above.
Where to Apply?
The application shall be filed with the ICAB through the Central Authority (CA) on Inter-country Adoption or an ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency (FAA) or Governmental Adoption Agency (GAA) in the country where the applicant resides.
Foreigners who file their petition for adoption in the Philippines under the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 or RA 8552, the Court after finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance and a proper case for inter-country adoption, shall immediately transmit the petition to the ICAB for appropriate action. The ICAB shall then act on the application following the procedures described in the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Fees and Other Charges
These fees are provided for by Article III Section 13 of the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (RA 8043) and Section 29 and 40 of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations on Inter-Country Adoption. Effective February 2007, the ICAB fees which applies to all adoption categories (Regular or Non-Relative, Relative, Special Needs, Special Home Finding, Summer Program and Medical Missions) are as follows :
Adoption applicants that have substantive Home Study Report (HSR)
and complete supporting documents are reviewed and approved within
one month from receipt of the adoption applicant/s' dossier. On the
other hand, adoption application with lacking information and/or
documents are reviewed and processed depending upon the
submission/completion by the Central Authority/Foreign Adoption
Agency (CA/FAA) of the requested information and/or documents with
the corresponding delay in its approval.
Children Available for Inter-Country Adoption
1. Children available for intercountry adoption placement are
those who cannot be placed with an adoptive family in the
2. All children have to be cleared for intercountry adoption by the Competent Authority - Programs and Projects Bureau of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (PPB DSWD)-Central Office.
3. Children of either sex are usually available but there may be longer waiting period for girls because of the Filipino culture whereby families hold on to their daughters since they are generally more submissive, less difficult to parent and can be relied upon to care for their family of origin even until parental senescence occurs.
4. The allowable age of Filipino children for Intercountry Adoption (ICA) is below 15 years old. A child who is above 15 years old may be processed for ICA when the following circumstances prevail:
a. When the child is a part of a sibling group where one or
more is below 15 years old;
5. The general ages of children cleared for intercountry adoption usually range from 6 months to 10 years old.
6. Special Needs or Hard to Place children include
Any adoption applicant interested in adopting a Filipino child/ren (either relative or non-relative) may contact the nearest Central Authority on Intercountry Adoption of their country (if Ratifier or State Party to The Hague Convention) or any ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency who is responsible in these Prospective Adoptive Parents preparation and conduct of their Home Study Report.
1. Home Study Report
• All documents must be written, officially translated in English and must be officially endorsed by the Central Authority on Intercountry Adoption or ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency to the ICAB in the Philippines.
• All communications relating to adoption application/s and/or child referral shall be transmitted by the Central Authority or by the ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency directly to the ICAB. Likewise, all ICAB correspondence/communications shall be transmitted directly to the concerned Central Authority and/or the Foreign Adoption Agency.
• All the Philippine process for Intercountry Adoption (ICA) does NOT require the intervention of a lawyer either in the Philippines or from the applicant’s country of residence.
Relative Adoption as applies to inter-country adoption refers to the adoption of Filipino child/ren by relatives residing abroad within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguity.
Modified Procedure for Relative Adoption Cases (as approved by the Board on August 30, 2007)
1. The Questionnaire for Relative Adoptive Applicants (ICAB Form No.2) which can be downloaded from this website shall be submitted by the prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) to the Central Authorities (CAs)/ Foreign Adoption Agencies(FAAs). The CAs/FAAs shall endorse to ICAB the completed Questionnaire for Relative Adoptive Applicants (QRAA) with the agency's assessment and recomendation on the prospective adoptive parents.
2. If the CA/FAA favorably recommends the PAPs, the ICAB social worker will then request the CA/FAA to proceed with the preparation of the PAPs' dossier. On the other hand, based on the significant data on the child as indicated in the QRAA, the assigned ICAB Social Worker will request the DSWD - Field Office (FO) to conduct the Child Study Report with supporting documents. Periodic follow-ups will be made with the DSWD-FO.(The time frame from request to ICAB's receipt of the report will be 3-6 months. In sitautions where the FO could not prepare the Child Study Report within the expected time frame in view of heavy adoption caseload, the ICAB social worker will assist in the conduct of the CSR).
3. Once the ICAB receives from the DSWD-FO the child's dossier and the complete adoption application dossier of the PAPs from the CA or FAA, the ICAB social worker will prepare an executive summary on the case with his/her recommendation on the child's adoptive placement for the disposition of the Board.
RATIFICATION OF FINALIZED LOCAL/DOMESTIC ADOPTION CASES
Former Filipino citizens who are naturalized citizens of their present country of residence have the option to pursue their proposed relative adoption cases through the Philippine Regional Trial Courts or Family Courts. Under the Philippine Domestic Adoption Law ( Republic Act 8552), these former Filipino citizens are qualified to adopt in the Philippines as long as their prospective adoptive child/ren are related to them within the 4th degree by consanguinity or affinity. In most cases, their adoption petitions are granted by the Courts. However, when they apply for their adopted child/ren's visa, they are required by their Embassies (except for non-Hague countries) to secure the ICAB's Certificate of Conformity to their local adoption as well as the approval of the Central Authority of their country of residence. This is in compliance to Chapter IV, Article 17 of The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children & Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (THC) which states that " Any decision in the State of Origin (in this case, the Philippines) that a child should be entrusted to prospective adoptive parents may only be made if - "(c) the Central Authorities of both the Sending Countries (in this case, the ICAB) and Receiving States (in this case, Adoptive Parents' country of residence) have agreed that the adoption may proceed."
As the Central Authority on Inter-Country Adoption in the Philippines, the ICAB is required to issue a Certificate of Conformity to the child/ren's local adoption. Please note, however, that the ICAB does not automatically issues this document. The adoptive parents need to apply for the ratification of their local adoption cases.
Below are our requirements in ratifying local adoption cases:
For the child/ren :
1. Certified True Copy of the Adoption Decree issued by the Philippine Court
2. Certified True Copy of the Certificate of Finality issued by the Clerk of Court
3. Child Study Report
4. Amended Birth Certificate
5. Deed of Voluntary Commitment or Affidavit of Consent signed by birthparents
6. Decree of Abandonment (in casesof abandoned children)
7. Affidavit of Consent to Adoptionof Adoptee ( over 10 years old)
8. Two most recent close-up photos, 2 whole body size photos and at least 3 copies of pictures of adoptee with the PAPs.
For the Adoptive Parent/s ( Please refer
to the list of ICA requirements)
When all these documents of both the child/ren and the adoptive parents are received by the ICAB, the social worker assigned to the case will review their documents to determine whether the local adoption was done in accordance with the provisions of both the Philippine Domestic Adoption Law and The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country adoption;
Through an Executive Summary of the case, the ICAB social worker
will present its assessment and recommendation on this finalized
local adoption for the disposition of the Board;
Once the case is ratified by the Board, the adoptive parents through their Central Authority/FAA shall pay the Nine Hundred US Dollars (US$900.00) processing fee to the ICAB
Upon receipt of the adoptive parents' payment for the processing fee, the ICAB will issue the Certificate of Conformity to the finalized local adoption both to the PAPs' Central Authority and to the concerned Embassy;
The PAPs or the child's guardian may now coordinate with the concerned Embassy for the issuance of the child/ren's visa.
To inquire or follow-up with the ICAB, you can telephone,
fax or e-mail: