Posted by: Worldcitizen Willow | June 13, 2010

Procedure for Philippines adoption


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Persons considering intercountry adoption have a right to accurate information about these adoptions and the process involved. Such information will enable them to make informed decisions on initiating and completing such an adoption, the kind of child/ren they can best parent, and whether they are willing to make the lifetime commitment which is required.

The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) is mandated by law (Inter-Country 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 Inter-Country 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. In the Philippines, Filipino children need to be made socio-legally free for adoption prior to any kind of alternative family placement. In line with the ICAB’s mandated authority is the compliance of the Philippines to an international instrument, The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption, to which the Philippines is a State Party and is denominated as a Sending Country.

Who is Eligible to Adopt?

Residency Requirement:

  1. Any alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an application for intercountry adoption of a Filipino child.
  2. Comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency and that adoption is allowed under his/her national laws.

Age Requirement:

1. The applicant couple is at least twenty-seven (27) years old at the time of application.

2. The applicant couple has a minimum age gap of 16 years and/or a maximum of 47 years age gap.

Marital Status:

  1. The applicant couple should be legally married for a minimum of three (3) years.
  2. If married, they should jointly file for the adoption.
  3. If any one of the spouse applicant has a history of divorce, the second or current marriage should have completed a minimum of five (5) years upon filing of the application.
  4. Single applicants shall not be refused as prospective adoptive applicants. However, they shall be informed that they have a lower priority in being matched with children unless matched with a special needs child (older or sibling group)Where to Apply?The application shall be filed and officially endorsed to the INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD (ICAB) through the Receiving Country’s Central Authority on Intercountry Adoption or an ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency in the place of residence of the applicant couple.Fees and Other ChargesAll payments/remittances of fees and other charges shall be in US Dollars and in the form of company check or international money order or international bank draft and shall be made payable to the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB). Personal checks, travelers check or cash will NOT be accepted.Application fee – upon filing of the application, a fee of One Hundred Dollars (US $100) shall be paid to the Intercountry Adoption Board. (The same fee applies for Relative, Non-relative and Special Needs adoption)Processing fee – upon acceptance of the matching proposal/child referral, a fee of Nine Hundred Dollars (US$900) for processing and operational expenses shall be remitted to the Intercountry Adoption Board. (Processing fee for Special Needs child/ren is Four Hundred Dollars (US$400).Pre-travel charges or Pre-Adoptive Placement Costs – varies according to the Region the child is coming from and the country to where the child is bound. These include fees for passport, visa medical examinations, medical treatment/medications (if needed), visa pictures, round trip air fare of child and escort (if coming from outside Metro-Manila), as well as board and lodging. Waiting PeriodThe approximate waiting period for a child after the PAPs’ application has been approved by the Board is a minimum of three months to a maximum of one year, depending on the child preference of the adoption applicants.

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 Philippines.(For relative adoption – only up to the 4th degree of consanguinity)
  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:
  • When the child is a part of a sibling group where one or more is below 15 years old;
  • If the application for adoption of a child was filed (in cases of relative adoption) before the child reached the age of 15;
  • Special Home Finding was initiated before the child’s 15th birthday; and
  • Other situations where the intent to adopt was manifested before the child reached 15.
  1. The general ages of children cleared for intercountry adoption usually range from 6 months to 10 years old.
  2. Special Needs or Hard to Place children include
  • older children (usually boys or girls age 6 to 15 years old)
  • Sibling groups of 3 or more
  • Children with major medical/physical problems
  • Children with major developmental/neurological delay/handicapProcess

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 (see Annex) who is responsible in these Prospective Adoptive Parents preparation and conduct of their Home Study Report.

Documentary Requirements:

  1. Home Study Report
  2. Undertaking of the Couple made under oath
  3. Information and Personal Data Application
  4. Birth Certificate of the Couple (if adopting a relative: Birth Certificate of their common ancestry delineating relationship up to the 4th degree of consanguinity)
  5. Marriage Contract
  6. Divorce Decree (if applicable)
  7. Physical and Medical Evaluation
  8. Psychological Evaluation by a duly licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.
  9. Written Consent to Adoption by the biological and/or adopted children who are 10 years of age or over witnessed by the social worker after proper counseling, in the form of a sworn statement.
  10. Character Reference from (a) Local Church Minister or Priest; (b)Employer; (c) Members of the immediate community (who have all known the applicants for at least 5 years).
  11. Latest Income Tax Return or any other documents showing the financial capability of the applicant.
  12. Clearance issued by the police or the proper government agency of the place where the applicant resides.
  13. Certification from the Justice Department or other appropriate government agency of the applicant’s country that the applicant is qualified to adopt under their national law and that the child to be adopted is allowed to enter the country for trial custody and to reside there permanently once adopted.
  14. Recent post card size pictures of the applicant, his immediate family and their home/community
  15. Special Needs Checklist
  16. Self-Report Questionnaire (OPTIONAL)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

To inquire or follow-up with the ICAB, you can telephone, fax or e-mail:Phone: (632) 726-4568(632) 721-9781(632) 721-9782Fax: (632) 727-2026E-mail: // <![CDATA[
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These requirements and fees may change at any time.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 11:21

© 2004-2010, Department of Social Welfare and Development
Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. (632)931-81-01 to 07



  1. I am a filipino citizen. im married a japanese citizen. I have a son who was adopted my husband,a japanese. In thier country my son is legally adopted of my husband. But recently my son’s name is not yet corrected. my problem now is what are the steps i will do to transfered his name through japanese .. Can you please help me..

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