Posted by: Worldcitizen Willow | July 8, 2010

Adoption of Filipino childen – foreigner

Philippine Inter-Country Adoption « Philippines Adoption
BASIC GUIDELINES ON HOW A FOREIGNER CAN ADOPT A FILIPINO CHILD. Before we go into the process of Philippine inter-country adoption, let us first discuss two…

Philippine Inter-Country Adoption


Before we go into the process of Philippine inter-country adoption, let us first discuss two important matters relevant to it, namely: a) who may be adopted; and b) who can adopt.

Who may be adopted?

Only a legally-free child may be adopted by a foreigner. Legally-free child means one who is certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to be legally available for adoption.(Republic Act 9523)

Who can adopt

A foreigner must meet the following requirements in order to be qualified to adopt in the Philippines under the Inter-Country Adoption Act:

a)      at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted, at the time of application

exception: if the adopter is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such  parent, he/she is not required to meet the above age requirement;

b)      if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;

c)      with capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her  country;

d)     not convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

e)      eligible to adopt under his/her national law;

f)       in a position to provide the proper care and support and to give the necessary moral values and example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

g)   agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under Philippine laws, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of this Act;

h)   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;  and

i)    possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable Philippine laws


The following is the step-by-step process a foreigner will undergo in Philippine inter-country adoption as prescribed by the law’s implementing rules and regulations:


Filing of application for adoption

The foreigner may file an application either in the Philippine Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) or in an accredited Foreign Adoption Agency (FAA) in the country in which he/she resides. In case filing is made at ICAB, the Board must act on the application within one (1) month from receipt thereof, provided all documentary requirements are complete.


Endorsement of the Child by DSWD

The endorsement basically contains a certification that all possibilities for adoption of the child in the Philippines have been exhausted and that inter-country adoption is in his/her best interests.

In cases of adoption by a relative, a Certification issued by the DSWD Field Office Director together with the Child Study Report (CSR) and other supporting documents shall be endorsed to the Board.


Matching of the child to the applicant

A matching conference will be conducted by the Inter-country Adoption Committee (Committee) wherein deliberations shall be made regarding the proposed matching.

Consequently, the final matching proposal will be endorsed to the Board for approval or other appropriate action.

If the same is approved, a notice of matching shall be sent to the concerned Central Authority (CA) or the foreign adoption agency (FAA) within five (5) days from the date of approval, accompanied by the pertinent documents.

The foreigner applicant, on the other hand, must notify in writing the CA or the  FAA of their decision on the matching proposal within fifteen (15) working days from receipt of said proposal.

If the applicant needs additional information about the child and/or they need more time to arrive at a decision, an extension of thirty (30) working days may be granted.


Placement Authority of the child

Within three (3) working days upon receipt of the applicant’s acceptance of the matching proposal and the corresponding fees from the CA or the FAA, the Board shall issue the Placement Authority.

The Board shall also transmit a copy of above Authority to the Department of Foreign Affairs and back to the CA or FAA.


Pre-departure preparation of the child

The child shall then be prepared for his/her placement by the concerned Child Caring/Placing Agency. Said preparation aims to minimize the anxiety and trauma caused by the his/her  separation from the persons he /she may have formed previous attachments. Further, the preparation also ensures the child’s physical and emotional readiness to embark on a new environment.


Physical transfer of the child

The foreigner adoptive parents must personally fetch the child from the Philippines within twenty (20) working days after notice of the issuance of the child’s visa. Further, the applicant must also stay here with the child for at least five (5) days from arrival in order to allow a time for bonding between both parties.

CAVEAT: In case the applicant is unable to fetch the child within above period, a letter from the CA or FAA explaining such failure is required. Absence of such authority may result in the cancellation of the Placement Authority.


Supervision of pre-adoptive placement

Trial custody shall start upon the physical transfer of the child to the applicant who, as custodian, shall exercise substitute parental authority over his/her person.

The CA and/or the FAA of the State to which the child has been transferred shall supervise and monitor the placement of said child. They are tasked to maintain communication with the applicants from the time the child leaves the Philippines until the time adoption is finalized.

The FAA shall also be responsible for the pre-adoptive placement, care and family counselling of the child for at least six (6) months from his/her arrival in the residence of the applicant/s, when applicable.

Adoptions by relatives are subject to the same requirements under this Section.


Board consent to adoption

If a satisfactory pre-adoptive relationship is formed between the applicant/s and the child, the Board shall transmit an Affidavit of Consent to the adoption, executed by the DSWD to

CAA and/or the FAA within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the last post placement report.


Filing of petition for adoption in the foreigner-applicant’s country

The CAA and/or the FAA shall ensure that the applicant/s file the appropriate petition for adoption of the child in the proper venue set forth in the laws of his country.


Issuance of the decree of adoption

Within one (1) month after its issuance, a copy of the final Decree of Adoption or its

equivalent, including the Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization, whenever applicable, shall be

transmitted by the Central Authority and/or the FAA to the Board.

The Board shall in turn, require the recording of the final judgment in the appropriate Philippine Civil Registry.

Source: Manila Legal Website



  1. My sister and her japanese husband wants to adopt her 8 years old daughter. Her daughtr is already living with them and studying in japan. They done all the legal process of adoption in Japan. Got the adoption decree authenticated, translated from Ministry of Foriegn affair in Tokyo. Been in Philippine Embassy also and autenticate it. So the next process is hir in the Philippines. Yesterday I went to Manila City Hall to submit the Court Decree but they said that I still need to go to ICAB and theres a long process was still need to undergo including hearing and attorneys assistance. My sister was confussed and got worried since they already undergo the process of adoption in Japan like hearing and house study. etc. Can you please help me regarding this. I have a hard time contacting the ICAB line, I tried sending email but still hanging for their reply. I hope you can help us…thank you and more power..

  2. my sister is a filipina and her husband is a japanese my sister want to adopt her own child but her child age is 24.. is there any process to get her daughter.. and to be legal japanese citizen

  3. I am married to a Japanese. I want to adopt my 9 yr old daughter who happens to be illegitimate as he does not use his father’s surname but my name instead( her father is not my Japanese husband) and my 4 yr old grand-son,(son of my eldest daughter who is 20 yr old now and hasn’t been married, still single). I want to bring the 2 children to Japan and my husband has the consent. I will be leaving in a few months from now with my 9 yr old daughter to stay in Japan for good. Is it possible for me to process the adoption in Japan? What are the procedures and requirements? Please help me, I hope I can prepare for it before I leave the Philippines. Thank You!

    • Hello Lenny, I hope my message will reach you right now. I’m reji and I need your help, I have a a daughter 2 yrs old illegitimate (filipino father) , I am married to a Japanese and I want to bring my daughter with me when I go to Japan. But how? Please give me info,thank you!

  4. hi,my mother is Filipino and she married to a Japanese it is possible to adopt me cause i’m already 21 years old? i’m not a Japanese but i was get birth there,. help us please,..Thank You

  5. hi,my mother is Filipino and she married to a Japanese it is possible to adopt me cause i’m already 21 years old? i’m not a Japanese but i was get birth there,. help us please,..Thank You

  6. hi!Im married to a american citezen feb 18 2009..after we got married he went back to work abroad,..after 1 year of our marraige we had a miss understanding…we stop communicating for few months,til i had a short relationship to a filipino guy and i get preagnant but i end up with the filipino guy and i decided to continue my preagnancy,4 months of my preagnancy my foreign husband showed up into my parents house and we talk..,we decided to get back together and he said that he is willing to be the father of my child…my daughter is 4 yrs old now…we decided to live in the US.,we applid for immigrant visa…im just waiting for my visa right now but my daughter cant go with me coz the US embassy wont accept my daughters birthcertificate coz they said my husband is not the real or the biological father of my child..(the biological father of my child died already from accident )i went to the local registry office here in my place and they said it will take 1yr to get done with the correction of entry for my daughters birthcertificate through court and i will spend 60-80000 pesos…i want to know what the best thing to do for my daughters case,my husband want me to talk to a lawyer also if how or what are we going to do for him to adopt my daughter legally…please i really need a help on my daugthers case

  7. Hi, I have 11 y/o daughter born out of wedlock and using my surname coz she’s an illegitimate. Last July 2014 her father and I got married. My husband is an Australian. She cant be legitimated by subsequent marriage coz my husband had just got his divorce last year. What am I goin to do to change her surname with my husband surname and to change from illegitimate to legitimate. Am planning to apply for partner visa to Australia soon. Thanks and hoping for your help.

  8. How about if the couple both them have a kids, and then what are the requirements for that 2kids of the woman will adopt the american man? What are the possible procedures? That american man wants to bear his surname to the 2children of that philippine woman that they are planning also to get married in the Philippines?
    Give some advice here and ideas.thanks!

  9. Hi. My biological father is a japanese but im not under his last name, its my step dad’s.. I want to stay in japan. Can my biological dad adopt me? Im turning 22 this november. Thanks in advance! Please help me. 🙂

  10. Hello. I’m Ericka 😊 I want a parents who treat me like there true daughter. All I want is to finish my studies. I am a filipina. Can you help me?. Just visit my fb account. Ericka A. Parada . Thank you 😃

  11. hi im american guy married to a fililpina and she has 2 wonderful son, and we are currently leaving in the united. and i would like to adopt her to son. what i should have to do?
    what is the process?
    please help us.


  12. I am married here ni Japan my husband willing to adopt my 2 child at age of 26 & 22 yr husband 53yr old.he willing to adopt my 2child in Philippine if it’s ok to Japan law?

  13. Good day,

    I do have a question about the following. First some information.

    I am a Dutchman, age 43, and have a Philippinian fiancée, age 33. She has a daugher, age 10. The biological father of the daughter got killed in a car accident when the mother was pregnant, so basically the daughter is fatherless. According to my fiancée, that means in the birth certificate, the fathers name is never entered (is that correct?).

    She says that if we get married, my name will be enterend (do we have to request that?) in the birth certificate of her daughter, since I am willing to recognize her as my own.

    So, to ask the two questions again:
    1. Is the fathers name for the daughter of my fiancée on the birth certificate indeed empty?
    2. How easy is it, after marriage, to recognize the daughter as my own in this particulair case?

    Thanks for replying.

  14. Hi I have 1 daughter she’s 2 years old now and in her birth certificate she don’t have a father her last name is the same like mine because since I was a pregnant 2 months old we don’t have conversations anymore until now and I don’t know where he is now his Filipino .l am getting married with my German fiencee this year .he want to adopt my daughter . What do we need for all the requirements and how do we start to process ? …….. and to be a legal German citizens I hope I can get a reply from you soon by my private email account all the best and god bless you all thank you .

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