adopt a child from the philippines

A child who is below 15 years of age and is in the legal custody of the Department of Social Work and Services (DSWD) may be adopted under the inter-country adoption law.

Prospective adopters may contact:

The Inter-Country Adoption Board
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
#2 Chicago cor. Ermine Garcia Sts., Brgy. Pinagkaisahan,
Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. Nos. : (632) 8726-4568
Mobile No.: (632) 906-208-6126


US northeast residents may also contact any of the following DSWD-accredited, non-profit adoption agencies:

Madison Adoption Associates
1009 Woodstream Drive
Wilmington, DE 19810

Contact: Diana Bramble, MBA
MSW-Administrative Officer
T: (302) 475 8977
F: (302) 529 1976

Wide Horizons for Children 391 Totten Pond Road, Suite 303 Waltham, Massachusette 02451 Contact: Jessica Ellison Philippines Program Manager E: T: (781) 491-0397
F:  (781) 899-2769

Guidelines on Inter-Country Adoption

Republic Act 8043 also known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act was enacted in 1995 to allow aliens to adopt Filipino children if such children cannot be adopted by qualified Filipino citizens.

Only a child who is below 15 years of age and is voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department of Social Work and Services (DSWD) may be adopted under the inter-country adoption law. For such a child to be considered for placement, the following documents must be submitted to the DSWD’s Inter-Country Adoption Board:

  1. Child Study to be prepared by the social worker of the DSWD or the accredited placement NGOs
  2. Birth Certificate/ Foundling Certificate
  3. Deed of voluntary commitment/ decree of abandonment/ death certificate of parents
  4. Medical evaluation/ history
  5. Psychological evaluation by the social worker of the DSWD or accredited placement NGO
  6. Recent photo of the child

The following qualifications are required of an alien or Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad to be eligible to adopt a Filipino child under the inter-country adoption law:

  1. At least 27 years of age and at least 16 years older than the child to be adopted at the time of application unless the adoptor is the natural parent of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent;
  2. If married, his/ her spouse must be jointly file for the adoption;
  3. Is capable of acting and assuming all rights and responsibilities of parental authority under his national law, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;
  4. Has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
  5. Is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
  6. Able to provide for the proper care and support and to give the necessary moral values and example to his children, including the child to be adopted;
  7. Agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under Philippine laws, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of this Act;
  8. 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
  9. Possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided by applicable Philippine laws.

A seven-member Inter-Country Adoption Board acts as the central authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption. It serves as a policy-making body in consultation and coordination with the DSWD, various child-care placement agencies, adoptive agencies, and non-government organizations engaged in child care and placement activities.

Applications for inter-country adoption may be filed in either of these venues:

  1. Philippine Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the child; or
  2. Inter-Country Adoption Board through an intermediate agency. An intermediate agency is a government agency or an authorized and accredited agency in the country of the prospective adoptive parents. Please see the list of accredited agencies above.

Documentary Requirements

The application to adopt must be submitted together with the following documents:

  1. Birth Certificate of applicant(s);
  2. Marriage contract, if married, and divorce decree, if applicable;
  3. Written consent from their biological or adopted children above ten (10) years of age, in the form of sworn statement;
  4. Physical, medical, and psychological evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychologist;
  5. Income tax returns or any document showing the financial capability of the applicant(s);
  6. Police clearance of applicant(s);
  7. Character reference from the local church/ minister, the applicant’s employer and a member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least five (5) years; and
  8. Recent postcard-size pictures of the applicant(s) and his immediate family.


The applicant shall bear the following costs incidental to the placement of the child:

  1. The cost of bringing the child from the Philippines to the residence of the applicant(s) abroad including all travel expenses within the Philippines and abroad; and
  2. The cost of passport, visa, medical examination and psychological evaluation required, and other related expenses.

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