• 25 Factors to Consider When Adopting from the Philippines

    adopting from the Philippines

    Click on each factor to learn more. Current as of November, 2014. This information is subject to change; therefore, check with an agency that places from this country for the most current information.

    + Parental Age
    Parents must be at least 27 years old and between 16 and 45 years older than the child.

    + Length of Marriage
    3 years. Couples who were in a common-law marriage for many years are eligible to adopt after one year of legal marriage.

    + Divorce
    1 divorce per spouse; some agencies say they have had referrals where 1 spouse has had 2 divorces and the other has had none. 

    + Children in Family
    Up to 3 children, although parents with 4 children will be considered on a case-by-case basis if they are interested in adopting an older child or a child with special needs.  Childless couples are given priority.  Parents must to wait 12 months after the birth or adoption of the youngest child before filing for adoption.

    + Single Applicant
    Single women and men are allowed to adopt children between 6 and 15 years old from the Waiting Child Program.  

    + Sexual Orientation
    Filipino law does not recognize same-sex marriage, but does not expressly forbid LGBT individuals from adopting individually.  Talk to an adoption agency about the current political situation and the likelihood of adopting as an LGBT individual.

    + Children Available
    Healthy children 2 to 15 years old, children with special needs and sibling groups.

    + Race/Ethnicity
    Asian, Malay, Spanish and mixed race

    + Gender
    Boys and girls; parents may not request a gender unless they are adopting an older child or a child with special needs.

    + Referral Method
    Once the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) formally approves the dossier, the family is placed on the Roster of Approved Applicants. Families in the healthy referral program then wait to receive a referral for a specific child. Families receive photos of the child, a background study and other information, if available, before making their decision. Families adopting from the Waiting Child program select a specific child and ask to be matched.

    + Travel in Country
    1 trip; approximately 1 week long.  Only one parents is required to travel, but it is strongly recommended that both parents make the trip.  Parents, visit the orphanage, meet their child and with the ICAB before they apply for an immigration visa and escort their child home.

    + Wait For Referral (After Dossier Submitted)
    6-12 months18-24 months for a healthy child, 12-18 months for a waiting child

    + Approximate Cost
    $15,000 – $20,000 + travel

    + Youngest Age Upon Arrival Home
    2 years, but the average is 3 years

    + Orphanage/Foster Care
    Government and private orphanages

    + How Children Enter Government Care
    Relinquishment or abandonment due to poverty and social stigma and lack of support for single mothers. 

    + Prevalence of FASD
    Not enough placements to get a consensus from IA doctors interviewed.

    + Adequacy of Medical Reports
    Good; medical reports and background information are usually fairly detailed.

    + Post Adoption Reports
    Required at 2, 4 and 6 months.  Reports must be prepared by a social worker or adoption agency.

    + Additional Information

    • The adoption is not completed in the Philippines; therefore, parents must adopt the child according to the laws of their state usually after a period of supervised custody of 6 months. The final adoption decree must be submitted to the Philippine governmental agency.
    • Parents with Catholic or Christian background strongly preferred; Atheists likely will not get a placement. Often a church membership of at least 5 years is preferred. The Philippine government will ascertain the prospective adoptive parents’ ability to provide necessary moral values from references from community or religious groups (priests, pastors, etc.).
    • Most people in the Philippines speak English, which makes travel easier.
    • Slight preference given to families of Filipino descent.
    • In September 2012, the ICAB instituted a new rule limiting the number of new dossiers it will accept to petition to adopt a child without special needs. The rule does not apply to children in the Waiting Child Program or relative adoption cases. ICAB has stated that the rule is intended to help reduce wait-times for referrals from approximately two to three years to just 1.5 years.
      Prospective adoptive parents must have at least a high school diploma.
    • The Philippines requires that parents have a BMI of no more than 35.
    • The State Department periodically issues travel warnings for travel to the Philippines. Go to the State Department to check the status.

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    Image credit: Jeff Pioquinto, SJ

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