25 Factors to Consider When Adopting from Thailand

thai adoptions

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 between 25 and 43 years old, and at least 15 years older than the child.  If one parent is over 43, approval can be granted on a case-by-case basis for couples adopting a Waiting Child.

+ Divorce
2 divorces per couple

+ Children in Family
Up to 1 child.  Parents must to wait 18 months after the birth or adoption of a previous child before filing for adoption.  Thailand shows a strong preference for childless couples and small families. 

+ Single Applicant
Single women are allowed on a case-by-case basis, although not all agencies will work with them.  Single applicants may be required to accept a special needs referral. 

+ Sexual Orientation
Does not knowingly place with homosexuals

+ Children Available
Healthy children 2 to 15 years old, special needs children of all ages.  Sibling groups are occasionally available.  The majority of children are between 2 and 5 years old when they are placed, and children older than 10 are rarely referred to non-Thai-speaking families.

+ Race/Ethnicity
Southeast Asian

+ Gender
Boys and girls; parents may request a gender. There are more boys available than girls, and boys have shorter wait times.

+ Referral Method
The Thai Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) receives dossiers from adoption agencies and matches a family with a child.

+ Travel in Country
1 trip, approximately 2 weeks long.  Both parents are required to travel.  Parents appear before the Thai Adoption Board to reconfirm the placement and escort their child home.

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

+ Orphanage/Foster Care
Usually orphanages, although a few agencies have set up foster care programs for the children they place.

+ How Children Enter Government Care
Relinquished due to poverty and social stigma and lack of support for single mothers. There are an increasing number of AIDS orphans.

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

+ Adequacy of Medical Reports
Limited; medical and developmental information is available, but is not extensive.  Children are tested for HIV and Hepatitis before adoption.

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

+ Additional Information

  • Adoptive parents are required to register their adoption with the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate.
  • The Thai Government has a moratorium on adoptions to certain countries, including the US and Canada. This hasn’t had the huge impact on US adoptions from Thailand that was expected since it does not apply to children placed directly from the 3 approved charities that regularly place kids with US agencies. These relief organizations include Holt Sahathai Foundation, Thai Red Cross, and Friends for All Children Foundation. Make sure your agency is currently getting children placed from one of these organizations.
  • Parents report that the quality of care in the orphanages that place in the US are fairly good.
  • Some agencies require couples hoping to adopted healthy younger children to have documented infertility problems.
  • While there are no formal income requirements, perspective parents must provide proof of income (e.g. tax returns, letters from employers stating income, bank statements, etc.) with their dossier.
  • Any medical issue of any family member living in the home will require pre-approval by Thailand government.

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Available from www.CreatingaFamily.org, the national adoption and infertility education and support non-profit. Please do not reprint without giving credit to Creating a Family and a link to the website.

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