Philippines Adoption

[Waiting Child Photolisting] – [Philippines News & Updates]
Attention: We are currently accepting applications for families pursing a “Healthy Track” adoption through the Philippines. We have only 9 more spots to fill, so if you’re interested in learning more contact one of our International Adoption Consultants today.


Would you like to host a waiting child in your home for a month before considering adoption? Click here to learn more!

About Philippines Adoption

The Philippines, is located south of China in the western Pacific Ocean, it is comprised of 7,107 islands with approximately 90 million inhabitants. The country is home to incredible diversity in terms of ethnicity, culture and ecology. More than 100 ethnic groups infused with a mix of foreign influences enhance the uniqueness of the Filipino race. Once a colony of both Spain and the United States, the Philippines is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia. Now an independent nation, the Philippines has a long history of foreign occupation. After 327 years of Spanish rule, the Philippines won independence in 1898, only to be occupied by the United States from 1900 to 1942 and Japan from 1942 to 1945. It was not until 1946 that the Philippines regained democracy as a republic. True democracy was realized in 1986 after the “People Power Revolution” led to the reigning dictator’s downfall.

Governance of Philippines Adoptions.

The international adoption program in the Philippines was licensed in 1989 by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development and is overseen by the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB). Party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the program adheres to all of the requirements of the U.S. law implementing the Convention. Children of All Nations is directly accredited by ICAB. The Philippines’ international adoption program is a model program for other countries around the world. If you would like more information about our Philippines program, our adoption consultants can be reached at (512)323-9595 or send us an email!

Children Available

CAN has been given special approval by the Philippines adoption authority, ICAB, to place children for adoption from their Healthy Track referral program as well as placing children from the Special Home Finding List.

(*Please note, the gender of the child is not able to be requested when adopting from the Healthy Track referral program)

Children are available for adoption in the Philippines for a number of reasons that include poverty, poor health and the stigma associated with being born out of wedlock. Children available for adoption from the Philippines remain in orphanages until they are placed with an adoptive family. The following options are available:

  • Healthy children 2-15 years old. (Ages 9-15 for single applicants).
  • Sibling groups of two or more; all ages
  • Children of all ages with special needs

Relative Adoption

Adoption laws in the Philippines allow US families to adopt relatives living in the Philippines that are within four degrees of relation. That means adoptive parents are eligible to adopt the following: a brother, sister, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, first cousin, grandchild, great grandchild, great-great grandchild, grandniece, or grandnephew. If the relationship is beyond four degrees an adoption from the Philippines would not be possible. Adoptive parents must be able to provide proof of the relationship in their dossier.

Families who would like to adopt their relative begin by filling out the Questionnaire for Relative Adoption Applicants (QRAA). The QRAA will give a brief overview of the situation of the child. Based on the facts presented ICAB will either approve or deny a family’s QRAA, if approved the case will be transferred to a local DSWD for further investigation.

Relative Adoption within 4th degree of consanguinity:

  1. The adoption should be last option and it is for the best interest of the child.
  2. The grounds to pursue adoption: the child is an orphan, the parents separated, the parents abandoned the child, the child is neglected by biological parents. *Note: Financial difficulty of the biological parents is not reason enough for adoption.
  3. The biological parents need the parental consent (the process will go through ICAB).

Relative Adoption beyond 4th degree of consanguinity:

  1. The adoption should be last option and it is for the best interest of the child.
  2. The grounds to pursue adoption: the child is an orphan, the parents separated, the parents abandoned the child, the child is neglected by biological parents. Note: Financial difficulty of the biological parents is not reason enough for adoption.
  3. The biological parents need the parenting consent, the child should be legally available for adoption (the process will go through ICAB and DSWD).
  4. The bonding of the child and the relative that wanted to adopt should be establish, meaning they communicate maybe through visit, calls, emails, letters etc. they started to support the child if needed.
  5. DSWD will do an assessment on the child if it is favorable towards adoption, then they will send a report to ICAB based on their findings.

**It is important to note that for families beyond the 4th degree of relation that the child will be advocated for domestically before the case is transferred to ICAB for international placement. If there is a family in the Philippines willing and able to take the child preference will be given to that family.

DSWD, ICAB, and the Philippines do not encourage pre- identification of children. It will take years to do this process and commitment is highly encouraged.

Philippines Adoption Requirements

In addition to the USCIS eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parent(s), the Philippines has the following adoption eligibility requirements. If you feel you are not eligible to adopt from the Philippines, or you are unsure please contact us for a free case-by-case consultation regarding your concerns.

  • Citizenship: One adoptive parent must be a US citizen.
  • Age: Adoptive parents must be at least 27 years of age; there must be at least 16 years, but no more than 45 years, difference between the younger adoptive parent and child.
  • Marriage Status: Married couples are eligible to adopt if they have been married at least three years; single men and women are eligible to adopt children 9 to 15 years old. No more than two divorces are allowed.
  • Previous Children: Families with three or more children in the home are not eligible to adopt a child younger than 6 years of age; families must wait two years from the birth or adoption of a child before filing for adoption from the Philippines.
  • Education: Both parents must have high school diplomas; high school equivalent is acceptable.
  • Health: Medical and psychological conditions or history that disqualify a parent from adopting from the Philippines include:
    • BMI over 35
    • Complicated Diabetes and/or Metabolic Syndrome
    • history of cancer
    • major organ transplant
    • stroke, myocardial infarction, and/or having a pacemaker
    • degenerative muscle disorders
    • auto-immune disorders
    • any condition that will impede caring for a child.
    • psychiatric disorders
    • mood or major depressive disorders
    • anxiety disorders
    • substance abuse disorders
    • sexual disorders
  • Religious Affiliation: Parent(s) must demonstrate a relationship of at least 5 years with a religious or spiritual organization.
  • Income: You must make at least $40,000 annually in order to be eligible to adopt.
  • Criminal History: Applicants with a criminal history of child abuse, violence or domestic violence are not eligible to adopt.
  • One Country Application Policy: Families wanting to adopt from the Philippines are limited to pursuing only one adoption at a time.  A family can not be in process for another adoption and a Philippines adoption at the came time (exceptions can be made for domestic adoptions only)

Adoption eligibility requirements for the Philippines are subject to change per the Philippines’ adoption laws. CAN updates these guidelines as necessary.

Adoption Timeline

The adoption timeline varies depending on the program that the family is interested in. For families interested in pursuing adoptions from the Special Home Finding List (children with special medical needs) the wait time to be matched with a child will likely be between 6 and 12 months. After that a family will travel within 4-6 months if their dossier has been completed, if their dossier is incomplete the family should expect to travel 6-8 months after dossier completion.

For relative adoption cases the timeline depends heavily on how quickly DSWD is able to prepare the file for the child.  On average we see families completing their process 12 to 24 months after the submission of their QRAA.

For the healthy referral program, the timeline is 24 months from dossier submission to be matched, and 4-6 months from being matched to placement. The time frame for Philippines adoption is subject to change; please consult CAN for current processing times for your adoption from the Philippines.

The Process

1. Application and Approval

To access our list of children available for adoption through the Special Home Finding Program, register with our agency for FREE. To adopt a child, please complete our online agency application. If you have any concerns about eligibility requirements, please contact us before filling out this application. We will promptly review your eligibility to adopt from the Philippines once we receive your application. If approved, we will provide you with our agency contract that outlines our fees, services and important information regarding the Philippines adoption process. Upon receipt of your signed contract, CAN will start to provide you placement services for children from the Philippines.

2. Identifying a Child- Special Home Finding

For the Special Home Findings program once you have completed your registration, you will be given access to the list of older children and children with special needs that are available for adoption through the Philippines Waiting Child Program. ICAB plays a strong role in all matching of Special Home Finding children, a family will apply for a child by submitting a parent profile then the board will select the family that they deem to be the best fit. From the time your family is selected for a child, you will have four months to submit your dossier to the Philippines’ Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB). Please keep in mind that you must have selected a child to adopt before sending your dossier to the Philippines.

3. The Paper Chase

Once you have applied with our agency, it is time to start assembling your dossier.  Your dossier will include a home study, which will assess your readiness for international adoption from the Philippines and help prepare you for adoptive parenthood, filing with USCIS for international adoption approval, and gathering the necessary documents. All dossier documents must go through the appropriate notarization, certification and authentication processes before being sent to the Philippines. We offer a complete Dossier Preparation Service to ease your international adoption process and give you peace of mind.

To ensure that prospective adoptive parents are prepared for their international adoption journey, our agency requires that parents complete 10 hours of adoption training as mandated by the Hague Convention. To satisfy these hours, we have developed an online parent training program that we are proud to include in CAN’s service plan. For an overview of the program, please click here.

4. Identifying a Child – Healthy Referral Program

The Philippines adoption authority, ICAB, issues the match to families wishing to adopt through the Healthy Referral program. After families submit their complete dossier to ICAB the process of being matched begins.

5. Picking up Your Child

The Philippines requires at least one parent to travel to bring home their adopted child. Families typically stay in the Philippines about one week to complete their international adoption. CAN will assist you with your travel preparations.

5. Finalizing Your Adoption

Upon the homecoming of your child, you will submit a post placement report. You will follow up with these reports at the three month and six month marks as well. Once your final report is submitted, the ICAB will send the Consent to Adoption which finalizes the adoption and US citizenship of your child. It is recommended that you apply for proof of your child’s citizenship by filing the USCIS N600 form.

Orphanage Information

Most children in the Philippines reside in licensed governmental or non-governmental Child Caring Agencies. The agencies work together regularly to promote the best interests of the children through the Association of Child Caring Agencies and numerous child welfare organizations allowing orphanages to be smaller and give the best care possible to children.

Caretakers take special measures to emotionally prepare children for their new lives with their adoptive families. In an effort to minimize anxiety due to separation from caretakers and living environment, each child is shown photographs or video of his or her adoptive parents and familiarized with ‘mama’ and ‘daddy’ to facilitate assimilation into the coming culture.

Caretakers also participate firsthand in the referral process, helping to assure that children are placed with the family that is right for them. Additionally, many children are also cared for in foster homes while awaiting adoption which exposes them to life within a family unit. The medical care available to orphaned children is very good, and excellent medical records are kept on each child is receiving care. Child Profile Reports, which include all relevant medical and developmental history, are completed and shared with adoptive families. Photographs of the children will also be shared with families at the time of referral.


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