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About Philippines Adoption
The Philippines, situated south of China in the western Pacific Ocean, 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 1.877.827.5226 or send us an email!
Recently, CAN was given special approval by the Philippines adoption authority, ICAB, to place children for adoption from their healthy referral program.
(*Please note, the gender of the child is not able to be requested when adopting from the healthy 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 place with an adoptive family. The following options are available:
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 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, a first cousin’s child, for example, an adoption from the Philippines would not be possible. Adoptive parents must be able to provide proof of the relationship in their dossier.
**Relative Adoption within 4th degree of consanguinity:
**Relative Adoption beyond 4th degree of consanguinity:
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.
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.
Adoption eligibility requirements for the Philippines are subject to change per the Philippines’ adoption laws. CAN updates these guidelines as necessary.
Currently, CAN facilitates adoptions for Special Home Findings cases (children with special medical needs), and Relative Adoption Programs. For Relative Adoption and Special Home Finding these programs can range from 12 to 18 months after the submission of the dossier to ICAB. Dossiers for the Special Home Finding and Relative Adoption cases are only submitted after the identification of a child.
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.
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. From the time you make a selection, 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 selected a child or sibling group to adopt from the waiting child list, it is time to start assembling your dossier. You may consider starting this process while you look for a child or sibling group to adopt as you only have four months from the time of selection to submit your dossier. Your dossier will include a home study, which will assess your readiness for international adoption from the Philippinesand 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 andUScitizenship of your child. It is recommended that you apply for proof of your child’s citizenship by filing the USCIS N600 form.
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 assimiliation 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.
Books for Parents
Stories from the Philippines
Adoption in the Classroom
Issues in Adoption
Stories from the Philippines
Official State websites
Health and Wellness
Support and Education