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Facts About Adoption in the Philippines

Facts About Adoption in the Philippines

Couples who can’t have children due to fertility issues may consider adopting a child. However, some get intimidated by the processes and legalities attached to the process. In this article, we answer the most common questions regarding adoption in the Philippines.

1. What criteria should be met by interested couples?

The first question that people who want to adopt usually ask is, “Will I get approved as an adoptive parent?”

According to the law, the individual should:

  • Be at least 18 years old, but is 16 years older than the child or adoptee. Please note that the law may not impose the required age gap if the adopter is the biological parent, sibling, or spouse of the child’s parent.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, a behavior or act that severely violates society’s standards.
  • Have the ability to perform his or her responsibilities and assume all rights as a parent.

If you are related to the child by blood (up to the 4th degree of consanguinity), the law might prioritize your application.

2. Can single people and those who are members of the LGBTQ community adopt?

Single people and members of the LGBTQ community can adopt a child provided that they satisfy the criteria discussed above.

An additional note for LGBTQ couples: since same-sex marriage is not yet acknowledged in the Philippines, only one partner will be registered as the adoptive parent.

3. Is it possible to choose the child to be adopted?

Adoption in the Philippines does not allow applicants to choose a child they want to adopt; they can only indicate the sex and age of their preference.

Basically, anyone who’s younger than 18 years old may be adopted so long as the law deems him or her available for adoption. In some cases, the age requirement may not be required, like the adoptee being consistently treated as the applicant’s child even before the application.

A panel of experts will select a child based on who they think will match the applicant best. Likewise, they assure first that the applicant has the child’s best interests in mind.

4. What’s the process for adoption?

Adoption in the Philippines only has two phases; however, there are many steps or processes within each phase.

Administrative Phase

The administrative phase mainly involves:

  • An adoption forum or seminar
  • The application to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
  • A Home Study Report
  • Matching a child with the prospective adoptive parent.
  • Pre-adoption Placement Authority, where prospective adoptive parents could have the child in their home for at least six months under the supervision of DSWD.

Judicial Phase

The judicial phase involves the court of law and includes:

  • The filing for a petition for adoption
  • Supervised trial custody for six months or less
  • A court hearing for the petition to adopt
  • The issuance of Decree of Adoption

5. How expensive is adoption in the Philippines?

It’s hard to say precisely how much it will cost for someone to adopt a child since it still depends on whether or not the applicant will employ the services of an agency.

In general, applicants must pay for:

  • Pre-adoption seminar or forum
  • Home Study Report
  • Pre-Adoption Placement Authority
  • Lawyer’s fees
  • Court fees
  • Newspaper publication of adoption petition
  • Adoption registration fees

Please remember that DSWD services for adoption are free.

Final Reminders

Anyone who wishes to adopt in the Philippines should go through legal channels. Never take a child from anyone, even if tell you that they are willing to relinquish their parental rights. Additionally, paying for a child is punishable by law.

If you didn’t go through the legal process, the child is not yours, and the authorities can take them from your custody.

Remember that adoption is not just a social and emotional process; it’s also a legal process.

Learn more about Parenting here.


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What you need to know about adoption in the Philippines
Accessed June 10, 2021

Accessed June 10, 2021

The hows and the whys of adoption in the Philippines
Accessed June 10, 2021

Introduction to Adoption
Accessed June 10, 2021

Accessed June 10, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Nov 02, 2021
Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS