The list below are all the needed qualifications, and requirements when a foreign national wanted to adopt a child here in the Philippines. Please refer to the list below for more details.

List of Qualifications and Requirements Adoption of Children by Foreign Nationals

The following are qualifications adoption of children by foreign nationals:
  • The adopter is of legal age
  • The adopter is at least 16 years older than the adoptee
  • The adopter is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude
  • The adopter is in a position to support, educate, and care for their children and the child to be adopted in keeping with the means of the family
  • The adopter  has undergone pre-adoption services
  • The adopter is a citizen of a state which has diplomatic relations with the Philippines
  • The adopter is certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate agency that:
    • The adopter is qualified to adopt in their country
    • The foreign government of the adopter will allow the adoptee to enter the adopter`s country and reside there permanently as an adopted child
  • The adopter has submitted the necessary clearances and such other certifications as may be required by the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Adopters should have the following:
  • Authenticated birth certificate
  • Marriage contract or divorce, annulment, declaration of nullity, or legal separation documents
  • Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician—and when appropriate, psychological evaluation
  • NBI/Police Clearance
  • Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability, e.g. certificate of employment, bank certificate or statement of assets and liabilities
  • Three character references, namely from the local church/minister, the employer, and a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the applicants for at least three years
  • 3×5 pictures of the applicants and his/her immediate family taken within the last three months
  • Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption seminars
  • Certification that the applicants have legal capacity to adopt in their country
  • The adopter’s country should have a policy, or is a signatory of an international agreement, which allows a child adopted in the Philippines by its citizen.
  • Certificate of residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs
  • The adopter’s country allows the entrance of the adoptee and permanently reside in their country as the adopter’s legitimate child. A certificate of this may be issued by the foreign country’s diplomatic or consular office or central authority in inter-country adoption or any government agency which has jurisdiction over child and family matters**
**In the absence of any of the previously mentioned documents, the Philippine Intercountry Adoption Board may also certify that the Philippines and the applicants’ country have an existing agreement or arrangement on intercountry adoption whereby a child who has been adopted in the Philippines or has a pre-adoption placement approved by the Board is allowed to enter and remain as permanent resident in the foreign country as the adopter’s legitimate child.

  • Two character references from a non-relatives who have known the applicant(s) in the country of which he/she is a citizen or was a resident prior to residing in the Philippines***
***This does not apply for foreigners who have resided in the Philippines for more than fifteen years

  • Police Clearance from all places of residence in the past two years immediately prior to residing in the Philippines

Contact Information & References:
  • Republic Act 8552, otherwise known as The Domestic Adoption Act of 1998
  • DSWD trunkline: (632) 931-81-01 to 07
  • DSWD Twitter: @dswdserves
  • DSWD address: DSWD, Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City
  • DSWD website:

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