Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coverage and Eligibility

A Filipino citizen or alien residing in the Philippines who has the qualification and none of the disqualifications under the Act may be eligible to adopt if he/she:

1. is of legal age.
2. is at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee; Provided, however that the minimum age gap between the adopter and the adoptee may not be required if the adopter
is the biological parent or sibling of the adoptee or the spouse of the adoptee`s parent; has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and duties incident to the exercise of parental authority;
4. is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
5. is in a position to support, educate and care for his/her legitimate and illegitimate children and the child to be adopted in keeping with the means of the family;
6. has undergone pre-adoption services
In addition to these qualifications, an alien may adopt if he/she:

7. is a citizen of a state which has diplomatic relations with the Philippines;
8. has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate agency that:
8.1. he/she is qualified to adopt in his/her country; and
8.2. his/her government will allow the adoptee to enter the adopter`s country and reside there permanently as an adopted child;
9. has submitted the necessary clearances and such other certifications as may be required by the Department.

Type of Adoption:

a) Regular or Agency Adoption – a type of adoption bringing together the prospective adoptive parent/s and a child declared as legally available for adoption through a judicious pairing or matching process.

b) Relative adoption is a type of adoption where the biological parent/s make a direct placement of the child to a relative or a family member within the 4th degree of consanguinity.

Applications for direct placement of children are also being received by the Department.

Direct Placement is when the biological parent/s make a direct placement of the child either to a relative beyond the 4th degree of consanguinity or to a non-relative. The law requires the legalization of adoption of children who were placed directly to an individual or a family considering the best interest of the child.


1. Authenticated birth certificate

2. Marriage Contract or Divorce, Annulment, Declaration of Nullity, or Legal Separation documents;

3. Written consent to the adoption by the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, and illegitimate sons/daughters if living with the applicant, who are at least ten (10) years old;

4. Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and when appropriate, psychological evaluation;

5. NBI/Police Clearance

6. Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability, e.g. Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate or Statement of Assets and Liabilities;

7. Three (3) character references, namely from the local church/minister, the employer, and a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least three (3) years;

8. 3×5 sized pictures of the applicant(s) and his/her immediate family taken within the last three (3) months;

9. Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption fora or seminars.

In addition, foreign nationals shall submit the following:

10. Certification that the applicant(s) have legal capacity to adopt in his/her country and that his/her country has a policy, or is a signatory of an international agreement, which allows a child adopted in the Philippines by its national to enter his/her country and permanently reside therein as his/her legitimate child which may be issued by his/her country’s diplomatic or consular office or central authority n intercountry adoption or any government agency which has jurisdiction over child and family matters; or in the absence of any of the foregoing, 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 applicant’s country as his/her legitimate child.

11. Certificate of Residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs, as appropriate;

12. Two (2) character references from a non-relatives who knew the applicant(s) in the country of which he/she is a citizen or was a resident prior to residing in the Philippines, except for those who have resided in the Philippines for more than fifteen (15) years;

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

Q: What is Republic Act 8552?

A: Republic Act 8552- this act shall be known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.

Q: What is Republic Act 9523?

A: Republic Act 9523 – An act requiring the Certification of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to declare a “Child Legally Available for Adoption” as a pre-requisite for adoption proceedings, amending for this purpose certain provision of Republic Act 8552, otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995, Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code, and for other purposes.

Q: What is Republic Act 10165?

A: Republic Act 10165 – An act to strengthen and propagate foster care for abused, abandoned, neglected and other children with special needs, providing appropriations therefor and for other purpose.

Q: What is adoption?

A: Adoption is defined as a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.

Q: What is Foster Care?

A: Foster Care – refers to the provision of planned temporary substitute parental care to a child by a foster parent.

Q: What is Legal Guardianship

A: Legal Guardianship – shall refer to a person appointed by the court to represent and protect the interest of a child in legal actions.

Q: What are the types of adoption in the Philippines:


  1. Agency adoption is when a licensed adoption agency finds and develops adoptive families for children who are voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the state. The adoptive families go through a process from application as prospective adoptive family facilitated by Department of Social Welfare and Development or a licensed child-placing agency like the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation to finalization of the child’s adoption in court.
  2. Family or relative adoption are those where the biological parents make a direct placement of the child to a relative or a member within the 4th degree of consanguinity.
  3. Independent or Direct Placement is when the biological parents make a direct placement of the child either to a relative or beyond the 4th degree of consanguinity.