What is Adoption?

It is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.
Its objective is to enable a child who is legally free or eligible for adoption, to benefit from family life and become a permanent member of a family who can give him/her love, protection and opportunities for growth and development.

Who may adopt?

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee’s parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has’been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and mat his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, Further, That the requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:
(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or
(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or
(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.
Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/ daughter of the other; or
(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or
(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.
In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

Who May Be Adopted?

(a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;
(b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;
(c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;
(d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;
(e) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or
(f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).

Requirements for ADOPTIVE PARENTS

  • Application Form
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate, Divorce Annulment, Declaration of Nullity of legal separation documents (if any)
  • Written Consent to Adoption
  • Medical Certificate issued at least 6 months
  • Latest Income Tax Return or Certificate of Employment
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance or Police Clearance issued at least one year
  • Three (3) letters of Character References
  • 3×5 inch sized Whole Body Photos of the applicant and, where applicable, his/her family taken within the last three (3) months
  • Certificate of Attendance to Adoption Forum

** For Alien applicants

Certification that the applicant/s have legal capacity to adopt

Certificate of Residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of Immigration or the Department of Foreign Affairs

Two (2) character references from non-relatives who know 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 15 years

Police Clearance from all places of residence


  • Attendance in Adoption forum or seminar
  • Submission of application for adoption to the DSWD Field Office or to a Child-placing Agency
    Preparation of Home Study Report
  • Submission of Case Records of Prospective Adoptive Parents to the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) of the DSWD
  • Matching (Regional then Interregional)
  • Placement
  • Post placement visits
  • Consent to adoption
  • Filing of Petition for Adoption
  • Issuance of Decree of Adoption and Entry of Judgement
  • Post Adoption Services