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Relative Adoption for Australians

The Australian Central Authority and the Philippines Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) have an agreed process to deal with requests from Australian citizens to adopt a relative child residing in the Philippines. Prospective adoptive parents, resident in Australia, seeking to adopt an overseas relative child, must be assessed by the relevant Australian State or Territory Central Authority. The Australian State or Territory Central Authority can only consider assessing the suitability of the relative family to adopt the child at the request of ICAB.

Prior to approaching the relevant Australian State or Territory Central Authority, ICAB must have assessed the child as in need of permanent placement with relatives overseas, where no suitable placement options are available in the Philippines. Upon receiving the assessment and home study report from the Australian State or Territory Central Authority, ICAB will consider if it is in the child’s best interests to be placed with the overseas relative family. If it is determined that this placement would be in the child’s best interests, ICAB and the State or Territory Central Authority will facilitate the adoption in accordance with the normal Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co–operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption procedures and arrangements.

The Relative and Known Child Adoption’ policy paper sets out Australia’s position on relative adoption and provides further detail on the process for people considering the adoption of a relative child.

People considering adopting a relative child from the Philippines should be aware that under The Hague Convention, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from an overseas country must apply to the Central Authority in the country in which they are “habitually resident”.

The Australian Government strongly cautions applicants habitually resident in Australia against pursuing domestic adoptions overseas, even if they also hold citizenship or rights to permanent residency in the Philippines. Families considering adopting a child from the Philippines should contact their State or Territory Central Authority before proceeding with any adoption application with an overseas authority.

The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship will refuse a child an entry visa unless the adoption arrangement meets immigration requirements even if the adoption has already occurred and is lawful in the Philippines.