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Who may adopt

Any adoption applicant interested in adopting a Filipino child/ren (either relative or non-relative) may contact their nearest Central Authority on Intercountry Adoption (if Ratifier or State Party to The Hague Convention) or any ICAB accredited/authorized Foreign Adoption Agency (FAA) of their country of residence who is responsible for the preparation, conduct and endorsement of the Home Study Report and Supporting Documents.

Any foreign national or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an adoption application if he/she:

  1. Is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and is at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted at the time of the filing of the application, unless the applicant is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or is the spouse of such parent by nature. A maximum of forty-five (45) years age gap between the adoptive parents and the adoptive child should be maintained except in cases where the circumstances will be favorable for the child.

(N.B. Maximum age gap of 45 can be made an exemption on cases of relative, Special Needs Child-Special Home Finding and step-parent adoption).

  1. Has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and responsibilities incidental to parental authority under his/her national law;
  2. Married couples who can show stability or relationship. A minimum of 1 year provided that these PAPS can prove and the Central Authority (CA) / Foreign Adoption Agency (FAA) can verify that they have been living together for at least two (2) years prior to the relationship culminating to marriage.
  3. Has undergone appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;
  4. Has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
  5. Is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
  6. Can provide the proper care and support and give the necessary moral values and example to the child and, in the proper case, to all his/her other children;
  7. Comes from a country
    • With whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations;
    • (2) Whose government maintains a foreign adoption agency; and
    • Whose laws allow adoption.
  8. Files jointly with his/her spouse, if any, who shall have the same qualifications and none of the disqualifications to adopt as prescribed above.

The Home Study Report and Supporting Documents (SDs) must be attached to the Application and officially endorsed to the Board.  Direct applications to the ICAB are not possible.       

Documentary Requirements of Applicants
  1. Application Form – an application form prescribed by the Board shall be accomplished by husband and wife and shall consist of the following:
  1. Undertaking under oath signed by the applicants;
  2. The Information and Personal Data of the Applicants for Inter-Country Adoption; and
  3. Self-Report Questionnaire (Optional: required only when Psychological Evaluation is inadequate).


  1. Home Study Report to be prepared by the Central Authority or an ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency.


C.Supporting documents to be attached to the Application shall consist of the following:

  1. Birth Certificate of the Applicants (in cases of relative adoption, Birth Certificate of their common ancestry delineating relationship up to the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity)
  1. Marriage Contract of the applicants
  1. Decree of Divorce of a previous marriage (ICAB only accepts 2 divorce history of either couple)
  1. Written consent to the adoption in the form of a sworn statement by the biological and/or adopted children of the applicants who are ten (10) years of age or over
  1. Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician
  1. Psychological evaluation by a duly licensed psychiatrist or psychologist or in some countries, social workers who are sufficiently trained in clinical psychology as part of the degree requirement in the field of social work.

(The psychological evaluation remains as a separate document/report from the Home Study Report. The psychological evaluation should contain the type of psychometric tests administered to the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) as well as the outcome of such tests. It should also contain among others early childhood experience/s, marital/family relationship and functioning of the couple, and coping mechanisms in times of crises and problems inclusive of issues on infertility/childlessness (if applicable), handling the challenges that adoption brings and the parenting that comes with it, their capability of handling adjustment issues is elucidated and commented upon.

The Board recently required the submission of Base Rate for Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III) and T Scores for Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory 2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2 RF) instead of the detailed raw scores of the psychological test. However, Prospective Adoptive Parents who have previously adopted from the Philippines are covered by Board Resolution 062-54 series of 2011 and are not required to undergo the above tests.)

  1. Latest income tax return or other documents showing the financial capability of the applicant; Clearances issued by the Police Department or other proper government agency of the place where the applicants reside.

(The Clearance should be issued by the police or other proper government agency involved in the maintenance of peace and order of the place where the applicants reside.  The clearance should indicate that the applicants have no criminal record and that they have not been convicted of any crime of moral turpitude.)

  1. Character reference from the
    • local church/minister
    • the applicant’s employer
    • a member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least five (5) years
  1. A Certification from the Department of Justice or other appropriate government agency that the applicant is qualified to adopt under his/her national law and that the child to be adopted is allowed to enter the country for trial custody and reside there permanently;
  1. Acceptance letter from the identified designated guardian/s of the child/ren
  1. Special Needs Checklist Recent postcard size pictures of the applicant, their immediate family members and their home.


Where to File the Application
  1. The application shall be filed with the ICAB through the Central Authority (CA) on Inter-Country Adoption or an ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency (FAA) or Governmental Adoption Agency (GAA) in the country where the applicant resides.

    Foreigners who file their petition for adoption in the Philippines under the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 or RA 8552, the Court after finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance and a proper case for inter-country adoption, shall immediately transmit the petition to the ICAB for appropriate action.  The ICAB shall then act on the application following the procedures described in the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations.

    Please make sure that:

    • All documents must be written and officially translated in English.
    • All documents must be officially endorsed by the Central Authority on Intercountry Adoption or ICAB accredited Foreign Adoption Agency to the ICAB in the Philippines
    • All communications relating to adoption application and/or child referral shall be transmitted by the Central Authority or by the ICAB accredited FAA directly to the ICAB.
    • All ICAB correspondence/communication shall be transmitted directly to the concerned Central Authority and/or Foreign Adoption Agency.

    All the process for the Philippine Intercountry Adoption (ICA) DOES NOT require the intervention of a lawyer/attorney either in the Philippines or from the applicant’s country of residence.