Here are our answers to frequently asked questions about adopting a child in the Philippines
Can I adopt a child directly from Angel House?
No, you can’t adopt directly from Angel House. If you are living here in the Philippines you must visit your nearest Regional Authority for Child Care Office (RACCO) and the Social Worker in charge of adoption will explain the procedure to become approved adoptive parents. For more details about the procedure and the requirements you can also visit the NACC website: https://nacc.gov.ph Foreigners must be resident in the Philippines for five years before they may apply for domestic adoption.
If you are living overseas, you must contact an agency that handles inter-country adoption with the Philippines and they will process all your documents; it can be an expensive and time consuming process! You can find a list of approved agencies on the NACC website. If your country is not listed then you cannot adopt a child from the Philippines.
Are we able to choose the child we want to adopt?
No, the procedure here in the Philippines is that you will be matched with a child that a panel of experts considers best for your family and of course the future of the child. In your application you can specify the age and sex you will accept.
How long do we have to wait to adopt a child from the Philippines?
This is a difficult one to answer as there are many different factors to consider. Baby girls under one year old are in very short supply and you may wait several years! Try to be flexible in the age range and sex of the child you are willing to adopt, there are many children aged 2-5 years of age looking for new families. If you are resident in the Philippines it could take about one year, but for overseas parents it could take two years or more before you are successful.
Can we adopt more than one child?
Yes, there are often siblings available for adoption and we always keep them together to maintain that family bond.
Are single people allowed to adopt a child from the Philippines?
Yes, single people can apply to adopt a child, also members of the LGBQT community.
What are the reasons that these children need new families?
There are many reasons that children need new parents. Abortion here in the Philippines is illegal, even in the case of rape, and the number of teenage pregnancies continues to rise, resulting in many unwanted babies. Other reasons include breakdown of the family unit with one parent leaving, domestic abuse or severe health problems. Poverty is not considered a reason for giving up a child for adoption, though it remains an important factor. Our Social Worker will try to find alternative solutions such as other relatives to care for the child, or temporary care at Angel House to give the family time to sort out their problems. Adoption is always the final choice after all other options have been considered.
Why does it take so long to process children for adoption?
We have very strict guidelines to follow when processing a child for adoption and work very closely with the Regional Authority for Child Care (RACCO) at every stage. Often the child has no birth certificate and many other documents need to be completed. If the parent is surrendering the child then they are allowed three months to change their decision before we proceed with the case. In cases of abandonment or foundlings, we have to write letters to the last known address of the parents and place advertisements in one national newspaper and three radio stations before we can proceed further. The process usually takes about 3-6 months, but can be delayed further in more complex cases.
After all the paperwork is completed the child is declared legally available for adoption and will first be considered for local matching as it is better for the child to remain here in the Philippines with a culture they are familiar with. If there are no suitable parents available here in the Philippines, the child’s case will go to the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) for matching with parents from another country. After matching through ICAB it normally takes another six months to prepare travel documents and visas.
What are the costs involved in adopting a child from the Philippines?
I honestly don’t know the answer to this question, as it probably varies depending on which country you are from. I suggest you try to contact someone in your country that has successfully adopted a child from here and they can advise you on this. For those living in the Philippines the good news is that starting in 2022 you will no longer have to go through the courts to legally adopt your child, it will all be done through RACCO and this will significantly reduce costs and time.
How long do we have to be in the Philippines when collecting our new child?
Finally meeting your new child is an exciting and highly emotional event! All of the paperwork including the child’s passport will already have been prepared and so you only need to be here for a few days. Here at Angel House we really like the new parents to come to our orphanage for two or three days, the child will feel more secure in familiar surroundings and you can begin to bond with your new family member. You then need to visit the ICAB offices in Manila to receive the final paperwork. The adoption agency in your country will probably have a contact in the Philippines that can help with travel arrangements and even accompany you during your trip. For residents of the Philippines you will have the child shortly after the successful matching conference.
Why choose to adopt a child from the Philippines?
It may be easier and faster to adopt a child from other counties that have fewer restrictions, but can you be sure that child was really abandoned or surrendered by the parents? Can you be confident that the child is healthy? Our strict guidelines and procedures ensure that every child that is legally declared available for adoption really needs a new family and has been processed properly. Every child receives at least two medical check-ups during this process, the final one often includes chest x-rays, blood and urine tests, etc. Prospective parents receive all the medical records, including vaccinations, as well as details of the child’s physical and social development during their stay at Angel House and some background information about their birth family. Of course they are also the cutest, happiest children in the World!
Good luck and if you have any more questions, just send us an e-mail or better still, try to contact a support group for parents that have adopted children from the Philippines for advice and guidance.