Q. All you want to know about inter – country adoption. FAQs
1. Can a prospective adoptive parent choose the gender of the child to be adopted?
Yes, the adoptive applicants have the option to choose the gender and the age of their child preference.
2. How much are the fees? The applicants are to bear the following costs
(Incidental to the placement of the child):
a. Adoption Application Fee–$100.00 (non-refundable upon endorsement of the Adoption Application and Supporting Documents)
b. Processing Fee–US$900.00–for relative and non-relative adoption US$ 400.00–for Special Needs Children
c. Pre-travel Expenses– The cost of the passport, visa, medical examination, psychological evaluation, travel expenses of the child within the Philippines and for abroad ( the cost varies on a country to country basis)
d. US$500 Child Care Support Fund for the Child Caring Agencies
3. Is there a requirement to donate to the adoptive child’s orphanages?
A Child Care Support Fund (CCSF) in the amount of US$500 has been endorsed by the ICAB to be shared with the adoptive parents with the adoptive child’s orphanage at the time of acceptance or fetching. The CCSF is in the form of an international money order or international bank draft payable to the orphanage which the ICAB forwards to the concerned orphanage of the child. This amount is not to be construed as payment for the child allocation but rather a support fund for the care of the children left behind in the institutions or orphanage.
4. If you adopt a sibling group, do you pay one processing fee, or one fee for each child?
The Prospective Adoptive Parents pay only one processing fee regardless of the number of siblings in the group to be adopted. The ICAB estimates the pre-travel expenses (for the processing of travel documents e.g. passport, Birth Certificates, Visa Medical Examination, Visa Pictures, etc.) for each child and is a separate payment from the processing fee. The cost of the pre-travel expenses is for each child to be processed by the ICAB and to be paid by the PAPs.
5. What is the required age for the Adoptive Applicants?
It is a requirement in the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Law that the adoptive applicants must at least be 16 years older than the child to be adopted at the time of filing of the application or maintained a maximum age gap of
6. Will a health certificate be issued to the adopted child? If so what diseases will he or she be tested for? Will the child be subject to AIDS testing?
Generally, children cleared for inter-country adoption have been tested and also received immunizations against common childhood ailments while under the care and custody of Child Caring/Child Placing Agencies (orphanages/Institutions for children). However, children bound for inter-country adoption placement undergo visa medical examination or health examination prior to the issuance of their entry visa if this is an immigration requirement of the Receiving Country. To date, visa medical examinations include: blood testings, stool examination, urine test, skin test for allergies, Tuberculin test for Primary Complex or pulmonary Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B (if requested) and HIV
Filipino children are not subjected to AIDS tests unless there are factors (e.g. child’s birthmother is a prostituted woman with multiple partners, drug user, etc.) that would logically require the AIDS test to be done because it will be in the child’s best interests.
7. How long is the processing time?
Adoption applicants that have substantive Home Study Report (HSR) and complete supporting documents are reviewed and approved within one month from receipt of the adoption applicant/s’ dossier. On the other hand, adoption application with lacking information and/or documents are reviewed and processed depending upon the submission/completion by the Central Authority/Foreign Adoption Agency (CA/FAA) of the requested information and/or documents with the corresponding delay in its approval.
The matching or child referral or allocation largely depends on the stated child preference (i.e. child’s age, gender and state of health or extent of known background) of the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs). This usually takes nine (9) months to one (1) year after the PAPs’ approval. Willingness to accept a special needs child generally shortens the waiting period for child allocation
8. Is the adoption process transparent?
Yes, very transparent! The Central Authority representatives can come and visit the ICAB, may request the observation of the Matching Conference, have dialogues with the ICAB Secretariat Social Workers, may schedule visits to the different Child Caring/Placing Agencies or write, fax, email or courier us to Inquire, among others, on matters pertaining to Prospective adoptive Parents (PAPs) application, the child being proposed to the PAPs and other inter-country adoption concerns they wish to be clarified.
9. What are the legal guarantees of PAPs in the event the biological parents of the adopted Filipino child changes their mind about the adoption?
a) The children placed for inter-country adoption are those who are either involuntary committed by virtue of a Regional Trial Court’s/Family Court’s Declaration of Abandonment (DA) or those who are voluntarily committed or relinquished by their biological parent/s and legal guardian by virtue of a Deed of Voluntary Commitment (DVC) made out to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Competent Authority on adoption.
b) The Involuntary Commitment is a judicial process that terminates the parental authority of the biological parent/s or legal guardians.
c) When a child has been voluntarily committed in writing by his/her biological parent/s or legal guardians to the custody of the DSWD or any licensed Child Caring/Child Placing Agency, the rights of his/her biological parent/s guardians or other custodian to exercise parental authority over him is severed. The biological parent/s guardian may petition for the restoration of their parental rights and authority over the child within six months after the surrender (DVC) and provided that the child has not left the country with the PAPs.
10. Is there a possibility that the Child will be taken away from the custody of the PAPs after the initial 6 months period?
The child may be taken away from the custody of the PAPs during the initial 6 months trial custody period if the CA/FAA finds that the child or the PAPs or both find/s the pre-adoptive relationship to be unsatisfactory of if the CA/FA finds that the continued placement of the child is not in the child’s best interest. Said relationship is suspended by the Board.
11. Are there many children available in the waiting child program and what are the circumstances?
We have a number of Special Needs Children – Special Home Finding of either sex or Older children whose age range is from 5 – 15 years old
Children belonging to a sibling group of 3 or more
Children found positive of Hepa B or HIV
Children with minor medical conditions (cleft lip/palate, half or total blindness, hearing impaired, mild cerebral palsy, etc.) developmental delays (language/speech, motor skills, etc.)
12. How long is typical for waiting for this program?
Generally, all our waiting children have been cleared for inter-country adoption placement and once the FAA notifies the ICAB that a possible family is interested in a specific child/ren in the Special Needs Children – Special Home Findings program, such a case/s is/are put on hold. The ICAB allows the FAA to complete and endorse the dossier of the SHF adoption applicants within a 4 month period. The ICAB Secretariat Social Worker in charge of the SNC-SHF program is mandated by the Board to present the case within one week after receipt of the application if the endorsed dossier of the family has thorough and substantial information in the Home Study Report (HSR) and supporting documents are complete and likewise, the dossier of the child is complete and update