A basic guide for foreigners hoping to adopt children in the Philippines

A Quick Overview For Foreigners Wanting to Adopt In the Philippines – The Basic Requirements To Adoption – www.philippineslifestyle.com

Adoption in the Philippines has been an ever-changing issue for as long as I’ve lived in the Philippines. Though this article does not cover the process in full, it does cover the basics. 

For those who can’t conceive on their own, or for those who simply have been ‘taken’ by a child, this list of requirements should help.


Adoption is the legal process that creates a relationship between a couple that results in the same effect as if they created a legitimate paternity or filiation  (Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines: Volume One [1990 edition], page 554). Republic Act (RA) 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 provides for the qualifications, eligibility, rules and regulations to be observed in adoption).

All citizens of the Philippines in possession of the following qualifications may adopt::

1. Must Be of Legal Age


2. Must be in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights

3. Must be of good moral character

4. Has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude 

5. Is emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for a child (or children)

6. Must be at least sixteen (16) years older then the adoptee

7. Must be in a position to support and care for him/her child (or children) in keeping with the means of a family. 

In essence, all foreigners must possess the same qualifications as his/her Filipino counterpart – in addition to the requirements above the following must also be satisfied in order to adopt in the Philippines:

 1. His/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines

2. 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

3. He/she has been certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his country

4. His/her government allows the adoptee to enter their country as his/her adopted son or daughter. But the requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived if the foreigner is: 1) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; 2) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or 3) 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 (Section #7, RA 8552).