How to Adopt a Child in Thailand?

Adopt a Child in Thailand? Incapability to produce a child is one of the greatest frustrations a couple could have. However, it does not end their purpose as husband and wife. They always have options on how they can fulfill their desire to be called ‘parents’, and one of these is adoption.

For some reasons, many couples who desire to adopt choose a child whose nationality is different from theirs. Legal systems allow such but it would be one complex process, as it would normally take two (2) to three (3) years. In Thailand, foreigners adopting a child seek legal help in order to complete the procedure. It could be complicated, but is definitely worth the wait.

Foreigners who wish to adopt a child in Thailand must possess the following characteristics:

  • At least 25 years of age
  • At least 15 years older than the child to be adopted
  • Qualified to adopt, based on the law their home country
  • Has a spouse, if applying as a couple

However, the Thai legal system does not allow applications to adopt more than one child at a time, except if permitted by law. The exception includes twins, siblings and if the applicant has a Thai spouse.
Thailand adoption starts when application forms are obtained from the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) of Thailand. Biographical, financial and health status of the applicants must be declared.
The documents must then be submitted to a licensed adoption agency or child welfare organization, authorized by the Thai DSDW, for processing.
The forms, if in English, must always have copies in Thai. It will be forwarded to the DSDW by the licensed agency. Included are the listed documents in support of the application:

  • Completed home study report done by the licensed agency, this includes the necessary information to prove the eligibility of the couple to adopt a child in Thailand
  • A statement from the agency confirming that once Thai law recognizes the adoption, the home country will recognize it too
  • A formal statement from the agency, in commitment to supervising the pre-adoption placement period of the child and conduct at least 3 bi-monthly reports in 6 months-probation
  • Medical certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates, and/or divorce certificates, if applicable
  • Proof of occupation and income
  • Complete Financial statement
  • Recommendations, at least 2
  • Copy of the license of the agency
  • Photographs of the applicants
  • Documents necessary for the child’s immigration

Once accepted by the DSDW, photographs and information about the child that fits in to the applicants’ desire of a child will be provided. If the couple agrees, their application will be forwarded to the Child Adoption Board (CAB) for review. Upon approval, the Minister of Social Development Human Security will authorize the case.

Afterwards, an interview will be arranged. Both applicants must attend, as this is when the child is handed over. Necessary documents for the child’s immigration, including a Thai passport, will be arranged by the DSDW. The now-adoptive parents will be advised, however, to stay in the Kingdom for two more weeks because documents may take some time to process.

Upon going back to their home country, the adoptive parents must apply for the child’s immigration visa.

As stated, monthly reports must be done. If results are found satisfactory by the DSDW, the case will be referred for final approval to the CAB.

Within 6 months after approval, the parents must register the adoption at the Thai embassy in their home country to complete the Thailand adoption process


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