Can I adopt my niece in the Philippines? (Yes or No?)

In this article we will answer the following questions: Can I adopt my niece in the Philippines? Can I adopt my nephew from the Philippines? What are the requirements for international adoption? What children can be internationally adopted? We also talk about the adoption rules and laws in the Philippines. 

Can I adopt my niece in the Philippines?

You can adopt your niece in the Philippines, but you will have to follow the intercountry adoption process according to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions. The process is the same as adopting an unknown child, and you need to be mindful that if they do not already share the same citizenship as yours, you will need an immigration attorney to assist you before completing an adoption.

There are some key aspects you need to know. First of all, it is legal to adopt your niece or nephew as long as the child’s biological parents give their consent. The consent of both parents is required unless one of them (or both) has been deprived of parental rights by a court of law; if at least one of them has died or voluntarily surrendered their Parental Responsibility.

The second aspect that is worth mentioning is the fact that you must meet the eligibility criteria and that you have the right to adopt a child. For this, we advise you to talk to your local adoption agencies or social services. Besides the fact that you must be over 21 years old and be 14 years older than the child you are going to adopt, there are other laws that you must comply with.

Then your niece or nephew must be minor to be adopted. You can’t adopt someone older than you in the UK. An adoption order in England & Wales cannot be made in respect of anyone aged 18 or over. The same applies in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Only minors can be adopted and must have gone through a legal process to allow this in the first place.

Most adoptions are public in that they are overseen and managed by local authorities, including those made via international routes. Even those few classes as private adoptions have to be scrutinized by qualified professionals. The adoption process across the U.K. is heavily regulated to prevent child trafficking and exploitation and it’s designed for minors, not adults.

Can I adopt my nephew from the Philippines?

Yes, you can adopt your nephew from the Philippines as long as you follow the criteria mentioned above. There is no difference between boys or girls in matters of adoption.

You can adopt your nephew from the Philippines if:

  • His parents cannot take charge of his care and express the desire to give him up for adoption before a competent judge.
  • He is a consanguineous descendant of either you or your partner (the adopters).
  • Your nephew has been declared susceptible to being adopted by resolution of a judge.

This being said, if you meet the above criteria, we will go next with the necessary steps for international adoption.

International Adoption in the Philippines

International adoption in the Philippines is not complete: the minor leaves the Philippines with a Philippine passport and a family reunification visa for adoption. After 6 months in the country that adopted him, the adoption becomes full, after a court’s decision and with the prior consent of the Philippine International Adoption Board (ICAB Intercountry Adoption Board).

All adoption requests in the Philippines are managed by the different Autonomous Communities or International Adoption Collaborating Entities Accredited by the Ministry of Health and Social Policy are submitted and processed in and with the ICAB.

International adoption must be processed from the place of residence of the adopting parents (PAP – “Prospective Adoptive Parent).

 Applications that arrive at the ICAB are studied and approved within one month from receipt of the application. ICAB communicates the approval (or denial) of the request to the PAP through the ECAI or the corresponding Autonomous Community.

Once the approval of the application is communicated, it is included in the “Roster” list for the assignment of children. In a normal course, it takes 1 – 2 years for a child to be assigned to a PAP, but it may also take longer depending on the availability of requested children.

Once the child is assigned, the ICAB informs the ECAI or the corresponding Autonomous Community so that, in turn, it informs the PAP. Between assignment and communication to the competent authorities, no more than 5 days should elapse. 

Once the acceptance (compliant) of the PAP is received, ICAB issues the “Placement Authority” within 5 days and proceeds with the processing of the requirements for issuing the visa.  The trip must be made within 30 days from the communication of the plans, if not, the “Placement Authority” is cancelled.

 International adoption in the Philippines is not full, that is, from the delivery of the minor to the PAP and the departure from the Philippines, the adoption is not fully established. The adopted minor will live together with the PAPs “in their custody” for 6 months. During this period, the corresponding Autonomous Community or ECAI will supervise coexistence and send reports to ICAB every two months.

Overall, the average length of adoption in the Philippines is between 2 and a half to 3 years, although some files have taken up to 4 years mainly because there are fewer children delivered for international adoption.

Local adoption in the Philippines

For people who have been residing in the Philippines for at least 3 years and wish to adopt a Filipino child, there is the possibility of processing the application in the Philippines. In this case, it would be a local adoption. The Philippine law governing local adoption is the Philippine Republic Act 8552

What are the requirements to start an international adoption process?

More and more couples choose to adopt minors of foreign origin since in most cases the waiting periods are shorter than if they were to do so in their country.

To know if you are suitable or not to carry out the procedures of international adoption, you must bear in mind the common requirements:

  • Be over 25 years old. In the adoption by both spouses, it is enough that one of them has reached the mentioned age.
  • Be at least 14 years older than the person adopted. 
  • Having been declared suitable for the exercise of parental authority by the competent public entity.

As for advice, if you are considering international adoption, it is recommended that you contact a family lawyer in your city, who will give you all the necessary details to begin the procedure and will guide you through it.

On the path of adoption you have to be patient but above all to have a lot of enthusiasm since it is a long process and sometimes there are unexpected delays. There is a significant disproportion between the number of international adoptions that are finalized and the number of applications made.

What children can be adopted internationally? 

  • Children with an average age of 7 years.
  • Groups of siblings.
  • Children under 5 years of age with physical health problems or members of a group of siblings.
  • Victims of serious rights violations.
  • Victims of progressive abandonment and long institutionalization time.
  • With disorders in the behavioural and socio-affective field (with or without drug treatment).
  • With attachment disorders.
  • With morbid family antecedents such as intellectual limitations, psychiatric or personality disorders, drug and/or alcohol consumption, among others.

The adoption process for a married couple living abroad

The application process for a married couple living abroad begins when the public Central Authority or the accredited foreign body sends the application form and documents that the legal regulations require.

The documentation contained in the file is reviewed and analyzed by a psychosocial and legal team, to determine its suitability. If there are no legal and/or technical objections, they are entered into a Foreign Marriage Registry, remaining on the waiting list for the assignment of a child, according to their expectations and parental skills.

If any objection is found in the documentation, the applicants are informed through a letter addressed to the body that represents them, waiting for it to be corrected to proceed to enter them into the registry.

If the application is rejected, it is communicated through a letter addressed to the institution that sponsors the application of the marriage, informing in detail the legal and/or technical reasons that make the application unfeasible.

After selecting a family that meets the appropriate profile to assume the adoptive parenting of a child who hopes to be adopted by a family residing abroad, an assignment proposal is made, through which the sponsoring foreign body is formally notified. For this purpose, the most relevant background of the child is attached to this assignment, which allows the family to decide if they have the capacities to assume it or not.

If the assignment is accepted, the Central Authority of the offering country issues a document confirming their consent and, subsequently, the marriage documentation and the child’s background are sent to the region where the child resides, to start the adoption process.

Conclusions

In this article we answered the following questions: Can I adopt my niece in the Philippines? What are the requirements for international adoption? What children can be internationally adopted? We also talked about the adoption rules and laws in the Philippines. 

The quick answer is yes, you can adopt your niece or nephew in the Philippines, as long as you follow the law for both the country you are adopting from and the one you are bringing the child to live in. 

What is specific to Philippines adoption is that it is not a process that ends there. The minor leaves the Philippines with a Philippine passport and a family reunification visa for adoption. After 6 months in the country that adopted him, the adoption becomes full, after a court’s decision and with the prior consent of the Philippine International Adoption Board.

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FAQ on Can I adopt my niece in the Philippines?

How much does it cost to adopt a child from the Philippines?

The costs of adopting a child from the Philippines are between $25,000-$35,000. The total amount will include travel costs, medical and psychological assessments, documents legalization, and other types of fees. 

How do I adopt my niece?

You can adopt your niece if a court decides that her parents can no  longer take care of her and only if the court decides that you are legally qualified and competent do adopt the child. 

How much does it cost to adopt a child from a foreign country?

The costs of adopting a child from a foreign country are in between  $20,000 and $40,000. Travel expenses, medical and psychological assessments are included in this price. 

How do I give my unborn baby up for adoption?

If you want to give your unborn baby up for adoption you have to speak with the social services and create an adoption plan. You will probably have to find a future family for your child. If you don’t want you, you don’t have to get involved in the whole process. 

Is it hard to adopt as a single woman?

It is harder to adopt as a single woman because you have to meet the criteria as married couples. That is, you have to face the costs of adoption yourself and prove that you can raise the child without any major struggles.

Is it cheaper to adopt or give birth?

It is cheaper to adopt than to give birth, but with adoption, there is no guarantee that you are going to keep the child.  

References

Travel.state.gov

Ph.usembassy.gov

Gov.uk

Intercountryadoption.gov.au

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