How to Adopt a Child in the Philippines

Every child deserves love, care, and a stable home life. For those denied these fundamentals, adoption has become key.

In the Philippines, the Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD is mandated to certify that a child is legally available for adoption, and to ensure the ease with which legally qualified children are placed within adoptive families.

Adoption Process

The adoption process begins with choosing an adoption agency accredited by the DSWD, after which the following steps are taken:


  • Counseling of biological parents

To ensure that biological parent(s) are well-informed of their decision to relinquish the child for adoption.

  • Counseling of prospective adoptive parent(s)

To ensure adoptive parent(s) are ready for adoption

  • Counseling of the adoptee

To help the child understand that they are going to be part of new family with new parents.

Adoption Procedures

  • Social case study report

The Social Case Study Report (SCSR) contains a written assessment made by a licensed social worker about the child’s social, cultural, economic, and psychosocial background. It also contains the child’s real identity and the scope of their neglect and abandonment.

  • Matching process or family selection

After the case study has been filed, prospective adopters and adoptees will then meet

  • Placement and supervised trial custody

The adoptive family is prepared for the child’s placement in their home and the subsequent transfer of parental responsibilities.

During the supervised trial custody, social workers will monitor the adjustment period and emotional preparedness of the adopters and adoptees.

The trial custody lasts for up to six months and if all goes well, the DSWD will issue a Consent to Adopt.

  • Filing a petition of adoption

To make the adoption official, a petition of adoption must then be filed the prospective adoptive family with their local family court.

  • Decree of adoption

The court will then decide whether to approve the decree of adoption based on the child’s best interests. Once the decree is approved, the petitioner becomes the legal parents of the child. The adoptive family will then receive:

  • A certificate of finality to be issued by the Clerk of Court
  • A certified true copy of the adoption decree
  • An amended birth certificate with the child’s new surname from the civil registry

Qualifications of adoptive parents

  • A Filipino citizen currently residing in the Philippines
  • At least 27 years of age and 16 years older than the adoptee. This can be waived if:
  • The person adopting is the biological parent or sibling, or the spouse of the adoptee’s biological parent
  • Has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and duties required for exercising parental authority
  • Good moral character with no past convictions of any crime involving moral turpitude
  • Proven able to support, educate, and care for the adopted child in keeping with the means of the family
  • Must have completed pre-adoption requirements

Required documents

Adoptive parent(s) must provide:

  • Birth certificate with authentication
  • Marriage or divorce papers
  • Police or NBI clearance
  • 3” x 5” photo of the applicants and his/her immediate family taken within the last three months
  • Character references from:
  • The local church or religious minister
  • Employer
  • A member of the direct community who is not a relative but has known the applicant for at least three years
  • Certificates of attendance from pre-adoption forums and/or seminars

For more information on adopting a child in the Philippines, contact the DSWD.

Phone: (632) 931-81-01 to 07
DSWD, Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City

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