Adopt Abroad - International Adoption Services

Philippine Adoptions 

Philippine Adoptions

I. Adopt Abroad, Inc.- Adoption Agency's Background in Philippine Adoptions

Adopt Abroad has been selected by the Philippine ICAB as the agency to work with U.S. military families stationed overseas for their Philippine adoptions

The Philippines is a Hague country and all adoptions must follow the prescribed procedures for Hague adoptions. The ICAB screens all inter-country adoption applicants and is responsible for the adoptive families' approval as candidates for adoption. The ICAB is responsible for reviewing the children profiles and making referrals to the waiting families they feel will best be able to meet that child's needs.

The United States and the Philippines have had a long close relationship. Many Filipinos have immigrated to the USA and adoptions between the two countries are seen very positively.

In 2011 there were 211 Filipino children placed with US families. The trend is increasing and this is considered a stable adoption program. The children are placed for adoption primarily due to poverty and social stigma against unwed motherhood. The children are placed in orphanages, foster care or group homes throughout the Philippines.


  1. Adopt Abroad, Inc.- Adoption Agency's Background in Philippine Adoptions
  2. Philippines & Children Available for Adoption
  3. The Philippines and Family Eligibility for a Philippine Adoption
  4. The Philippine Adoption Process
  5. Travel for Your Philippine Adoption
  6. Post Placement Requirements for Philippine Adoption
  7. Philippines and Relative Adoptions from the Philippines
  8. FAQ's about The Philippines and Philippine Adoptions
  9. The Philippines: The Country

Philippine Adoptions 

         II. Philippines & Children Available for Adoption

The children available for adoption are generally of Filipino heritage with dark hair and eyes and brown/olive complexions. The children will range in appearance from Asian to a mixture of Asians/Malaysian/Hispanic.

Philippine AdoptionsAs of 2009 the ICAB has put a moratorium on applications for the adoption of children from the Philippines aged birth to 2 years of age.

Children are available from 18 months to 15 years of age at the time of referral. Younger children will be part of a sibling group. There are individual children and sibling groups of all ages that are in need of permanent families. There are many boys age 2 years and older as well as sibling groups seeking their forever families. The adoption of more than one unrelated child during the same adoption process is not permitted.

The children live in orphanages or in foster care families. School-age children in the Philippines are routinely taught English and therefore it is likely that older children will have some English language skills.   back to listing >>

         III. The Philippines and Family Eligibility for a Philippine Adoption 

The Philippine adoption program is open to married couples and singles. Singles will be referred older children ages 5 and older. There is a limit of 47 years age difference between the parents and child. There may be up to 3 children in the home already. Larger families will be considered for special needs children. The term "special needs" as in the USA, may mean sibling groups or older children as well his children with medical, developmental or physical needs.

The Philippines requires couples must be married a minimum of three years. One prior marriage for each spouse is permitted. If this is a second marriage for the adoptive family, the couple last must be married for a minimum of five years.

There is a preference given in to families of Filipino descent.

Families must have a religious affiliation and those with Catholic or Christian backgrounds are strongly preferred.

Philippine AdoptionsPhilippine adoption applicants must be between the ages of 27 to 55 years old. Children under two years of age are referred to applicants 45 years or younger. At present there is a moratorium on families applying to adopt a child aged 2 years and younger. There is some flexibility regarding the age requirements for adoptive applicants for the Philippine adoption program. The Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) prefers that there are no more than three children in the home, but exceptions are made for school-age children.

There is a one year rule, which requires a family to wait one year from the birth or adoption of a child before an adoption application can be filed.   back to listing >>

         IV. The Philippine Adoption Process 

The ICAB will select a child referral based upon how they feel you can meet the child's needs. You will receive medical, developmental information and a photo of the child.   back to listing >>

         V. Travel for Your Philippine Adoption 

The adoptive family must make one trip to the Philippines to meet their child caretakers and escort the child home. The average trip takes approximately 5-7 days. As with all our adoption programs you will be met at the airport and escorted through the adoption process. English is widely spoken in the Philippines, which will make your travel experience easier.

Upon approval of your dossier in the Philippines we estimate you will receive a child referral within 12 to 18 months. The average time for a match to your travel appointment will be between 4-5 months. Children with special needs may be matched sooner.   back to listing >>

         VI. Post Placement Requirements for Philippine Adoption 

Philippine AdoptionsPhilippine adoptions require six months of supervision before the adoption is finalized. During this time your social worker is required to do a minimum of three visits. Adopt Abroad requires 4 visits for its Philippine adoptions- arrival, 3 months and 6 months. The reports will detail how the child and family are adjusting. Upon receipt of the three reports and a favorable recommendation letter from the agency, the ICAB will issue a permission to adopt letter. You can then adoption your child in your State. The children will enter the USA under a guardianship status (IR 4 Visa) and therefore adoption in the USA is required.   back to listing >>

         VII. Philippines and Relative Adoptions from the Philippines 

Applicants for Relative Adoptions from the Philippines are accepted on a case-by-case basis.   back to listing >>

         VIII. FAQ's about The Philippines and Philippine Adoptions 

Do I require a visa to visit the Philippines?
US citizens staying less than 21 days in the Philippines do not need a visa to travel to the Philippines.

Can I adopt more than one child in a single Philippine Adoption trip?
Yes, sibling groups can be adopted from the Philippines. The Philippines will not permit the adoption of unrelated children in a single adoption trip.

Who can adopt from the Philippines?
Married couples and single women can adopt from the Philippines. See the information under Family Eligibility to adopt from the Philippines (above).

Can any agency perform adoptions from The Philippines?
Philippine Adoptions The ICAB- Inter Country Adoption Board is the adoption authority for the Philippines. Any agency that performs Philippine adoptions must have accreditation by the ICAB and HAGUE accreditation. Adopt Abroad has received accreditation to perform Philippine adoption services for Americans abroad.

What city would I fly into for my Philippine adoption?
Families will fly into Manila for the finalization of their Philippine adoption.

I already have children in my home. Can I adopt from the Philippines?
Yes, you may have children already in your home and adopt from the Philippines. The Philippine adoption authorities prefer that you have no more than 3 children in the home, but they do make exceptions to this rule on a case by case basis. This rule does not apply to family or relative adoptions.

Will the Philippine children for adoption speak English?
The Philippine children for adoption will speak Filipino or Tagalog. In 1987 Filipino and English were named as the native languages of the Philippines. There are between 120 and 175 languages spoken in the Philippines. To help communications between regions, English is widely spoken in the Philippines and is the considered their second language.

I am ready to begin my Philippine adoption. How do I get started?

» Click here to start your Philippine adoption process.

         IX. The Philippines: The Country  

Information on the Philippines  (↓↑)

The official name is the Republic of the Philippines. The Philippines is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia. The northernmost group of islands in the Philippines is Batanes which is only 190 kilometers from Taiwan, while the southernmost island of Tawi-Tawi, is a mere 60 kilometers away from Borneo. Main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Capital is Manila. Time Zone is GMT + 8 hours.

Philippine Adoption Process

Land area:
115,830 square miles or 300,000 square kilometers. The total land area of the Philippines is comparable in size to Italy.

Capital City:
Manila (Metro Manila is the National Capital Region or NCR).

Tropical with 2 distinct seasons: wet and dry.
Dry season: from November to May.
Wet season: from June to October.
Average year round temperature: 27° Celsius / 81° Fahrenheit, humidity is 77%.

Estimated at 92 million in 2009. Some 83% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 5% are Moslem. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.

Philippine Adoption Process

Peso (PHP) Philippine Peso Currency Converter for the latest exchange rates.
Peso Denominations: 1,000; 500; 100; 50; 20; 10; 5; 2; 1; 0.50; 0.25; 0.10; 0.05; 0.01

Official Languages:
Two official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.

Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.


The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century. The islands were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel Quezon was elected President and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during WWII. The U.S. forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Philippines attained their independence. The United States established and maintained military bases in the Philippines until 1992. The United States and the Philippines continue to have a close relationship today and many Filipinos have immigrated to the U.S.A.

Philippine Adoption ProcessFerdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for 21 years until ended in 1986, widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile in 1986. Corazon Aquino then became president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development.

Fidel Ramos was elected president in 1992, during this time the Philippines enjoyed increasing stability and progress on economic reforms. Joseph Estrada was elected president in 1998, his term was short lived. In January 2001 after Estrada's impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and widespread demonstrations led to his ouster. His vice-president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected to a six-year term in May 2004. The Philippine Government has a stable government but faces threats from armed communist insurgencies and from Muslim separatists in the south.


Planning your trip to the Philippines 

Travel light - limit the things you carry with you when you travel. If at all possible, carry just one 9" x 22" x 14" bag with a maximum weight of 20 pounds. If you can manage to limit your bag to this size, you don't have to check-in your luggage at the airport. Upon arrival to your destination, you can go directly to customs while everybody is waiting for their luggage at the carousel. Pack light and pack smart. When choosing what to bring, think in terms of what you can do without rather than what might be handy for the trip.

When you travel to the Philippines, bring light clothing especially if you're visiting in summer. Cotton Tees, shirts, pants and walking shorts are your best bet. For ladies, a hat with brim will help protect against the heat of the sun. A pair of sunglasses with UV protection is recommended. And if you plan to travel to the countryside or walk a lot, don't forget to bring your comfy sneakers or sandals.

Note that the Philippines uses 220V of electricity. Most 5-star hotels provide 100V outlets but generally, they are not available, especially in the rural areas. So if you're planning to bring some electronic gadgets, make sure you bring a converter with you.

Travel tip for smokers: long haul flights can be difficult for smokers. Bring with you a couple of nicotine patches and put one on about an hour before your flight. It is amazing how this small patch can make your craving for a smoke disappear.

Travel Tip on Valuables 

Avoid bringing valuables. A decent watch and faux accessories (optional) are all you need. But in case you did bring some expensive jewelry, deposit them and your other valuables in the hotel safe (most major hotels provide them for free).

Make sure you make photocopies of your passport and tickets just in case you loose them. Keep the copies in separate locations - place them in the deep pockets of your luggage.

It is a good idea to use a belt bag to put your money, passport and other valuables when on the road rather than a bag. And position it in front of your body and under your shirt if possible. Better yet, use a money belt and hide it under your clothing.

Never leave your bag and other valuables on the beach or at the poolside when swimming. It is a lot safer to leave them in your hotel room.


It is customary to leave a tip when rendered a service. On restaurants, a 10% tip based on the total bill is recommended. However, if there is already a service charge on the bill, a tip then becomes optional.

Taxis drivers, bellboys, chambermaids, all expect to be tipped. For a short taxi ride, a P20 tip will suffice. But for hotel bellboys and chambermaids, a P100 tip is more appropriate. Adjust the tip according to your length of stay and service rendered.

Shopping Tips 

If you are about to do some shopping and are scheduled to visit the Philippines, don't. Do your shopping in the Philippines. Even designer clothes are sold cheaper in the Philippines than the countries they are made in. Many Filipinos living overseas come home to see their families and shop at the same time. The savings oftentimes pays for their vacation.

Aside from the goods, you can save substantially by having your medical, dental and cosmetic needs done in the Philippines. Ask for referrals from friends (or the hotel concierge for minor services) and choose the best ones.

Philippine Travel Seasons 

June to August is the typhoon season. Although the temperature is moderate and hotel rates are lower, it is not the best time to travel especially if you intend to see the countryside or cross the islands by sea.

From March to May is summer time and is a good time to see the islands with clear skies and calm waters. You are also assured that no flights or ferry boat trips will be cancelled due to typhoons. Although expect the temperatures to occasionally reach 38 degrees centigrade.

The best time to see the country is from November to February when the weather is cooler. It is also a good time to see the longest Christmas season in the world. Filipinos start to decorate for Christmas as early as October.

Accommodation Tips 

It's a good to have an idea of the type of activities you would like to do and the attractions that you would like to see. This will help with your accommodation selection in that you will try to find a hotel that is close to everything that you want to do.

Do your research on the Internet and look around for accommodation packages that will suit your needs. There are many hotel reservation sites online that offer very competitive deals and so it makes it hard to make a decision on which one to choose.

Once you have found a few hotels you like, don't forget to look through the amenities and facilities. Make sure your room is air conditioned because it can get really hot especially in summer.

General Philippine Travel Tips 

Filipinos (as with most Asians) are mostly conservative. Act, speak and dress modestly, more so when going to the countryside. In most places, wearing shorts, tees, sleeveless shirts, sandals or sneakers are fine - especially in summer.

Avoid talking about religion and politics specially to people you have just met. Especially when drinking (alcoholic beverages) this sometimes lead to heated arguments or worse.

If you are going to Mindanao (southern Philippines) where some areas are predominantly Muslims, dress conservatively - specially the women. And don't call Muslims Moros. It's considered rude.

When travelling overseas, it's always a good practice to get a travel health insurance. Travel health insurance offers peace of mind when abroad. Also, check with local health authorities for any concerns when going to remote villages. And drink only bottled water or canned beverages when unsure of the local water supply.

Filipinos are a very friendly and welcoming people. The Philippines has a lot to offer its visitors. Discover the country; get to know the people and their culture. Enjoy your visit to the Philippines and Mabuhay!

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