Overview
Philippines is party to the Hague Convention.
The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) was created to act as the Central Authority in matters relating to intercountry adoption of Filipino children, set guidelines for the selection and matching of prospective adoptive parents and verify that a child is qualified for adoption. The Board determines if a match or adoption may be made.
Who Can Adopt
You must meet eligibility requirements in the United States as set by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as those of Philippines.
Philippines country requirements include:
  • Heterosexual married couples and singles may adopt. Married couples must apply jointly for the adoption of a child.
  • Adoptive parents must be at least 27 years of age. They must also be at least 16 years older than the child to be adopted at the time of application. There may be no more than a 45 year age difference between the parent and child to be adopted.
  • Parents of Catholic or Christian background are preferred.
  • Adoptive parents must be in good physical, medical and mental health. They must be of good moral character.
  • Adoptive parents must be free of criminal conviction, including that relating to moral character.
  • Couples without children get preference to families who already have children. Families with several children should be open to older children or those with special needs. There must be a least 1 year between the birth or adoption of a child, prior to starting an adoption process.
  • Must meet US Poverty Guidelines.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide a safe family environment and meet the needs of a child, including an understanding of risks, developmental delays, identified and potential medical needs, and the adjustment course for an internationally adopted child.
  • Applicants must complete Adoptive Parent Training and Education, including awareness of how to maintain the child’s connection to culture and heritage.
  • Agreement to complete all Country and US requirements, including a period of post-adoption reports required.
Children Awaiting Adoption
Philippines makes every attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition, the child must meet the US definition of an orphan.
Children are between the ages of 2 and 15 years. There are more boys available, than girls. There are sibling groups. Adopting unrelated children at the same time is prohibited.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
Determine if additional US state requirement must be met, as adoptions of Filipino children is done in the US.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – USCIS Form I-800A or I-600A
Submit adoption application to ICAB.
Referral by The Philippines Central Authority. The family accepts or refuses the referral. Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-800
United States notifies adoption authority via the Article 5 letter, that child is eligible to immigrate.
Obtain custody/guardianship of the child – Adoption of a Filipino child is done once back in the Untied States.
US citizens residing in the Philippines, Filipino citizens seeking to adopt a relative or the spouse of a Filipino citizen may be permitted to adopt in country.
Obtain child’s birth certificate and passport.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States – Based on the Placement Authority document issued by the ICAB, the Philippines issues an IH 4 visa, which grants custody of the child to the prospective adoptive parent(s). The child becomes a Legal Permanent Resident upon entering the US.
Convention adoptees entering on an IH4 visa become Legal Permanent Residents upon admission to the United States, but do not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship. They will obtain US citizenship based on the date of the US final adoption decree. They child must be under the age of 18 at that time, residing in the US and in the legal custody or physical custody of the adopting parent(s).
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows the child to acquire American citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent resident.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when an adoption decree is issued by a US court. Failure to obtain citizenship, may put your child’s status in jeopardy.
After Adoption
There is a 6 month supervisory period, prior to which the family may apply to their local court to finalize the adoption.
Within a month of receipt, the adoption decree should be submitted to the ICAB.
U.S. Embassy in Country and in U.S.
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
Embassy of the United States of America, Manila, Philippines
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, Metro Manila – 1000
Tel: (632) 528-6300
The Philippine’s Adoption Authority
The Inter-Country Adoption Board
P.O. Box 1622
#2 Chicago corner Ermin Garcia Streets
Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: (632) 721-9781/82; (632) 726-4551/68
Fax: (632) 727-2026
Embassy of The Philippines
1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 467-9300
Fax: (202) 467-9417
The Philippines also has consulates in Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Internet: adoption.state.gov
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

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