How do I adopt a child from the Philippines?

The Philippines is a signatory of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, which applies to parents who are habitually resident in the UK and who want to adopt a child from overseas – also known as inter-country adoption. Hague Convention Adoptions are adoptions to the UK from a country in which the Hague Convention is in force, and which are processed and certified in accordance with the Hague Convention.

The purpose of the Hague Convention is to establish safeguards to protect children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad. British legislation on inter-country adoption applies to all persons who are “habitually resident” in the UK. Habitual residence is a legal concept that is defined by case law. Whether a person is considered habitually resident, will depend on all of the facts of their individual case – there is no single definition.

Therefore there are rules and regulations for overseas adoptions that must be met before the adoption process can begin.

You can adopt a child from overseas if:

  • they cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country
  • the adoption would be in their best interests
  • the adopter has been assessed as eligible and suitable to adopt from overseas by an adoption agency in the UK

If you want to adopt a child from overseas, you should contact either your local council or a voluntary adoption agency that deals with overseas adoption. The adoption process is similar to a UK adoption and will be done by a UK adoption agency that may charge a fee.

However, there are several other additional steps that need to be undertaken when adopting a child from abroad, for example:

  • the assessment will be sent to the overseas adoption authority
  • you’ll need to visit the child in their own country
  • your application will be sent to the child’s country*

(*The Department for Education (DfE) charges a fee of £1,975 for processing your application.)

After approving inter-country adoption applicants as suitable to adopt, adoption agencies must send a completed application to the Department for Education (DfE) inter-country adoption casework team. Agencies must make sure that the application is complete before sending it to the casework team as the submission of incomplete files will result in delays.

For more information, please see here.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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