Thailand Adoption Process
There are two types of adoptions in Thailand. The most common is where you adopt your step children. The other is where a foreigner adopts a child in Thailand where both adoptive parents are foreigners and the child is Thai. You can see the adoption statistics for Thailand on this website.
Thailand Adoption Process
The Thai adoption process starts when you make an adoption application through the competent social welfare authority in their own country.
The Child Adoption Act of B.E. 2522 (1979) of Thailand governs the adoption process in Thailand in terms of Section 5 of the Act. In terms of Section 6 of the Act it stipulates that:
No person, except the Public Welfare Department, the government agencies authorized by the Public Welfare Department or the Child Welfare Organizations licensed by the Director-General, shall take action in arranging the adoption of any child, directly or indirectly. Section 7 of the Act stipulates that an authorised agency can also start the inter-country adoption process. There are only a few of them in Thailand which can act under Section 7. This section of the Act stipulates that:
A Child Welfare Organization wishing take action for adoption of children by others must apply for license from the Director-General. The law stipulates that only the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW: Competent Authority) or (Authorized Agencies) may do this. The following agencies are authorised under the supervision of the Department of Social Development and Welfare Organization:
- Holt Sahathai Foundation
- Friends For All Children Foundation
- Pattaya Orphanage
- Thai Red Cross Foundation
Qualification of applicants for adoption
If you wish to adopt a child in Thailand then you will need to meet the following criteria in Thailand:
You must be at least 25 years of age;
You must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted;
You must be eligible to adopt a foreign child under the law in your country;
You must be legally married in you are applying as a family.
You will need to provide 3 sets of documents to the authorised agencies or the DSDW when you are planning an adoption. This applies to both inter-country adoptions as well as to adopting your step children. See the article on adoption documentation on this website as to what is required from the adoptive family.
Always seek legal advice while in Thailand if you are going to adopt a child as an inter-country adoption (international adoption) or if you are going to adopt your step child in Thailand. Remember that foreign visas would also need to be arranged after an adoption. As you will note from the adoption statistics for Thailand that the most common visa out of Thailand for adopted children tends to be the IH-4 visa for the United States.
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