- Thailand allows adoption of Thai Children by foreign adoptive parents, but the screening process can be lengthy and there is a great deal of investigation and documentation involved.
- Thai adoption may be conducted through both private and public agencies. Thailand Adoption involving Thai nationals is relatively straightforward, but adoption involving non-Thai nationals is considerably more complicated. Adoption of Thai children by foreigners is dealt with by the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Welfare (DPW).
- There are no legally authorized private adoption agencies that authorize adoption of Thai children to foreign parents. All applications of foreign adoptive parents are processed by the DPW, though there are non-government agencies that work directly with the DPW and are licensed to recommend placement of children with international adoptive parents. There are also non-governmental agencies that assist with home studies outside Thailand.
Thai Adoption can be classified into three general categories:
- Private Adoptions: These are adoptions that are processed between individual natural and adoptive parents.
- Agency Adoptions within Thailand: These are adoptions of orphans that are supervised by Thailand and government agencies
- International Agency Adoptions: These are adoptions of orphans by foreign nationals that are supervised by Thailand and government agencies.
Thai Adoption by foreign adoptive parents requires the following:
- Adoptive parents must be married at least 6 months.
- Both adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age.
- Both spouses are at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted and;
- Prospective parents must be legally qualified to adopt in their own country.
- Prospective parents must receive confirmation from an authorized agency in the foreign country that the adoption will be legalized before the DPW will begin the application process.
- Thai Adoption is processed through the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which is the sole governmental social welfare agency responsible for adoption of Thai children. There are certain Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are licensed to deal with DPW’s Child Adoption Center in cases where a child is to be placed abroad.
- International agency adoption is complicated and requires coordination between agencies in Thailand and the foreign nation. Thai Adoption Law requires confirmation from an authorized agency in the foreign country where the adoption will be legalized before the Thailand Department of Public Welfare will begin the application process. Thai Adoption must comply with both Thai laws and laws of the foreign nation. An international adoption will also normally involve immigration and nationality issues.
- For international agency adoptions, there are numerous documents that need to be submitted to the DPW or NGO dealing with your case, ranging from medical certificates to financial statements. A home study, as well as a commitment from a licensed adoption agency agreeing to monitor a pre-adoption placement must also be secured. Some documents will need to be notarized, legalized and translated.
- Time periods for an adoption can vary widely. Private adoptions between Thai citizens may be processed quickly. However, agency adoptions may be quite time-consuming.
- Thai Adoption regulations do not allow a couple to apply to adopt more than one child at a time, except twins, siblings, or in cases of adoption of the children of the applicant’s Thai spouse.
- Generally, the Thai legal regime does not afford the same rights for Thai Adoption to gay couples as do many western nations.
- If an orphan petition is approved by The US Citizenship and Immigration Service, the orphan is considered an immediate relative of a US citizen and is eligible for an immigration visa without being placed on a lengthy visa waiting list.
- In general, US immigration law defines an orphan as a child less than 16 years of age that does not have any parents, or whose sole surviving parent is unable to provide for the child’s needs and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for adoption.
- The process of adoption may be quite long and detailed and requires a good number of forms and documents, all of which will be Thai language or translated into Thai. Coordination between a variety of agencies is also required. Issues of law become relevant concerning the adoption laws of Thailand and the foreign nation involved and also with regard to immigration and nationality and other laws.
- TSL strongly advises that if you have any serious concerns about Thai Adoption, you should seek professional advice from a trusted professional who will represent your interest and understand your needs in a sensitive and strictly confidential manner.
Notes About Thai Adoption:
Choosing a Thai law firm specialising in international law to assist you with your Thai Adoption will ensure that you have peace of mind, and avoid having legal difficulties in the future.
If you would like assistance with your Thai Adoption please consult TSL & Associates.
Local Office Bangkok: 087-595-4918
International Number: +662-168-7734-5