A lot of foreigners are drawn to Thailand because of the many spectacular tourist attractions not found elsewhere. Thailand government has been encouraging foreign investors to bring their businesses in Thailand, resulting to more foreign expats in the country. And many of these foreigners who are currently in Thailand discover even greater things the country can offer them aside from a relaxing holiday destination, a good business environment for workers, or a comfortable place to retire; there is also a chance to adopt a child.
Thailand has a small adoption program, run by the Thai government in coordination with adoption agencies and orphanages. And a lot of foreigners show interest in adopting a Thai child if only to give the child a better future than what the Thai government can provide. If you are looking for a family lawyer in Thailand who can assist you with adoption, you can click here.
The Thai adoption program allows foreigners to apply for adopting a child in Thailand. The basic requirements include:
- Age. The adopting applicant must be 25 years old or older and at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted
- Foreign applicants must apply as a legitimate couple.
- Only foreigners from countries which have diplomatic relations with Thailand are allowed to apply for adoption. The foreign applicant must have legal qualifications to adopt a child as per law in his / her country of origin.
- Foreigners residing outside Thailand can apply for adoption in Thailand by submitting the Thai adoption application form through the non-governmental child welfare agencies accredited and licensed to deal with the Department of Social Development and Welfare’s Child Adoption Center, of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand.
- Foreigners residing in Thailand must submit proof of residency and house registration together with the Thai adoption application form to the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Social Development and Welfare office where the foreigner is residing. The Department of Social Development and Welfare has office in all the provinces.
- Foreigners temporarily residing in Thailand must submit proof of work permit issued by the Department of Labor, and must be a resident in Thailand for at least 6 months before the filing of application together with the Thai adoption application form and other documents certified by their Embassy or Consulate in Thailand to the Department of Social Development and Welfare’s Child Adoption Center.
Generally, children for adoption range from healthy, to special needs children. Most of the children have minor and treatable conditions and are all tested for HIV and Hepatitis B. Children’s ages for adoption range from 18 months to 12 years, and most are boys. Though currently, the Department of Social Development and Welfare does not accept new applications for healthy babies.
The adoption program selects qualified married couples with or without children. Single women applicants are considered on a case-to-case basis but rarely. Applicants over 50 years of age are to be pre-approved and those over 55 years of age are discouraged from adopting.
For foreigners living outside Thailand, they are required to travel to complete the adoption process, if selected. They should be prepared to stay in Thailand for about ten days.
The adoption process’ waiting time for referrals can roughly be from 1 to 6 months. If accepted the dossier is forwarded to the Thai Adoption Board, who will contact the family in approximately 4 to 9 months later, with a choice of several potential meeting dates. The first meeting is usually about three weeks from time of notification.