Child adoption in Thailand.
In essence, child adoption is the act of placing an adopted child into a family where neither parent is the biological parent of the child. By adopting a child, the adoptive parents acquire parental rights and responsibilities of the natural parents.
Fortunately for foreigners in Thailand, they are also allowed to adopt a child although doing so is preceded by a pre-screening process and a lengthy investigation. In essence, there are two kinds of adoptions in Thailand:
- Domestic adoption – as the name suggests, this type of adoption concerns adoptive parents (foreign or Thai) whose domicile is in Thailand.
- Inter-country adoption – is adoption where foreigners wish to adopt a Thai child and raise it in a country other than Thailand.
Parents considering adopting a child in Thailand must meet certain criteria. Firstly, both applicants (parents) must be of age of 25 or more and there must be at least 15 years difference between their age and the age of the adopted child. Foreign applicants will be, moreover, required to prove the legitimacy of their marriage and must be qualified to legally adopt a child in the country of their domicile in the first place. These are the preliminary conditions one has to take into consideration well before taking any action and submitting an application.
Once qualified, foreign adoptive parents can go ahead with the application in the following fashion:
- Foreign adoptive parents with domicile outside of Thailand are to submit their application through relevant authorities in their country or nongovernmental child welfare agencies licensed to deal with the Child Adoption Centre of the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) in Thailand
- A foreigner permanently residing in Thailand with the proof of residency and house registration is to apply for adoption at the place of domicile – if in Bangkok, then Child Adoption Centre of DSDW; if outside of Bangkok, then at DSDW of each province.
- A foreigner temporarily residing in Thailand on an employment basis (with a valid work permit) that has been residing in Thailand for at least six months prior to applying and is able to complete six month period of pre-adoption placement is to submit their application at the Child Adoption Centre of DSWD in Thailand.