ADOPTION RESOURCE GUIDE

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1 ADOPTION RESOURCE GUIDE MAYA S HOPE IS NOT GIVING LEGAL ADVICE AND THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A REPLACEMENT FOR COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE. Intercuntry Adptin f a Child frm the Philippines The United States is nw a full member f the Hague Cnventin n Prtectin f Children and C peratin in Respect f Inter Cuntry Adptin. The Cnventin gverns all adptins between the United States and the nearly 75 cuntries party t the Cnventin, including The Philippines. The Hague Cnventin seeks t prevent the abductin, sale, r trafficking f children. It establishes internatinal nrms and prcedures fr prcessing inter cuntry adptin cases invlving ther Cnventin members, and prtects the rights f children, birth parents, and adptive parents while prmting transparency, accuntability, and ethical practices amng adptin service prviders. Fr mre infrmatin abut the Cnventin, please click here. The Immigratin and Natinality Act, sectin 101(b)(1)(G), in part, defines "child as: 1 The child is under the age f 16 n the filing date f the petitin. 2 The child habitually resides in a Cnventin cuntry. 3 The U.S. citizen habitually resides in the U.S. and either adpts child in a Cnventin cuntry r brings the child t a Cnventin cuntry fr adptin. 4 Adptin abrad r custdy abrad fr U.S. adptin must be by the U.S. citizen and spuse jintly, r an unmarried U.S. citizen at least 25 years ld as f the filing date f the petitin. 5 The child's natural parents (r parent, in the case f a child wh has ne sle r surviving parent because f the death, disappearance, abandnment, r desertin by the ther parent), r ther persns r institutins that retain legal custdy f the child, have freely given their written irrevcable cnsent t the terminatin f their legal relatinship with the child and t the child's emigratin and adptin. 6 If a child has tw living natural parents, the natural parents are incapable f prviding prper care fr the child. 7 The purpse f the adptin is t frm a bna fide parent child relatinship; the child s relatinship with the natural parents has been terminated.

2 8 In the case f a child wh has nt been adpted, the prspective adptive parents must ensure that: (i) the cmpetent authrity f the freign state has apprved the child's emigratin t the United States fr the purpse f adptin, (ii) the prspective adptive parents have cmplied with the pre adptin requirements f the child's prpsed residence, if any, and (iii) n natural parent r prir adptive parent f the child retains, by virtue f such parentage, any right, privilege, r status in cnnectin with the child. 9 Release must be freely given and verified by the Central Authrity f the child's cuntry. The fllwing prcedures fr inter cuntry adptins nw apply t any citizen r cuples residing in the United States wh wish t adpt a child in the Philippines: Adptin cases must be handled by federally accredited adptin service prviders (ASP). Fr a list f accredited service prviders,click here. Department f Hmeland Security (DHS) rules require prspective adptive parents t identify in their initial applicatin the cuntry frm which they plan t adpt a child. Frm I 800A must be filed prir t Frm I 800. The matching f the child t the parents must be made by the Central Authrity f the cuntry where the child resides. A cnsular fficer must determine whether the child meets the criteria f visa eligibility befre the adptin is finalized r custdy is granted in the cuntry f rigin. In cases where the adptin r grant f custdy has met the requirements f the Cnventin and the Inter cuntry Adptin Act, cnsular fficers in Cnventin cuntries will issue a Hague Adptin Certificate r Hague Custdy Certificate and grant a visa. New visa categries, IH 3 and IH 4, will be used in Cnventin adptin cases. If yu have general questins n inter cuntry adptin r hw current adptin prcedures have changed under the Cnventin, call the Bureau f Cnsular Affairs in the United States at Or yu may fax questins t Step 1 Steps Required t Adpt a Child Under the Hague Cnventin The prspective adptive parents must file an Applicatin fr Determinatin f Suitability t Adpt a Child frm a Cnventin Cuntry (I 800A) with the United States Citizenship and Immigratin Service (USCIS) ffice having jurisdictin ver their usual place f residence (see Adptive parents must als submit the cmpleted I 800A frm, Supplement 1 (listing all adult members f the husehld), and related supplements and frms.

3 The filing fee is $670. An additinal bimetrics fingerprint fee f $80 must be paid fr each persn residing in the husehld wh is 18 r lder. All Hague Cnventin adptin cases are prcessed by the USCIS Natinal Benefits Center at the fllwing address: U.S. Citizenship and Immigratin Services P.O. Bx Chicag, IL If the adptive parents cnsent fr USCIS t disclse infrmatin abut their case t their Adptin Service Prvider (ASP), they shuld cmplete Frm I 800A, Supplement 2, Cnsent t Disclse Infrmatin. The adptive parents may als arrange fr the ASP t submit the apprval ntice, the accmpanying hme study, and ther supprting evidence t the Central Authrity in the Cnventin cuntry in which the parents plan t adpt. Nte: Sme states require a review f the hme study by state authrities prir t submissin t USCIS (e.g., Alabama, Clrad, Guam, Illinis, Mississippi, Nrth Carlina, Suth Carlina, Puert Ric, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). In such cases, the adptive parents may file the Frm I 800A withut the hme study, which can be frwarded t USCIS later. Step 2 The Cnventin cuntry s Central Authrity matches the prspective adptive parents with a child. The Central Authrity prepares a reprt that determines that: the child is adptable, the envisaged placement is in the best interest f the child, the birth parent r legal custdian has freely cnsented in writing t the adptin, and n payment has been made t btain the cnsent necessary fr the adptin t be cmpleted. Step 3 The adptive parents file the Frm I 800 petitin with USCIS, including the Central Authrity s reprt n the child. Frm I 800 is used t determine whether the child qualifies as a Cnventin adptee. The petitin is prvisinally apprved in accrdance with USCIS regulatins and frwarded t the respective U.S. Embassy/Cnsulate via the Natinal Visa Center (NVC) fr further prcessing.

4 The adptive parents must cmply with the abve prcedures and file the Frm I 800 befre they adpt r btain legal custdy f the child. Als, Frm I 800 must be filed befre the expiratin f the ntice f the apprval (r extensin f) Frm I 800A, and befre the child's 16th birthday. Step 4 Fllwing the prvisinal apprval by USCIS, the petitin is frwarded t the Natinal Visa Center (NVC). NVC ntifies the respective Embassy/Cnsulate and frwards the Frm I 800. The bigraphic data frm (DS 230) and infrmatin regarding required phtgraphs, medical reprt, birth certificate and visa fees are mailed t the adptive parents. The parents, r the ASP acting n their behalf, shuld bring these dcuments t the Embassy/Cnsulate, where the Bigraphic Data Frm DS 230 Part II is signed in the presence f a Cnsular Officer. The persnal appearance f the child is required. Step 5 After the Cnsular Officer reviews the applicatin and determines n ineligibility exists, the Cnsular Officer issues a letter under Article 5 f the Hague Cnventin t the parents and the ASP, which must be frwarded t the Cnventin cuntry's Central Authrity. The letter states that the adptive parents appear t be eligible fr the adptin, and the child will mst likely be authrized t enter and reside in the United States. The adptive parents may nw adpt r btain legal custdy f the child. Step 6 The Intercuntry Adptin Bard f the PhilippinesICAB) certifies that the adptin r grant f legal custdy has ccurred in accrdance with the Cnventin. Step 7 The adptive parents return t the Embassy/Cnsulate fr the final interview. The child des nt need t be present (unless nt present at the first interview). The adptive parents submit the ICAB certificatin t the Cnsular Officer as evidence that the adptin/legal custdy has been cmpleted. After verifying cmpliance with the Cnventin and Inter cuntry Adptin Act (IAA), the Cnsular Officer grants final apprval f Frm I 800 and issues a certificate stating that the adptin r the grant f legal custdy meets the requirements f the Cnventin and the IAA.

5 Finally, an immigrant visa is issued t the child. At this pint, the adptin prcess is cmplete and the adptive parents may return t the U.S. with their adpted child. CONTACT INFORMATION If yu have general questins n inter cuntry adptin r hw current adptin prcedures have changed under the Cnventin, call the Bureau f Cnsular Affairs in the United States at Or yu may fax questins t U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office f Children's Issues, SA 29 Hague Adptin Unit (HAC/HCD) 2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 4th flr Washingtn, D.C r Phne: Fax: Dmestic Adptins (Nt fr Immigratin Purpses) U.S. citizens residing in the Philippines wh are interested in adpting a Filipin child thrugh the Philippine Curts must meet the fllwing cnditins pursuant t Philippine adptin law: Be resident in the Philippines fr at least three years prir t the filing f the adptin petitin and maintain such residence until the adptin decree is entered by the Philippine curt. Pssess a certificatin f legal capacity t adpt issued by the apprpriate gvernment agency frm yur state f residence. The Philippines gvernment may waive these requirements in the fllwing cases: A frmer Filipin citizen wh seeks t adpt a relative within the furth degree f cnsanguinity, as defined under Philippines law; r A persn wh seeks t adpt the legitimate sn/daughter f his/her Filipin spuse

6 IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PARENTS ABOUT DOMESTIC ADOPTIONS U.S immigratin law has clear and specific prvisins regarding qualificatins fr immigratin. If yu are attempting t bring smene wh is nt yur child by birth, the fllwing cnditins must be met befre that child can be eligible fr an immigrant visa: The child must have been legally adpted befre the age f 16 (r be the sibling f a child wh was adpted by the same parents while under the age f 18). The adptin must be legal and final. Simply prviding financially fr the child des nt satisfy the legal adptin requirement. T satisfy U.S. visa requirements, the child must have been legally adpted pursuant t a final decree issued by a curt having jurisdictin ver the matter. In additin t the adptin decree, there are tw additinal requirements: The adptive parents must have had legal custdy f the child fr at least tw years. Legal custdy must be awarded by rder f a curt r recgnized gvernment entity. The start f legal custdy begins the date the adptive parents were granted legal custdy f the child, r the date the adptin was finalized, which ever cmes first. An infrmal custdial r guardianship dcument, such as a swrn affidavit signed befre a ntary public, is insufficient fr this purpse. The child must have physically resided with the adptive parents fr at least tw years prir t immigratin. During this time, the adptive parents must exercise primary parental cntrl. Evidence must be presented t establish that the child and the adptive parents had a bna fide parent child relatinship during any perids they resided separately. Finally, the child must satisfy all primary dcumentary requirements fr an immigrant visa, and prvide the fllwing dcuments t establish their legal status as a child f the petitiner: A certified cpy f the adptin decree, A certified cpy f the Certificate f Finality f the adptin, A certified cpy f the child s riginal birth certificate befre the adptin, A certified cpy f the child s birth certificate amended after the adptin, The legal custdy decree (if custdy was awarded befre the adptin), Evidence that the child resided with the adptive parents fr at least tw years, during which time they exercised primary parental cntrl, and If the child was adpted at age 16 r 17 years, evidence that the child was adpted tgether with, r subsequent t, the adptin f a natural sibling wh was under age 16 by the same adptive parent(s). Surce:

7 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION: REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES Prcedures n Adptin WHERE TO FILE THE APPLICATION The applicatin shall be filed with the ICAB thrugh the Central Authrity (CA) n Inter cuntry Adptin r an ICAB accredited Freign Adptin Agency (FAA) r Gvernmental Adptin Agency (GAA) in the cuntry where the applicant resides. RELATIVE ADOPTION Relative Adptin as applies t inter cuntry adptin refers t the adptin f Filipin child/ren by relatives residing abrad within the furth (4th) degree f cnsanguity. Frmer Filipins permanently residing abrad and/r freigners intending t undertake either lcal adptin (the filing and the finalizatin f the adptin is dne in the Philippines and have the intentin f bringing the adptive child t their cuntry f residence) r thrugh the intercuntry adptin rute MUST first secure the apprval frm the Central Authrity r apprpriate gvernment agencies befre filing any adptin petitin. Adptin applicants frm the USA must first secure their suitability and eligibility t adpt (I800A) frm the USA Central Authrity n Inter C untry Adptin. Canada based adptin applicants btain such apprval frm the Central Authrity n Inter cuntry Adptin f the Prvince r Territry f residence. MODIFIED PROCEDURE FOR RELATIVE ADOPTION CASES (AS APPROVED BY THE BOARD ONAUGUST 30, 2007) The Questinnaire fr Relative Adptive Applicants (ICAB Frm N.2) which can be dwnladed frm this website shall be submitted by the prspective adptive parents (PAPs) t the Central Authrities (CAs)/ Freign Adptin Agencies(FAAs). The CAs/FAAs shall endrse t ICAB the cmpleted Questinnaire fr Relative Adptive Applicants (QRAA) with the agency s assessment and recmendatin n the prspective adptive parents.

8 1 If the CA/FAA favrably recmmends the PAPs, the ICAB scial wrker will then request the CA/FAA t prceed with the preparatin f the PAPs dssier. On the ther hand, based n the significant data n the child as indicated in the QRAA, the assigned ICAB Scial Wrker will request the DSWD Field Office (FO) t cnduct the Child Study Reprt with supprting dcuments. Peridic fllw ups will be made with the DSWD FO.(The time frame frm request t ICAB s receipt f the reprt will be 3 6 mnths. In sitautins where the FO culd nt prepare the Child Study Reprt within the expected time frame in view f heavy adptin caselad, the ICAB scial wrker will assist in the cnduct f the CSR). 2 Once the ICAB receives frm the DSWD FO the child s dssier and the cmplete adptin applicatin dssier f the PAPs frm the CA r FAA, the ICAB scial wrker will prepare an executive summary n the case with his/her recmmendatin n the child s adptive placement fr the dispsitin f the Bard. Fees, Charges and Assessments These fees are prvided fr by Article III Sectin 13 f the Inter Cuntry Adptin Act f 1995 (RA 8043) and Sectin 29 and 40 f the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulatins n Inter Cuntry Adptin. Effective February 2007, the ICAB fees which applies t all adptin categries (Regular r Nn Relative, Relative, Special Needs, Special Hme Finding, Summer Prgram and Medical Missins) are as fllws : FEES AMOUNT IN US DOLLARS WHEN TO PAY Applicatin Fee Upn filing f the adptin applicatin Prcessing Fee 2, fr single placement3, fr sibling grup f 2 r mre (as f Octber 13, 2007) Upn acceptance f the matching prpsal

9 Pre adptive placement c sts The amunt varies frm ne child t anther depending n what part f the Philippines the child cmes frm and what cuntry he/she is ging t. Sme Embassies f the Receiving Cuntries charge visa fees and require visa medical examinatins while thers d nt. The ttal amunt will be quted by the ICAB in the placement prpsal. Upn acceptance f the matching prpsal The finalized Lcal Adptin cases requiring ICAB s ratificatin has its wn schedule f fees. The ICAB als supprts the request f the Assciatin f the Child Caring Agencies f the Philippines (ACCAP) t increase its Child Care Supprt Fund (CCSF) frm US$ t US$ 1, per placement. These new fees will nt affect prspective adptive parents whse adptin applicatins were received by the ICAB prir t February 2007 and are currently awaiting apprvals and child prpsals. This means that nce these families receive a match, they will still pay the prcessing fee f US$ All payments (except fr the CCSF which shall be addressed t the child caring agency where the child came frm) shall be in the frm f a cmpany check r internatinal bank draft and shall be made payable t the Inter cuntry Adptin Bard. Persnal checks, travelers checks r cash WILL NOT be accepted. N adptin applicatin will be prcessed and n Placement Authrity will be issued unless the crrespnding fees are received by the ICAB. The fllwing are the cmmn Pre Adptive Cst f the Philippine Inter cuntry Adptin Prgram: (Exchange Rate: US$1 = PhP45.00) ITEM PHp Cst US$ Cst Natinal Statistics Office Birth r Fundling Certificate P $8.89 E Passprt P1, $26.67 Cmmissin n Filipin Overseas Certificate P $6.22

10 The fllwing child s dcuments require authenticatin frm the Philippine Supreme Curt, Department f Health and Department f Freign Affairs: ITEM PhP Cst US$ Cst 1. Birth r Fundling Certificate P250/dcument $5.55/dcument 2. Deed f Vluntary Cmmitment r Declaratin f Abandnment r DSWD Certificate f Child Legally Available fr Adptin P250/dcument $5.55/dcument 3. Placement Authrity P250/dcument $5.55/dcument 4. Placement Prpsal P250/dcument $5.55/dcument 5. Medical Evaluatin Reprt/Medical Certificate in cmpliance t the requirements f the fllwing Receiving Cuntries: 1 Belgium 2 France 3 Germany 4 Italy 5 The Netherlands 6 Spain Other pre travel/pre adptive cst such as visa pictures, visa medical fee, visa fee, authenticatin r legalizatin fee f dcuments varies accrding t the Receiving Cuntry. T inquire r fllw up with the ICAB, yu can telephne, fax r e mail:phne: (632) (632) (632) Fax: (632) E mail: These requirements and fees may change at any time. Surce: adptin requirements and prcedures/

11 THE PHILIPPINES The Philippines is party t the Hague Cnventin n Prtectin f Children and C peratin in Respect f Intercuntry Adptin (Hague Adptin Cnventin). Therefre all adptins between The Philippines and the United States must meet the requirements f the Cnventin and U.S. law implementing the Cnventin. Nte: Special transitin prvisins apply t adptins initiated befre April 1, Learn mre. Updated: Octber 2008 DISCLAIMER WHO CAN ADOPT T bring an adpted child t United States frm The Philippines, yu must be fund eligible t be an adptive parent by the U.S. Gvernment. The U.S. Gvernment agency respnsible fr making this determinatin is the Department f Hmeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigratin Services (USCIS). Learn mre. In additin t these U.S. requirements fr adptive parents, The Philippines als has the fllwing requirements fr adptive parents: Residency Requirements: U.S. citizens interested in adpting a Filipin child while they are living in The Philippines must be residents f The Philippines fr at least three years prir t the filing f the adptin petitin, maintain such residence until the adptin is finalized, and psses a certificate f legal capacity t adpt issued by the apprpriate agency frm the state f residence. Prspective adptive parents wh meet these requirements shuld file a petitin fr adptin with the Philippines Curt t begin the adptin prcess. U.S. citizens nt meeting these residency requirements will have t adpt thrugh the Inter Cuntry Adptin Bard prcedures.

12 The Philippines Gvernment may waive these requirements if the prspective adptive parent is a frmer Filipin citizen wh seeks t adpt a relative within the furth degree f cnsanguinity as defined by Philippines law, r the prspective adptive parent is a persn wh seeks t adpt the legitimate child f his/her Filipin spuse. Age Requirements: There is n age limit fr married prspective adptive parents. Single prspective adptive parents must be at least 24 years ld at the time f filing the adptin petitin. Marriage Requirements: If prspective adptive parents are married, they must file jintly fr adptin. Incme Requirements: There are n minimum incme requirements set by The Philippines. Prspective Adptive Parents must prve financial stability. Other Requirements: Prspective adptive parents must nt have ever been cnvicted f a crime invlving mral turpitude. Parents must be in a psitin t prvide prper care and supprt and t give necessary mral values and example t all his/her children, including the child t be adpted. Prspective adptive parents agree t uphld the basic rights f the child as embdied under The Philippines laws and the U.N. Cnventin n the Rights f the Child. WHO CAN ADOPT The Philippines has specific requirements that a child must meet in rder t be eligible fr adptin. Yu cannt adpt a child in The Philippines unless he r she meets the requirements. In additin t these requirements, a child must meet the definitin f an rphan under U.S. law fr yu t bring him r her hme back t the United States. Learn mre abut these U.S. requirements. Nte: The adptin f relatives is cmmn in Philippine culture.

13 Eligibility Requirements: Relinquishment Requirements: A child is cmmitted by way f the Deed f Vluntary Cmmitment, a dcument used by DSWD asking fr signature frm the bilgical parents prir t matching the child with a prspective adptive parent. The dcument is essentially the cnsent f the parent(s), releasing the child t DSWD fr subsequent adptin. In the event that the child is abandned r neglected and n parent is available t sign the Deed f Vluntary Cmmitment, the DSWD instead btains a cmmitment rder frm the curt. This endrsement certifies that intercuntry adptin is in the best interests f the child. HOW TO ADOPT The Philippine s Adptin Authrity The Inter Cuntry Adptin Bard The Prcess Because The Philippines is party t the Hague Adptin Cnventin, adpting frm The Philippines must fllw a specific prcess designed t meet the Cnventin s requirements. A brief summary f the Cnventin adptin prcess is given belw. Yu must cmplete these steps in the fllwing rder s that yur adptin meets all necessary legal requirements. Nte: If yu filed yur I 600a with The Philippines befre April 1, 2008, the Hague Adptin Cnventin may nt apply t yur adptin. Yur adptin culd cntinue t be prcessed in accrdance with the immigratin regulatins fr nn Cnventin adptins. Learn mre. 1. Chse an Accredited Adptin Service Prvider 2. Apply t be Fund Eligible t Adpt 3. Be Matched with a Child 4. Apply fr the Child t be Fund Eligible fr Adptin 5. Adpt the Child (r Gain Legal Custdy) in The Philippines 6. Bring yur Child Hme

14 1. Chse an Accredited Adptin Service Prvider The first step in adpting a child frm The Philippines is t select an adptin service prvider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attrneys can prvide adptin services between the United States and The Philippines. Learn mre. 2. Apply t be Fund Eligible t Adpt After yu chse an accredited adptin service prvider, yu apply t be fund eligible t adpt (Frm I 800A) by the U.S. Gvernment, Department f Hmeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigratin Services (USCIS). Learn hw. Once the U.S. Gvernment determines that yu are eligible and suitable t adpt, yu r yur agency will frward yur infrmatin t the adptin authrity in The Philippines. The Philippines adptin authrity will review yur applicatin t determine whether yu are als eligible t adpt under Philippin law. 3. Be Matched with a Child The Philippines adptin authrity matches the prspective adptive parents with a child. The Central Authrity prepares a reprt that determines that: the child is adptable, the envisaged placement is in the best interest f the child, the birth parent r legal custdian has freely cnsented in writing t the adptin, and n payment has been made t btain the cnsent necessary fr the adptin t be cmpleted. 4. Apply fr the Child t be Fund Eligible fr Adptin After yu accept a referral t a child, yu will apply t the U.S Gvernment, Department f Hmeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigratin Services (USCIS) fr prvisinal apprval t adpt that particular child (Frm I 800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law t be adpted and enter the United States. Learn hw. After this, yur adptin service prvider r yu will submit a visa applicatin t a Cnsular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Cnsular Officer will review the child s infrmatin and evaluate the child fr pssible visa inelegibilities. If the Cnsular Office determines that the child appears eligible t immigrate t the United States, he/she will ntify the Philippines adptin authrity (Article 5 letter). Fr Cnventin cuntry adptins, prspective adptive

15 parent(s) may nt prceed with the adptin r btain custdy fr the purpse f adptin until this takes place. Remember: The Cnsular Officer will make a final decisin abut the immigrant visa later in the adptin prcess. 5. Adpt the Child (r Gain Legal Custdy) in The Philippines Remember: Befre yu adpt (r gain legal custdy f) a child in The Philippines, yu must have cmpleted the abve fur steps. Only after cmpleting these steps, can yu prceed t finalize the adptin r grant f custdy fr the purpse f adptin in The Philippines. The prcess fr finalizing the adptin (r gaining legal custdy) in The Philippines generally includes the fllwing: Rle f The Curt: The Reginal Trial Curts are respnsible fr dmestic adptins in The Philippines. This is where prspective adptive parents file adptin petitins. Adptin Applicatin: T start the Philippine adptin prcess, prspective adptive parents r their accredited FAA must cntact the Philippine Inter cuntry Adptin Bard (ICAB). Applicatin: The prspective adptive parents file an applicatin with the ICAB thrugh a United States adptin agency. Endrsement f Child fr Inter Cuntry Adptin: The Department f Scial Welfare and Develpment (DSWD) shuld endrse t the ICAB a child wh has been previusly cmmitted t the Philippine Gvernment. See Relinquishment f the Child fr a descriptin f cmmitted. Matching: The Inter Cuntry Adptin Placement Cmmittee matches the child with a persn r cuple interested in adpting and refers its prpsal t ICAB fr apprval. If the match is apprved, the cncerned adptin agency in the United States shall be sent a ntice f matching prpsal. The prspective adptive parents shall ntify the adptin agency in the United States f his/her decisin within 15 days f receipt f the matching prpsal. Nte:

16 The Philippine Inter Cuntry Adptin Act prhibits cntact between the prspective adptive parents and child s parents /guardians r custdians. Placement Authrity: The ICAB shall issue the Placement Authrity within five wrking days upn receipt f the prspective adptive parents acceptance f the matching prpsal. Applicatin fr Immigrant Visa: The child appears at the Embassy fr his/her immigrant visa interview. Child travels t the United States: The adptive parents must escrt the child frm The Philippines t the United States. Supervisin f Trial Custdy: Upn assuming custdy f the child, the adptive parents enter a six mnth trial perid where the accredited adptin agency in the United States mnitrs the child s welfare. Petitin fr Adptin: After cmpletin f the trial custdy perid, the adptive parent shuld file a petitin fr adptin befre the curt in the United States. Final Adptin Decree: The final U.S. adptin decree shuld be submitted t ICAB within a mnth after its issuance. Time Frame: Adptin prcessing depends upn many variables, including the availability f children t be matched with prspective adptive parents, the number f prspective adptive parents n the waiting list, and the caselad f scial service agencies and the curts. Adptin Fees: Fees can vary widely depending upn the adptin agency used. Dcuments Required: The fllwing dcuments, which must be written and fficially translated int English, shall accmpany the prspective adptive parents applicatin fr adptin: Family and Hme Study Reprts n the family and hme f the prspective adptive parents; Birth Certificates f prspective adptive parents; Marriage certificate r Decree f Abslute divrce, if applicable;

17 Written cnsent f the prspective adptive parents bilgical r adpted children wh are ten years f age r ver, witnessed by the scial wrker after prper cunseling; Physical and medical evaluatin by a duly licensed physician and psychlgical evaluatin by a psychlgist Latest incme tax return r any ther dcuments shwing financial capability; Clearance issued by the plice f ther prper Gvernment agency f the place f residence; Character reference frm the lcal church minister/priest, emplyer, r a nnrelative member f the immediate cmmunity wh have knwn the prspective adptive parents fr at least five (5) years; Certificatin frm the U.S. Department f Justice r ther apprpriate Gvernment agency that the prspective adptive parents are qualified t adpt under their natinal law and that the child t be adpted is allwed t enter the cuntry fr trial custdy and reside permanently nce adpted; and Recent pstcard size pictures f the prspective adptive parents and all immediate family. Nte: Additinal dcuments may be requested. 6. Bringing Yur Child Hme Nw that yur adptin is cmplete (r yu have btained legal custdy f the child), there are a few mre steps t take befre yu can head hme. Specifically, yu need t apply fr several dcuments fr yur child befre he r she can travel t the United States: Birth Certificate Yu will first need t apply fr a new birth certificate fr yur child, s that yu can later apply fr a passprt. Yur name will be added t the new birth certificate. Philippines Passprt Yur child is nt yet a U.S. citizen, s he/she will need a travel dcument r Passprt frm Philippines.

18 U.S. Immigrant Visa After yu btain the new birth certificate and passprt fr yur child, yu als need t apply fr an U.S. visa frm the United States Embassy fr yur child. After the adptin (r custdy fr purpse f adptin) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy fr final review and apprval f the child s I 600 petitin and t btain a visa fr the child. This immigrant visa allws yur child t travel hme with yu. As part f this prcess, the Cnsular Officer must be prvided the Panel Physician s medical reprt n the child if it was nt prvided during the prvisinal apprval stage. Learn mre. Child Citizenship Act Fr adptins finalized abrad: The Child Citizenship Act f 2000 allws yur child t acquire American citizenship when he r she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents. Fr adptins t be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act f 2000 allws yur child t typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state curt issues the final adptin decree. We urge yur family t finalize the adptin in a U.S. State curt as quickly as pssible. *Please be aware that if yur child did nt qualify t becme a citizen upn entry t the United States, it is very imprtant that yu take the steps necessary s that yur child des qualify as sn as pssible. Failure t btain citizenship fr yur child can impact many areas f his/her life including family travel, eligibility fr educatin and educatin grants, and vting. Learn mre abut the Child Citizenship Act.

19 Statistics TRAVELING ABROAD Applying fr Yur U.S. Passprt A valid U.S. passprt is required t enter and leave The Philippines. Only the U.S. Department f State has the authrity t grant, issue, r verify U.S. passprts. Getting r renewing a passprt is easy. The Passprt Applicatin Wizard will help yu determine which passprt frm yu need, help yu t cmplete the frm nline, estimate yur payment, and generate the frm fr yu t print all in ne place. Obtaining Yur Visa In additin t a U.S. passprt, yu als need t btain a visa. A visa is an fficial dcument issued by a freign cuntry that frmally allws yu t visit. Where required, visas are attached t yur passprt and allw yu t enter a freign natin. T find infrmatin abut btaining a visa fr The Philippines, see the Department f State s Cuntry Specific Infrmatin.

20 Staying Safe n Yur Trip Befre yu travel, it's always a gd practice t investigate the lcal cnditins, laws, plitical landscape, and culture f the cuntry. The State Department is a gd place t start. The Department f State prvides Cuntry Specific Infrmatin fr every cuntry f the wrld abut varius issues, including the health cnditins, crime, unusual currency r entry requirements, and any areas f instability. Staying in Tuch n Yur Trip When traveling during the adptin prcess, we encurage yu t register yur trip with the Department f State. Travel registratin makes it pssible t cntact yu if necessary. Whether there s a family emergency in the United States, r a crisis The Philippines, registratin assists the U.S. Embassy r Cnsulate in reaching yu. Registratin is free and can be dne nline. AFTER ADOPTION What des The Philippines require f the adptive parents after the adptin? Accrding t Philippine law, after the adptive parents escrt the child t the United States and assume custdy f the child, they enter a six mnth trial perid where the accredited adptin agency in the United States mnitrs the child s welfare. After adptive parents cmplete the trial custdy perid, the adptive parent shuld file a petitin fr adptin befre the curt in the U.S. The final U.S. adptin decree shuld be submitted t the ICAB within a mnth after its issuance. What resurces are available t assist families after the adptin? Many adptive parents find it imprtant t find supprt after the adptin. Take advantage f all the resurces available t yur family whether it s anther adptive family, a supprt grup, an advcacy rganizatin, r yur religius r cmmunity services. Here are sme gd places t start yur supprt grup search: Adptin Services Supprt Grups fr Adpting Persns Nrth American Cuncil n Adptable Children

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