Domestic Adoption




Any Filipino citizen:

  • Of legal age
  • In possession of full civil capacity and legal rights
  • Of good moral character
  • Has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude
  • Emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children
  • At least 16 years older than the adoptee (waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee’s parent)
  • Who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of family.

Any alien:

  • Possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals
  • His/her country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines
  • He/she has been living in the Philippines for at least 3 years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered. This requirement is waived for the following:
    • A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity; or
    • One who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or
    • One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or
    • The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities
  • He/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter

Husband and Wife shall jointly adopt, EXCEPT in the following cases:

  • If one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or
  • If one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter; provided, however that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or
  • If the spouses are legally separated from each other.



  • Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;
  • The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;
  • An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;
  • A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;
  • A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or
  • A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).


  1. Adoptive Parents are required to attend a pre-adoption counseling, seminar or fora at the DSWD.
  2. Adoptive Parents files an application for adoption at the DSWD.
  3. Declaration of the child as Abandoned (Optional). In some cases, even before a child is matched for adoption, once efforts to locate his/her biological parents fail, the child is registered as foundling by the concerned government agency. Thereafter, the child will be a subject to legal proceedings to declare him/her abandoned and ready for adoption.
  4. Homestudy shall be conducted by DSWD or child-placing agency. If the adoptive parents residing abroad, the Homestudy shall only be conducted by an agency duly accredited by the Inter-country adoption board.
  5. Matching of the child to the adoptive parents based on the Home Study is conducted by the DSWD.
  6. DSWD issues a pre-adoption placement authority. This means that the child is ready for supervised trial custody.
  7. Supervised Trial Custody shall be conducted. The child will be placed under the custody of the adoptive parents for a period of six(6) months.
  8. If the assessment on the trial custody yields positive results, DSWD issues its written consent to adoption after the supervised trial custody.
  9. Adoptive parents shall then file a Petition for Adoption at the Regional Trial Court within 30 days after the receipt of the consent to Adopt.
  10. Court proceedings for adoption will follow.
  11. Upon approval of the adoption, the court shall issue an adoption decree.
  12. Once the judgment/adoption decree is issued and becomes final, the birth certificate of the adoptee will be processed from the Local Civil Registrar until the NSO.