The process of adopting children in Thailand varies depending on the nationality of the adoptive parents together with the age and needs requirements of the child. The Thai government is very protective of Thai orphans and the adoption process reflects the government's efforts to ensure orphans are adopted by qualified parents.
Thai Adoption Process
Adoption in Thailand is handled by the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Welfare (DPW). There are no legal private adoption agencies that are permitted to authorize foreign parents to adopt Thai children. However, there are non-government agencies that work directly with the DPW and are licensed to recommend the placement of children with international adoptive parents. Nevertheless, all applications are still processed by the DPW. The procedure for adopting children from Thailand can vary depending on the agency or lawyer instructed in Thailand and the laws of the adoptive parents' home country. It is important consideration to ensure that the correct visa is obtained to allow the adopted child entry into their new country.
Thai Adoption Requirements
For potential adoptive parents of a Thai child, there are certain requirements that must be met:
a) The adoptive parents must be married,
b) Both adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and in any event significantly older than the child due to be adopted, and
c) Both adoptive parents must be legally qualified to adopt in their own country.
Thai law also requires confirmation from an authorized agency in the foreign country that the adoption will be legalized before the DPW will begin the application process.
Adoption Lawyer Thailand
Our Thai adoption attorneys can assist with all stages of the adoption process—including initially applying for the adoption as well as facilitating the issuance of visas in the adoptive parents' home country. Chaninat and Leeds is a bilingual firm that employs both Thai and foreign lawyers; we have recently published an English translation of the Thai Child Adoption Act, the primary legal text on adoption in Thailand, available through selected resellers.