Philippines Adoption Program

Philippines Program pictureMadison Adoption Associates earned accreditation in Philippines in 2009 to place children with special needs, and earned accreditation in 2014 for the limited placement of healthy children.

The Programs
Children ages 8 months to 15 years are available for adoption.  The children reside in public or private facilities throughout the country. The children generally receive excellent medical care but need a family to give them the individual love and attention they deserve.

Children adopted from Philippines will enter the U.S. on an IH-4 or IR-4 visa.  Adoptions are finalized in the United States, and the adoption is completed through your local family court system.

Per Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) regulations, agencies are not allowed to post photos or details about waiting children from Philippines.  If you are interested in this program, we invite you to contact us at 302-475-8977 or at to discuss your individual situation or inquire about children currently available.

Adoption between the United States and Philippines is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.  The Philippines is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.  Therefore all adoptions between The Philippines and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Special Home Finding Program (Special Needs)
This program focuses on children who have special medical needs and children who are older.  Madison works in cooperation with ICAB of the Philippines to identify children who are legally available for adoption and to find qualified, home study ready families for these children.  ICAB refers to this program as “Special Home Finding” and relies on MAA to find the best possible placement for each child.  These children are:
• Older children whose age range is 5-15 years old
• Children belonging to a sibling group
• Children found positive of Hepatitis B or HIV
• Children with minor to moderate medical conditions (cleft lip/palate, sight impaired, hearing impaired, mild cerebral palsy, etc.) or developmental delays (language/speech, motor skills, etc.)

The Traditional Program
Madison Adoption Associates (MAA) has been approved by the Inter Country Adoption Board (ICAB) to submit applications on behalf of families interested in adopting younger children who are physically healthy or with more minor medical needs than seen in its Special Home Finding program.  The Traditional Program works on a quota system, meaning that MAA is only permitted to submit applications for a certain number of adoptive families each year. Quota spots are assigned to a family when they have a completed dossier ready to submit to the PhilippinesThis means that if all MAA slots are filled by the time your dossier is ready to send, your dossier may have to be held until a slot becomes available, usually in the next calendar year. MAA cannot “hold” slots for families as many families may experience paperwork or other unforeseen delays, and if all slots are not used during the calendar year, that slot will be forfeited. It is in every family’s best interest to proceed as expeditiously as possible in order to procure their spot for the current calendar year.

Adopting A Relative from the Philippines
Many families in the United States consider adopting a child who is a relative living in the Philippines. This is a common type of adoption, and by Philippine law, a ‘relative’ is defined as a child who is related to the potential adoptive parents within the fourth degree. For example, if a potential adoptive parent in the U.S. has a sister in the Philippines and wants to adopt her child, this would be a 3rd degree relative and so meets the definition. A child who is living with relatives in the Philippines who is either unrelated to the family or is beyond the 4th degree of relatedness does not meet the definition of a relative but may qualify for a ‘pre-identified’ adoption. These situations will be reviewed by the country on a case-by-case basis.

To qualify for intercountry adoption, a child (whether a relative or not) must first be issued clearance for inter-country adoption by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and it must occur before the child turns 15 years old, even if the child is part of a sibling group. This process can take several years, but each case is different. Relatives in the U.S. wishing to adopt a child must not only prove how they are related to the child, but there must also be strong evidence that the placement would be in the child’s best interest. This is solely determined by the DSWD.

DSWD is looking for extenuating circumstances beyond poverty and job insecurity when deciding whether a child will be declared legally available for a relative adoption. Abandonment, neglect and being orphaned are examples. Children can be orphaned (full or partial) or one or both parents may be living, but each situation will be assessed individually to determine whether there is justification for an adoption by relatives in the U.S. If the DSWD declares the child available, the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) is notified. NACC is the central authority in the Philippines responsible for making final decisions on adoption applications.

The steps in the process include the following:

  • Contact Madison Adoption Associates (MAA) to discuss and assess your situation.
  • Complete & submit MAA’s online application & non-refundable $500 fee.
  • Complete the NACC’s Questionnaire for Relative Adoption Applicants (QRAA) and provide required attachments that prove your relationship with the child (e.g., family tree, birth, death & marriage certificates, and photos)
  • MAA reviews the information & submits your case to NACC. NACC forwards the case to the DSWD office for investigation of appropriateness for adoption (e.g., interviews with the family, verification of the child’s circumstances)
  • Once DSWD decides, NACC informs MAA about next steps.
  • If the child is eligible for international adoption, the family will then complete our adoption contract, complete the family’s home study and dossier, then submit to the Philippines for review by the NACC Board.  If the child is not eligible, DSWD will close the case and inform NACC, who then will inform MAA who will then share the news with the family. Submission of home study and Dossier is not an approval for the family to adopt the child. A final decision about the adoption occurs after all documentation is reviewed and approved by NACC’s Board.
  • MAA reviews the Dossier to be sure all requirements are met, including United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) approval of your family to adopt from the Philippines (I-800a), before submitting it to NACC.
  • If the Dossier is approved, NACC sends a proposal inviting the family to adopt the child. The family will prepare a letter of acceptance. Then NACC sends the official approval for the family to adopt the child (the ‘Placement Authority’)
  • The family submits paperwork to USCIS, including the Placement Authority & child’s legal documents, to gain I-800 provisional approval to adopt the specific child.
  • NACC requests & obtains child’s visa and other travel documents.
  • After MAA receives the travel documents, the family finalizes travel arrangements to pick up their child.  The family takes physical custody of the child but the adoption is not finalized in country.
  • After the child arrives home, 7 months of post-placement reporting is required to monitor how the child is doing. The family meets with their social worker who submits reports to MAA for submission to NACC.
  • About a year after arriving home, NACC sends Consent to Adopt paperwork to MAA. The family hires a local attorney & finalizes the adoption in their home state & provides MAA with the adoption decree.
  • MAA sends the adoption decree to NACC who closes the family’s case.

For more information or to discuss your specific case, please submit the initial PAP (“Prospective Adoptive Parent”) form and a staff member from our agency will contact you.

Once you have decided to adopt from Philippines

The staff at Madison Adoption Associates will guide you through every step of the process. We will answer your questions, help you prepare and complete your paperwork, provide support and encouragement, and assist you with your travel arrangements.  It is important to begin your Home Study and the USCIS immigration forms as soon as possible because they can take several months to complete, and a family cannot hold or commit to a specific child without a current, valid home study.