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 contact@madisonadoption.org 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 ProgramPLEASE NOTE: NACC has implemented a temporary moratorium on their acceptance of new applications from families who are interested in this program (children 6 years and younger who have minor special needs). It is effective until further notice. The purpose is to provide the NACC the opportunity to review the availability of younger children for international adoption relative to the number of families who already have an approved dossier but have not yet been matched with a child.

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, a child (whether a relative or not) must first be issued clearance for inter-country adoption by the Regional Alternative Child Care Office (RACCO) where the child was found, abandoned, voluntarily committed, or discovered. Clearance should 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.

The RACCO makes a recommendation to NACC’s Executive Director, who determines whether final approval is granted.  The RACCO is looking for extenuating circumstances beyond poverty and job insecurity/economic hardship when deciding whether a child will be provided clearance for international 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 international adoption.

The steps in the process for a relative/identified child application include the following:

  • Contact Madison Adoption Associates (MAA) to discuss and assess your situation.
  • Complete & submit MAA’s online application & non-refundable $600 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 RACCO for investigation of appropriateness for international adoption (e.g., interviews with the family, verification of the child’s circumstances)
  • Once RACCO decides, NACC informs MAA about next steps.
  • If the child is eligible for international adoption, the family must complete our adoption contract/related paperwork, complete their home study and dossier, which MAA will submit to NACC for review. If the child is not eligible, the RACCO will close the case and inform NACC. We will then inform you either way. Submission of home study and Dossier are 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.
  • 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, 6 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 and later the child’s certificate of citizenship and new birth certificate.
  • MAA sends the adoption decree and related documents to NACC who closes the family’s case.

NOTE: Intercountry adoption is a last resort for relative, identified and/or abandoned/orphaned children. First relatives will be sought to care for the child in the Philippines. If that fails, a local Filipino family will be sought for a domestic adoption, and if there is no local family available, intercountry adoption will be considered.

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.