Thailand Adoption Laws

Background

The Thailand adoption process can vary based on the nationality of the adoptive parents and their relationship to the child. The process for a non-Thai national to adopt a Thai child is more involved than the process for Thai nationals.

Thailand Adoption Process

Adoption in Thailand is solely managed and processed by the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Welfare (DPW). There are no private adoption agencies legally authorized to process adoptions of Thai children to foreign parents. However, there are non-government agencies that work directly with the DPW and are licensed to recommend placement of children with international adoptive parents. All applications, though, are processed by the DPW. The process for adopting children from Thailand can vary depending on the agency or lawyer that facilitates the process from Thailand as well as the laws of the adoptive parents' home country.

Adoptive parents of a Thai child, must meet certain requirements to qualify for adoption: a) adoptive parents must be married, b) both adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age and c) significantly older than the child to be adopted, and d) legally qualified to adopt in his/her own country. Thai law also requires confirmation from an authorized agency in the foreign country that the adoption will be legalized in before the DPW will begin the application process. 

Our Experience

Chaninat and Leeds' attorneys have processed adoption cases for non-Thai parents living in Thailand and have also assisted with adoptions by step-parents to adopt the biological children of their spouses. Chaninat and Leeds has also assisted with obtaining citizenship and passports for adopted children based on the nationality of the adoptive parent.

Chaninat and Leeds partner, Joe Leeds, authored a textbook on adoption in Thailand published in 2000. 

Chaninat and Leeds is a bilingual firm that employs Thai and foreign lawyers. 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. We recently published an English translation of the Thai Child Adoption Act—the primary legal text on adoption in Thailand—available through selected resellers.

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