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Chaninat & Leeds
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Tel : (662) 168 7001 (-3)
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Chaninat & Leeds Co., Ltd.
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FAQ - Adoption


Adoption is a fulfilling and rewarding journey but the process itself can be a long and arduous one. Our list of frequently asked questions will be able to help with many queries.

Am I legally able to adopt?

Subject to relevant laws, you may be able to adopt if:

1. you are married and
2. both you and your spouse are at least 25 years of age and
3. both you and your spouse are at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted and 4. you are legally qualified to adopt in your own country.

What types of adoption are avaliable in Thailand?

Adoptions can be classified into three general cateogories:

1. Private Adoptions: These are adoptions that are processed between individual natural and adoptive parents.
2. Agency Adoptions within Thailand: These are adoptions of orphans that are supervised by Thailand and goverment agencies
3. International Agency Adoptions: These are adoptions of orphans by foreign nationals that are supervised by Thailand and government agencies.

Who processes the application?

Adoptions in Thailand are processed through the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which is the sole governmental social welfare agency responsible for adoption of Thai children. There are certain Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are licensed to deal with DPW's Child Adoption Center in cases where a child is to be placed abroad.

Are there any special issues that apply to persons not living in Thailand?

Yes, international agency adoption may be a complicated process requiring coordination between agencies in both Thailand and the foreign nation. Thai law requires confirmation from an authorized agency in the foreign country that the adoption will be legalized before the Thailand Department of Public Welfare will begin the application process. The adoption must comply with both Thai laws and laws of the foreign nation. An international adoption will also normally involve immigration and nationality issues.

What documents will I need?

For international agency adoptions, there are numerous documents that need to be submitted to the DPW or NGO dealing with your case, ranging from medical certificates to financial statements. A home study, as well as a commitment from a licensed adoption agency agreeing to monitor a pre-adoption placement must also be secured. Some documents will need to be notarized, legalized and translated.

How long will it take?

Time periods for an adoption can vary widely. Private adoptions between Thai citizens may be processed quickly. However, agency adoptions may be quite time-consuming.

Why do I need an attorney?

The process of adoption may be quite long and detailed and requires a good number of forms and documents, all of which will be Thai language or translated into Thai. Coordination between a variety of agencies is also required. Issues of law become relevant concerning the adoption laws of Thailand and the foreign nation involved and also with regard to immigration and nationality and other laws.

Am I able to adopt more than one child at a time?

Thai adoption regulations do not allow a couple to apply to adopt more than one child at a time, except twins, siblings, or in cases of adoption of the children of the applicant's Thai spouse.

How does the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services distinguish between orphans and non-orphans when issuing immigration visas?

If an orphan petition is approved, the orphan is considered an immediate relative of a US citizen and is eligible for an immigration visa without being placed on a lengthy visa waiting list.

In general, US immigration law defines an orphan as a child less than 16 years of age who does not have any parents, or whose sole surviving parent is unable to provide for the child's needs and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for adoption.

Are same sex couples allowed to adopt in Thailand?

Generally, the Thai legal regime does not afford the same rights to gay couples as do many western nations.