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Adoption in Thailand

Adoption Child in Thailand

QUALIFICATIONS: Under Thai law there are strict procedures and requirements for the adoption of children. It is advisable that you recheck the current law to as some of these requirements are currently under review.

Here are some of the basic criteria that an adoptive parent must meet before pursuing the adoption of a Thai child any further.


It is not possible to apply to adopt more than one child at a time (except twins, siblings, or in cases of the adoption of the children of the applicant's Thai spouse).

Parents adopting from Thailand for a second time may request that a DPW (Department of Public Welfare) social worker escort the child to your country instead of appearing before the Child Adoption Board as outlined below. All costs of such travel are the responsibility of the adoptive parents.

DPW advises that it is extremely unlikely that an abandoned child under the age of one year would be available for foreign adoption.



  1. Prospective adoptive parents obtain an official DPW application forms (these forms may be obtained from DPW or from one of the above NGOs). These forms require biographic, health, and financial information about the prospective adoptive parents.
  2. Prospective adoptive parents engage an adoption agency or a child welfare organisation licensed by their country to perform a home study (this agency must also be recognized by DPW--a list of recognized agencies is available from DPW).
  3. The licensed agency or organisation assembles the application forms for submission to DPW. The application must be accompanied by the following:

    • completed home study;
    • confirmation from a competent authority that after the adoption is finalised under Thai law, it will also be legalised under the laws of the applicant’s country of residence;
    • formal commitment by the licensed adoption agency in your country to supervise a pre-adoption placement of at least six months, during which at least three bi-monthly progress reports will be provided to DPW;
    • medical certificates verifying good physical health, mental stability, and infertility (if applicable) for both prospective adoptive parents;
    • birth certificates for both parents;
    • marriage certificate;
    • proof of termination of any previous marriages(death certificate of spouse or divorce decree);
    • proof of occupation and income (letter from employer);
    • complete financial statement indicating all assets and liabilities;
    • recommendations from two responsible persons;
    • current license of the involved adoption agency;
    • photographs of both prospective adoptive parents (4 each), 4.5 cm x 6 cm, and of their children (if applicable);
    • statement from consular officer confirming that the child to be adopted will be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa (US citizens).

    If the prospective parents reside abroad all the above-listed documents must be authenticated or "verified" by the Thai Embassy or one of the Thai consulates in your home country. All documents must be in English or Thai, or must be accompanied by English or Thai translations.

  4. If the above documentation is acceptable, DPW (or one of the three NGOs) matches the prospective adoptive parents with a child. The prospective parents are provided with photos and information about the background and health condition of the child (NOTE: DPW reserves the right to review and investigate matches made by the NGOs).
  5. The prospective adoptive parents must advise DPW whether they wish to proceed with the adoption of the proposed child. The application will then be given to the Child Adoption Board (CAB) for review. If the Child Adoption Board agrees to the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents for pre-adoption placement of the child, the case is referred to the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare for official authorization. (NOTE: Steps 4 and 5 together frequently take six months to one year to complete).
  6. When the pre-adoption placement is approved, a definite appointment is made by DPW (or one of the NGOs) for the prospective parents to be interviewed by the Child Adoption Board. The meeting with the Board is essentially a formality. If one of the prospective adoptive parents is unable to attend this meeting, he or she must provide written consent. (NOTE: The waiting period for such an appointment may be as long as three months, depending on the CAB's schedule.)
  7. DPW will issue documents necessary for the child's travel, including a Thai passport. These documents will normally be issued on the same day as the meeting with the Board. The parents will also receive the child on the same day (NOTE: Occasionally issuance of documents takes longer. DPW advises adoptive parents to plan to stay in Thailand for approximately two weeks total).
  8. When the prospective adoptive parents have returned to their country with the child and at least three bi-monthly reports on the pre-adoption placement have been submitted to DPW, DPW will refer the case to the Child Adoption Board for approval of final adoption under Thai law.
  9. The adoptive parents have to register their adoption under Thai law within six months of notification of finalization by the Board. This can be done at the Thai Embassy or Consulates in your country.



Family Lawyer in Lad Prao, Bangkok

The family law in Thailand is fairly straightforward. Foreigners must first obtain clearance from their respective embassies.

M & S Law Office 20006 can help co-ordinate the procurement of official documents from the embassy and have them translated and legalized quickly with minimum problems. Familiarity with the formalities of a Thai marriage, access to qualified translators, and an understanding of the legalization process reduce the likelihood of delays or complications.

Our law firm provides full legal services throughout Thailand including the key business cities such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiangmai and Phuket.

Let us help you by calling us at (+66)2 693-2036 or send email via or send us enquiry.



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