Adoption in the Philippines

What to do if you are planning to adopt a child in the Philippines.


The Philippines is a signatory of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, which applies to parents who are habitually resident in the UK and who want to adopt a child from overseas - known as inter-country adoption. If you normally live in the UK, it is not possible to start the adoption process in the Philippines. You can find out more on the procedures for inter-country adoption from our colleagues in the Department for Education.

Adoption order

Following the introduction of The Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) Order 2013 (the ‘2013 Order’) and the Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 and the Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 (the ‘2013 Scottish Regulations’) on 3 January 2014, adoption order issued in the Philippines will now be recognised in England, Wales and Scotland.

Inter-country adoption

Hague Convention Adoptions are adoptions to the UK from a country in which the Hague Convention is in force, and which are processed and certified in accordance with the Hague Convention. Hague Convention adoptions are recognised in UK law and there is no need to re-adopt the child in the UK once the adoption is complete.

The purpose of the Hague Convention is to establish safeguards to protect children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.

British legislation on inter-country adoption applies to all persons who are “habitually resident” in the UK. Habitual residence is a legal concept that is defined by case law. Whether a person is considered habitually resident, will depend on all of the facts of their individual case – there is no single definition.

British nationals who are not habitually resident in the UK are not required to comply with the relevant British adoption legislation and can adopt under the laws of the Philippines. Examples are:

  1. Two (2) British Nationals living in the Philippines who wish to adopt a child. Please consult the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). They will advise you on how long you have to be in the country before you can start the adoption process.

  2. A British National (male) married to a Philippine national (female), where the British National wishes to adopt his spouse’s Filipino children. Consult a lawyer.

  3. A British National married to a Philippine national wishing to adopt a relative of the Filipino spouse. Consult DSWD.

Non-resident British nationals

We can issue a letter of no objection for a British national who is not habitually resident in the UK and who is seeking to adopt a child through the Philippine courts. Please note that the ‘no objection’ letter has the sole function of confirming that the British national(s) in question are no longer habitually resident in the UK and that as the child is not being adopted under British adoption legislation, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and British consulates have no further role in the matter.

There is no scope or provision to amend the letter, which is designed for a specific purpose. It is not for the Embassy to agree whether the applicants are suitable or eligible to adopt the child, or whether the child is adoptable.

Therefore, to obtain the ‘no objection’ letter, the prospective adopters must first obtain independent legal advice that they are in fact not resident in the British Isles and then swear a statement witnessed by a lawyer. Please note that customers need not visit the Embassy in person for this service. Documents and payment may be sent via a secure local courier. Please do not send documents via post.

Requirements for a letter of no objection to adoption overseas

  1. Sworn statement from a lawyer. The suggested standard wording for such statement is: “I confirm that I have received independent legal advice and with reference to all circumstances of my particular case and in light of existing UK law, I can confirm that I am not habitually resident in the British Isles”.

  2. Clear copy of the adoptive parent’s valid British passport

  3. payment of consular fee 2i. We accept payment by in cash in Philippine Peso (=P=) on sent through a local courier company.

For more information on how to apply for a letter of no objection, please visit our notarial and documentary services guide.

Nationality and Travel

If the family should subsequently wish to return to the UK, they must apply for entry clearance in respect of the child or make a separate application for British Citizenship. They may consult the Home Office for more information.

Useful contacts

Department of Social Welfare and Development

Constitution Hills
Batasan Pambansa Complex
Quezon City
Telephone: +632 931 8101-07


Inter-country adoption board

2 Chicago cor
Ermin Garcia St
Brgy Pinagkaisahan
Cubao Quezon City 111
Telephone: +632 721 9781-82
Fax: +632 721 9790


UK Visas and Immigration

Formerly the Home Office Website

Department of Education

Formerly the Department for Children Schools and Families. Website

Further advice

After reading this guidance we advise all British nationals who are thinking of adopting a child in the Philippines to consult a lawyer and approach the relevant authorities depending on the nature of the adoption.

Published 11 April 2013
Last updated 12 August 2016 + show all updates
  1. Amendment: requirements for letter of no objection

  2. First published.