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Adoptions from Philippines are open, although fewer children are available, especially girls 0-2 years old. There is a delay in matching children to parents; Canadians report a long wait, about two years.

In 2007 (the latest year available) Canadian adoptions from the Philippines rose 70%, from 53 (in 2006) to 90.

However the Philippines' InterCountry Adoption Board (ICAB) had a backlog of files from single parents-to-be. To reduce the long waiting list it announced May 25, 2007 that it would temporarily not take applications from singles. ICAB didn't say how long the suspension would last.

The Alberta ministry for adoptions noted in November 2003 that Alberta residents adopting relatives from the Philippines must document in their homestudy the relationship with the child. Relative adoption is defined in the Philippines as step-parents, grandparents, aunt or uncle, and cousin once removed. Relative adoptions must be processed through the Inter-Country Adoption Board, not the Regional Trial Court in the Philippines.

Backlog in Philippines matching -- (Feb. 2005) The Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) in the Philippines has advised of a significant delay in matching Filipino children to prospective adoptive parents because the children increasingly don't meet the preferences of approved parents. While most parents prefer a healthy child under two, most children cleared for overseas adoption are six years old and up, belong to a sibling group of three or more children, with medical/surgical/psychological concerns and/or with a negative background (product of schizophrenic/mentally retarded mother, product of incest). Parents will have to wait longer for a child proposal unless they are open to accepting older or special needs children. To date, ICAB is still serving the approved parents from 2003. [--Alberta Children's Services, February 2005]

In its November 2005 notice, Alberta Children's Services said that Dr. Lourna Laraya, Director of ICAB, has asked Alberta to remind applicants that pre-identification of children and independent placement are not allowed under both the Hague Convention and Philippine legislation. Applications to adopt a pre-identified child, or a child placed privately who is not cleared for intercountry adoption, will be denied, except for pre-identified children who are fourth degree relatives, or children who have special needs or are older.

In the U.K., the Dept. for Education and Skills (DfES) posted this note on Sept. 25, 2006: "Changes to the application process to adopt a child from the Philippines. The Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) has indicated that applications from prospective adopters who wish to adopt only female children will no longer be accepted as of now, September 2006. This is because there are very few female children available for Intercountry adoption. ICAB has also stipulated that where the primary caregiver (in general this is the female prospective adopter) is aged 43 and over, they will only be considered for a child over 2 years old. Prospective adopters who have been waiting for a child referral for longer than one year will need to indicate that they still wish to pursue their application. In the event that they do, ICAB require an updated report regarding the prospective adopters' circumstances."

In its September 2006 notice, Alberta Children's Services said that because there are few Filippino babies (0-2 years old, female) available for intercountry adoption, ICAB will not accept applications with this request for families where the woman is over 43. This doesn't affect applications now in process. Applications will no longer be taken from families who would accept only a female child. Families waiting over a year must update their file with new pictures of their home, lifestyle and extended family .

Quebec notice -- SAI announced Feb. 1, 2007 in its PDF table of Conditions in Source Countries that children available are mostly boys six months and up. If the main caregiver is over 42, children available are two and up. The stay in the Philippines is now one week instead of two, and the cost is about $15,000.

In its travel warning of Apr. 27, 2007 the U.S. State Dept. reminded Americans of the risks of travel in the Philippines, including those due to terrorism, such as bombings and kidnapping for ransom, especially in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

SAI in Montreal news item: ICAB announced May 25, 2007 that it would temporarily not be taking applications from single people. It said that this measure would allow it to complete the many outstanding files from single adopters who are still waiting for a child to be proposed, thus saving new single candidates from having to wait too long. ICAB didn't say how long the suspension would last.


For resources on Philippines adoption, see Adoption Resource Central, Country-specific Resources - Philippines.

Find an agency for the Philippines: use Agency Chooser,

Descriptions of agency programs are at Adoption Agencies,

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"From Family Helper,"

Country News is written by Robin Hilborn,
author of Family Helper,



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Updated Jan 7, 2009

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