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After the 2003-2004 suspension due to a huge waiting list, adoptions in Thailand have restarted, but with quotas for each country. The low annual quotas are reached quickly.

Backlog in Thailand -- The Thai Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) announced it would not accept new applications for international adoption between Jan. 2003 and Jan. 2004. About 800 applications were on file, more than the number of children available in DSDW care.

In January 2004 the Quebec agency Enfants d'Orient (Children of Asia), heard from DSDW that the Child Adoption Center in Thailand would accept no new files from Quebec in 2004. The halt begun in January 2003 had not sufficiently reduced the waiting period, now two to three years. The suspension is valid for all countries adopting from Thailand.

In February 2004 the Canadian Embassy in Thailand advised that DSDW had extended its suspension of new applications through 2004, because the number of applications still exceeded the number of children available. However, DSDW will continue to accept new applications for "special needs" children; the two licensed adoption agencies, Thai Red Cross and Friends for all Children, are accepting new applications, which will be processed by DSDW.

On June 5, 2006 the adoption authority in Quebec (Secrétariat à l'adoption internationale, SAI), in its article "Inscriptions limitées", said that Thailand wishes to accept only 20 files from Quebec in 2006. Since 20 families have already applied to Quebec adoption agency Enfants d'Orient (Children of Asia), no new files will be accepted in 2006. The agency will not compile a waiting list for Thailand. The limit for 2007 isn't yet known. Limits do not apply when adopting children 4 and up, or those with special needs.

In the U.K., the Dept. for Education and Skills got a letter in July from authorities in Thailand explaining that U.K. applications are to be restricted to 32 in 2006. The waiting time to be matched with a child will be about one year.

On Sept. 19, 2006 a coup d'état removed the prime minister from office and parliament was dissolved. The military is expected to rule until elections in October 2007.

In its Jan. 31, 2007 news update, SAI in Montreal explained that when adopting from Thailand, a couple must be married, but the marriage can be recent, as long as it was preceded by three years of common law marriage. Also, under the Quebec Civil Code, the adoptive parent must be at least 18 years older than the child.

On Mar. 7, 2007 Quebec agency Enfants d'Orient said DSDW in Thailand had advised that it could accept more applications from Quebec, but in limited number. To keep the waiting time for a referral to under 18 months DSDW put the 2007 quota from Quebec at 20 files. Since Enfants d'Orient has already met the quota for 2007, it will start a waiting list for 2008. You can still apply now to adopt a child with special needs or over four years old, since the annual quota does not apply to them.


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

For more on Thailand adoption, see Canadian Guide to Intercountry Adoption.

To find an agency for Thailand: Agency chooser,

Descriptions of agency programs are at

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Country News is written by Robin Hilborn,
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©2007 Robin R. Hilborn
Updated May 22, 2007

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