Child adoption in Thailand is a very complex process that essentially removes the parental rights and responsibilities from a child's natural parents and reassigns them to adoptive parents.
Attorneys in the Juslaws & Consult Family Law practice have considerable experience in providing clients with child adoption advice and assistance.
The Thai government agency that oversees all adoptions is the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW). Thai law addresses two types of adoptions. Domestic adoptions are available only to adoptive parents who reside in Thailand. Inter-country adoptions, on the other hand, are available to foreigners who wish to adopt a Thai child and intend to raise the child outside of Thailand.
It is required by Thai law that an applicant who wishes to become an adoptive parent;
The spousal condition does not apply if the applicant is Thai.
A foreign applicant is required to meet the legal conditions for adoption set out by their home country. The country must have diplomatic relations with Thailand. The applicant may deal directly with an approved adoption agency in their home country. That agency may then submit applicant documents directly to the DSDW or to one of four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been authorized to directly place Thai children with overseas adoptive parents. These organizations are the Thai Red Cross, the Holt Sahathai Foundation, the Friends for All Children Foundation and the Pattaya Orphanage in Chonburi.
In some cases foreigners can apply for child adoption in Thailand. In the first instance, a foreigner who resides in Thailand and has proof of residency and house registration can submit an adoption application in the area where they reside.
In Bangkok this is the Child Adoption Center of the DSDW. Outside of Bangkok the application would be submitted to the provincial DSDW office. A foreign applicant residing temporarily in Thailand and having a work permit issued by the Labor Department may apply for adoption in Thailand if certain other conditions are met.
The applicant must have been residing in Thailand for a minimum of six months prior to making the adoption application and be able to complete the six month pre-adoption placement residence in Thailand requirement. If the applicant meets these conditions they can submit the application, along with the required documents certified by their country's embassy in Thailand, to the DSDW.