Russia Travel Advisory
October 4, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Philippines

Philippines
Republic of the Philippines
Exercise increased caution to the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise increased caution to the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Reconsider Travel to:

  • Other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting possible kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks in the Philippines. Terrorist and armed groups may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. The Philippine government has declared a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.”

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the Philippines.

If you decide to travel to the Philippines:

·        Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.   

The Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist and armed groups continue to conduct kidnappings on land and at sea for ransom, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to those areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Marawi City in Mindanao – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Civilians are at risk of death or injury due to conflict between remnants of terrorist groups and Philippine security forces in Marawi.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mindanao – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The Philippine government maintains a state of emergency and greater police presence in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

Terrorist and armed groups continue to conduct kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mindanao as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions to the United States from Philippines and from the United States to Philippines are possible. Please see our section on Adoptions from the United States for more information on the process for adopting a child from the United States. We urge prospective adoptive parents residing abroad who are considering adoption of a child from the United States to consult with the Philippines’ Central Authority, the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), for its determination as to whether it considers your adoption to be subject to the Convention.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Philippines, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements.  USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from the Philippines must meet the following requirements imposed by the Philippines:

  • Minimum Residency:  Requirements for U.S. Citizens Residing in the Philippines: U.S. citizens interested in completing a full and final adoption of a Filipino child while living in the Philippines must be residents of the Philippines for at least three years prior to the filing of the adoption petition and maintain such residence until the adoption is finalized. U.S. citizens living in the Philippines do not need to possess a certificate of legal capacity to adopt, which is normally required by Philippine courts in domestic adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents can instead obtain a letter from the American Citizens Services section of U.S. Embassy Manila that states that the U.S. government does not issue certificates of legal capacity to adopt. To request this letter, please contact U.S. Embassy Manila’s American Citizen Services section at: acsinfomanila@state.gov.

Prospective adoptive parents who meet the residency requirements should a) file a petition for adoption with the Philippine court to begin the adoption process; and b) submit the letter from the American Citizen Services section in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity.

The Philippine government may waive these requirements if a) the prospective adoptive parent(s) are former Filipino citizens who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity, as defined by Philippine law; or b) the prospective adoptive parent seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his/her Filipino spouse.

Requirements for U.S. Citizens Residing outside of the Philippines
The three year residency requirement does not apply when U.S. prospective adoptive parents do not reside in the Philippines. In those cases, the prospective adoptive parents will pursue the Hague Adoption Convention process and gain legal custody of the child prior to the child receiving an immigrant visa. The prospective adoptive parents will finalize the adoption in the United States.

  • Age of Adopting Parents:  Based on the Inter-Country Adoption Law of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8043), the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 27 years of age and at least 16 years older than the child at the time of application, unless the adoptive parent is the biological parent of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent. The maximum age gap between the prospective adoptive parent and the child to be adopted must not exceed 45 years.
  • Marriage:  [If prospective adoptive parents are married, they must have been married for at least three years.  They must file jointly for adoption.  Applicants who have lived together in a common law relationship for several years must have been married for at least one year, although NACC will take into account the stability of the relationship prior to the marriage.  Single applicants are eligible to adopt children between six and 15 years old in the Waiting Child Program.  For prospective adoptive parents with a history of divorce, NACC will consider prospective adoptive parents who have a history of two or fewer divorces and assess the stability of the current marriage to evaluate the suitability of a placement.  Philippine law does not recognize same-sex marriage, but does not expressly forbid gay, bi-sexual, or transgendered individuals from applying to adopt individually.

Minimum Income:  Prospective adoptive parents must have a minimum annual income of $40,000 USD.

  • Other requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must not have ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.  They must be in a position to provide proper care and support and necessary moral values to all of their children, including the child to be adopted.  The Philippine government will ascertain the prospective adoptive parents’ ability to provide necessary moral values from references from community or religious groups (priests, pastors, etc.), or from people who know the prospective adoptive parents and can testify that they have the capacity to care for the child.

Prospective adoptive parents must have at least a high school diploma.  

Obesity is an unacceptable medical condition for prospective adoptive parents. NACC previously defined obesity as a BMI of 35 or above.  A more recent addition to the list of unacceptable health conditions is “metabolic syndrome,” which is defined as a medical disorder that, when occurring together with a high BMI, increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A prospective adoptive parent’s BMI is still taken into consideration along with other health and lifestyle factors.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because the Philippines is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from the Philippines must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption.  For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of the Philippines have determined that placement of the child within the Philippines has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

Note: The adoption of relatives is common in Philippine society. Learn more about adopting a relative

In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, the child must also meet the following requirements imposed by the Philippines:

  • Eligibility for adoption: In order for a child to be eligible for adoption, his or her birth parents must first relinquish her/him through a Deed of Voluntary Commitment.  This document allows the birth parents to release the child to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for subsequent adoption.

In the event that the child has been abandoned and no parent is available to sign the of Voluntary Commitment, a licensed and accredited child-placing agency or other acceptable entity can petition the Department of Social Welfare and Development to issue a certificate stating that the child is legally eligible for adoption.  Other acceptable entities that can petition include: a licensed and accredited institution managed by the national government or local government unit; a non-governmental organization; or a provincial, city, or municipal Social Welfare Development Officer who has actual custody of the child.

  • Age of Adoptive Child:  A child must be under 15 years of age. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who meets the age and other requirements to immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).  Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18.[M3]
  • Sibling Adoptions: In most circumstances, the Philippines strongly encourages siblings to stay together in adoption. In some cases, teenage siblings may be adopted separately through the Waiting Child Program, which encourages the adoption of children with special circumstances or needs. See below for more information on the Waiting Child Progra.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Children I the Waiting Child Program must be older than 73 months or meet one of the following criteria:
    • Be in need of major surgery or have a major illness;
    • Have developmental delays;
    • Have a handicap;
    • Be part of a sibling group of older children; or
    • Have been sexually or physically abused

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Prior to departing Philippines with the child, adoptive parents must complete a five-day bonding period in the country.  Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption.  In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) have not relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

How to Adopt

Warning:  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in the Philippines before:  1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of the Philippines has determined the child is eligible for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

The Philippines Central Adoption Authority

National Authority for Child Care (NACC)

The Process

Because the Philippines is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from the Philippines must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements.  A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below.  You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may cause significant delays or result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by the Philippines’s Central Authority] to Operate in the Philippines
2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)
3.  Apply to the Philippines’ Authorities to Adopt, and Be Matched with a Child
4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)
5.  Adopt the Child in the Philippines or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of    Emigration and Adoption
6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by the Philippines’s Central Authority to Operate in the Philippines

The first step in adopting a child from the Philippines is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens and that has been authorized by the Government of the Philippines.  A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case.  Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case.  Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Supervising and being responsible for any supervised providers, and otherwise complying with the requirements regarding the provision of adoption services using other providers (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.  Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from the Philippines, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of the Philippines and U.S. immigration law.

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.  You will need to submit a home study, provide biometrics, and cooperate in a background check as part of this application.  Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.

3.  Apply to the Philippines’ Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child

Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority

After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in the Philippines as part of your adoption application. The Philippine adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Philippine law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority

If both the United States and the Philippines determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and the Philippines’ Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is eligible for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in the Philippines may provide you with a referral.  The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child.  The adoption authority in the Philippines will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral.  We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child.  You must also adhere to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS with respect to the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child.  Learn more about Health Considerations.  If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in the Philippines.  Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility

After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative.  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to be admitted to the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application

After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from the Philippines.  

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number.  Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child.  An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.  A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to the Philippines’ Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from the Philippines if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Philippines’ Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Warning:  Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in the Philippines before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5.  Adopt the Child in the Philippines or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption

Remember:  Before you adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in the Philippines, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or a grant of legal custody by the Philippines for the purposes of emigration and adoption.

The process for finalizing the adoption or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption in the Philippines generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  NACC receives dossiers from adoption service providers, reviews and processes applications, and matches children with prospective adoptive parents.  As a final step, it issues placement authority.

The Inter-Country Adoption Placement Committee, part of NACC, reviews the matching proposals during the matching conference. NACC maintains two placement committees. Each team is composed of the following: a child psychiatrist or psychologist, medical doctor, lawyer, registered social worker, and a representative of a non-governmental organization engaged in child welfare.

  • Role of the Court:  
  • Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers:  The adoption agency, or adoption service provider, facilitates the pre-adoption counseling, home study, submission of application for adoption, child assignment, application for the child's intercountry adoption through NACC, and post-adoption/placement reporti.

    Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case.  Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  Adoption service means any one of the following six services:
    • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
    • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
    • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
    • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
    • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
    • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.
  • Adoption Application:  To start the Philippine intercountry adoption process, prospective adoptive parent(s) or their authorized adoption service provider must file an application with NACC.
  • Time Frame:  Adoption processing depends upon many variables, including the availability of children to be matched with prospective adoptive parents, the number of prospective adoptive parents on the waiting list, and the caseloads of Philippine social service agencies and courts.
  • Adoption Fees: 

We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by them directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of the Philippines, with your adoption service provider, and, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry.  Improper payments violate applicable law or create the appearance of buying a child and could put all future adoptions in the Philippines at risk.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.  Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties.  These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing functions as a competent central authority, or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your adoption service provider will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

Information on adoption fees required by NACC is available on their website in the FAQs section.

When the prospective adoptive parent is a foreign national, the court petition to adopt costs 10,000 pesos (Approximately $245 USD).

Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from the Philippines include

  • Documents Required:  The following documents must be written and officially translated into English.  They are required as part of the application for adoption submitted to NACC:
    • Home study;
    • Birth Certificate(s) of prospective adoptive parent(s);
    • Marriage Certificate or Decree of Absolute Divorce, if applicable;
    • Written consent of the prospective adoptive parents' biological or already adopted children who are ten years of age or over, witnessed by the Philippine social worker after proper counseling;
    • Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician;
    • Psychological evaluation by a psychologist;
    • Most recent income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability;
    • Clearance issued by the police of other proper government agency of the place of residence;
    • Character reference from the local church minister/priest, employer, or a non-relative member of the immediate community, who has known the prospective adoptive parents for at least five years;
    • Form I-800A Approval (proof that the prospective adoptive parent(s) are suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law);
    • Article 5 Letter, provided by U.S. Embassy Manila, which shows that the child to be adopted is allowed to enter the United States and reside permanently, once adopted; and
    • Recent postcard-sized pictures of the prospective adoptive parent(s) and all immediate family.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

You will need to obtain a birth certificate for your child.

If you have finalized the adoption in the Philippines, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.  NACC will help prospective adoptive parents acquire the birth certificate.

If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Philippine Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from the Philippines. NACC will help prospective adoptive parents acquire a Philippine passport for their adopted child.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child you need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Manila.  After the adoption or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child.  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila by email at support-philippines@ustraveldocs.com[AKS10]  to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment.  As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the Form I-800 provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).  You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number.  You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. You should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview.  Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States:  An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s admission into the United States:  You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s admission into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to the Philippines
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for the Philippines, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Philippines, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
According to Philippine law, after the adoptive parents assume custody of the child and escort him/her to the United States, they enter a six-month post-placement period where the adoption service provider in the United States conducts bi-monthly reviews of the child’s welfare and reports the information to ICAB. After adoptive parents complete the post-placement period, the adoptive parent(s) should file a petition for adoption before the court in the United States. The adoption service provider should submit the final U.S. adoption decree to ICAB within one month of its issuance.

We urge you to comply with the Philippines’ post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to the Philippines’ history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.  Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Manila, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case.  The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.  Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800/A petition process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards.  If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider.  If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Philippines
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, Metro Manila - 1000
Tel: (632) 5301-2000 
Fax: (632) 5301-2591
Email: IVManilaAdoptions@state.gov
Internet: ph.usembassy.gov

Philippine Adoption Authority
National Authority for Child Care (NACC)
4th Floor A.N.Y. Building
#38, Timog Avenue
Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, Philippines 1103
Landline Nos.: +632 87219711; 87264568; 75036226
Cellphone No: +63917 830 3516
Email: adoption@icab.gov.ph
Internet: icab.gov.ph

Embassy of The Philippines
1600 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 467-9300
Fax: (202) 467-9417
Email: washington.pe@dfa.gov.phwashingtonpe@philippinesusa.org;
washingtonpe2010@gmail.com
Internet: philippineembassy-usa.org

The Philippines also has consulates in Chicago, Guam, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, and San Francisco.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1-913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

Last Updated: September 29, 2022

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Manila
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Manila, Philippines 1000
Telephone
+(63) 2 5301-2000
Emergency
+(63) 2 5301-2000
Fax
+(63) 2 5301-2017

Philippines Map