The process of adoption in Thailand effectively enables the legal transfer of responsibility for a child from its biological parents to the adoptive parents. This is finalised when an adoption order has been issued that severs all of the rights and responsibilities of the biological parents and places them with the adoptive parents.
There are two types of adoption in Thailand:
Thailand Domestic Adoption
This option is only available for adoptive parents who have the legal domicile in the country.
Thailand Inter-Country Adoption
This option is available for non-Thai nationals who wish to adopt a Thai child and raise the child in a country other than Thailand.
Preliminary Requirements of an applicant for adoption in Thailand:
The applicant must be at least 25 years of age and also at least 15 years older than the child that they wish to adopt.
Foreign adoptive parents who apply as a couple must provide certification of the legitimacy of their relationship.
Foreign applicants must also qualify under the laws of their country of domicile to be legally allowed to adopt a child, whilst the said country must also have pre-existing diplomatic relations with Thailand.
Foreigners who can apply for adoption in Thailand:
Assuming the adoptive parent has legal domicile outside of Thailand, a Thai adoption application must be submitted through the relevant governmental authorities of their country of residence and also through the relevant Thai agencies authorised with the authority to deal with Child Adoption Center of the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand.
A foreigner with proof of residency and house registration who holds legal residency inside of Thailand is able to submit a Thai adoption application to their local authority. This must be submitted to the provincial DSDW office, or at the Child Adoption Centre of the DSDW if the resident resides in Bangkok.
A foreigner with temporary domicile in the country must first have resided in the country for more than 6 months before submitting an application. They must also provide further documentation, including a work permit issued by the Labour Department of Thailand Ministry of Labor. They must also be willing and able to complete a pre-adoption placement in the country, lasting six-months. Only then may they submit adoption documents in addition to further documents from their own embassy or consulate in Thailand.