Adoption in Thailand – A General Overview
Thailand has become a popular destination not just for business and leisure, but also for adoption. The recent years have seen Thai children being placed for adoption to couples and individuals abroad, as well as to those within the country. Adoption in Thailand has become so popular that applications are ordered suspended from time to time until the wait list for certain periods are significantly reduced.
The most usual reason for considering adoption is a couple’s inability to have children because of medical conditions. Adoption addresses a childless couple’s need to fill their parental void, and also gives the child the chance to feel the love of a family.
Adoption available in Thailand may either be Domestic or Inter-country. Domestic adoption is open to those who have domicile in Thailand and intend to stay in the country after the adoption is approved. On the other hand, Inter-country adoption is the proper option for couples residing in a foreign country who wish to adopt a child from Thailand, with the intention of bringing the adoptee to their country after the adoption is finalized.
Thailand favors domestic adoption over inter-country adoption. Since children who were domestically adopted remain in the country, the State enjoys easy access in watching over the child’s welfare. The same is not true in inter-country adoption in Thailand. An adoptee who is already out of the country is not immediately within Thailand’s radar. Diplomatic functions need to be tapped before his condition is checked. If the child also becomes naturalized to his adoptive parents’ nationality, Thailand loses arm in providing protection to the adoptee.
A great number of Thai domestic adoptions are relative adoptions. Relative adoptions include those between blood relatives and between step-parents and step-children. All other adoptions involve children who had been abandoned or relinquished by their natural parents and placed on the adoption register.
Children available for Thailand adoption are usually older than a year. This is because the government does not immediately accept children for adoption without undergoing confirmation procedure with the parents. This procedure takes about a year to finish. The confirmation allows the government to exert efforts in encouraging the natural parents to care for their offspring instead of them being committed immediately for adoption. Abandoned children are also not immediately identified as children available for adoption. Diligent efforts on identifying their parents are first exhausted before these children are finally committed as foundling. Should the natural parents finally decide to give up their young, they are made to sign a consent document for the commitment and the future adoption of their children.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article was provided by Siam Legal, an international law firm with offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Samui. Siam Legal publishes legal guides to adopting in Thailand on its website.
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