U.S. Embassy in Thailand
Consular Section
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok, Thailand 10330
Tel: (66)(2) 205-4000
Fax: (66)(2) 253-6250

Consulate General at Chiang Mai
Vidhyanond Road
Tel: 66-2-252-629/30-33

Thailand’s Adoption Authority
225 Ratchawithi Road
Bangkok 10400
Tel: (66) (2) 354-7515

Non-Government organizations (NGOs) licensed to deal with intercountry adoptions are:

Holt Sahathai Foundation
850/33 Sukhumvit 71
Bangkok 10110
Mailing Address:
P. O. Box Nana Nua 1478,
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66)(2) 381-8834

Thai Red Cross Foundation
Chulalongkorn Hospital
Corner of Rama IV Road and Rajdamri Road
Bangkok 10300
Tel: (66)(2) 252-8181 or (66)(2) 256-4178

Pattaya Orphanage
Pattaya City, Chonburi
P.O. Box 15,
Pattaya City, Chonburi 20151
Tel: (66)(38)422-745

Friends for All Children
25 Soi Ruam Ruedee 1 (Off Ploenchit Road)
Bangkok 10330
Tel: (66)(2) 252-6560;

Embassy of Thailand
The Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C.
1024 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20007
Tel: (202) 944-3600

*Thailand also has consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

Office of Children’s issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Thailand Flag


Map of ThailandThailand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Thailand and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more




Adoption between the United States and Thailand is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Thailand, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Thailand also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoptions from Thailand.
  • Age Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and 15 years older than the child to be adopted.
  • Marriage REequirements: A prospective adoptive parent can be single or married. If married, the prospective adoptive parent must have a legitimate spouse and must have been married for at least 3 years.
  • Income Requirements: While there are no formal income requirements, prospective adoptive parents must provide proof of income with their application.
  • Other Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must be legally qualified under U.S. law to adopt a child.



Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Thailand must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Thailand attempt to place a child with a family in Thailand before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Thailand’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

Learn more about the Convention’s requirements for adoptable children.

Thailand also has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Thailand unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Sibling Requirements: It is not possible to apply for more than one child at a time, except for twins, siblings, or in cases of adoption of the children of the applicant's Thai spouse. Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) advises that it is extremely unlikely that an abandoned child under the age of one year would be available for foreign adoption.
  • Waiting Period: It is hard to predict with certainty how much time is required to complete an adoption in Thailand. The time frames provided in this flyer are intended as guidelines only, and the specific circumstances of each case could affect significantly how long it takes. The most recent reports indicate that waiting periods range from approximately 24-30 months from the time the U.S. adoption agency submitted the paperwork of the prospective adopter to the time the child is placed with the prospective adoptive parents.



Thailand’s Adoption Authority
Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW

The Process

Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Thailand must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

Note: If you filed your I-600a with Thailand before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

The process for adopting a child from Thailand generally includes the following steps:

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3. Be Matched with a Child
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Thailand
6. Bring your Child Home

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider

The first step in adopting a child from Thailand is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Thailand. Learn more.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

Once the U.S. Government determines that you are “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Thailand. Thailand’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Thai law.


3. Be Matched with a Child

If both the United States and Thailand determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Thailand may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

Once the DSDW approves the application, it matches the application with a specific child. The DSDW then sends the prospective adoptive parent(s) a letter of introduction about the child, including photographs and the child’s health record. This document is commonly called a ‘referral.’ Prospective adoptive parents who still have questions about the child after reviewing this information may follow up with the DSDW either directly or via their adoption agency.

Note that Thailand law does not allow applications for more than one child at a time, except twins, siblings, or adoption of Thai spouse’s children. In general, abandoned children under one year will not be available for foreign adoption

4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

After you accept a referral with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa inelegibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify Thailand’s adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.

Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Thailand:

Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Thailand, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purpose of adoption in Thailand.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Thailand generally includes the following:

  • Role of The Adoption Authority: The DSDW matches the child with the prospective adoptive parents. Once DSDW is notified of the prospective adoptive parents’ acceptance of the child, it forwards the application to the Child Adoption Board (CAB). After receiving official authorization from the Minister of Social Development and Human Security, DSDW schedules the interview between the prospective adoptive parents and CAB. DSDW issues the documents necessary for the child’s travel.
  • Role of The Court: The court finalizes the adoption after the prospective adoptive parents have successfully completed their pre-adoption placement requirements. These requirements include the three bi-monthly reports on the pre-adoption placement, CAB approval for final adoption, and adoption registration within six months of notification by the CAB.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: The adoption service provider assembles the application forms and supporting documents for submission to DSDW.
  • Adoption Application: The adoption application is submitted to the DSDW.
  • Time Frame: While there is no specific timeframe noted for the completion of an intercountry adoption from Thailand, it should be noted that the adoption process can be lengthy.
  • Documents Required: The following is a list of documents that must be submitted with the application:
    • Home study – The home study must be conducted or endorsed by one of the DSDW approved agencies. Any home study done by a non-DSDW approved agency must obtain an endorsement from a DSDW approved agency agreeing to supervise the pre-adoption placement.
    • Confirmation Statement – The adoption service provider must confirm that once the adoption is finalized under Thai law that it will also be legalized in the prospective adoptive parents’ state of residence.
    • Formal Commitment Statement – If the prospective adoptive parents reside in Thailand, DSDW’s social worker will conduct three bi-monthly home visits and supervise the pre-adoption placement of the child. Once DSDW is satisfied with the pre-adoption placement, DSDW reports their findings to the Child Adoption Board (CAB) who will approve the child for adoption.
    • If the prospective adoptive parents do not reside in Thailand, the adoption service provider must formally commit to supervise a pre-adoption placement for at least six months and conduct at least three bi-monthly progress reports that will be provided to the DSDW.
    • Medical Certificate – The certificate verifies the prospective adoptive parents’ good physical health, mental stability, and infertility (if applicable).
    • Birth Certificates
    • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
    • Proof of Termination of Previous Marriages – Death certificate of spouse or divorce decree
    • Proof of Occupation and Income – Letter from employer
    • Complete Financial Statement – The statement should indicate all assets and liabilities.
    • Recommendations from Two Responsible Persons
    • Current License of Adoption Service Provider
    • Photographs of Prospective Adoptive Parents –Four (4.5 cm x 6 cm) photographs from each prospective adoptive parent and their children


6. Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

Thailand Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Thailand.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child’s I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.


Statisitcs about adoption from $country_sm



Applying for Your U.S. Passport

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Thailand. 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 Your Visa

In addition to a U.S. passport, you 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 attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Thailand, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

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 register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Thailand, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.



What does Thailand require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

Adoptive parents are required to register the adoption with the Thai Embassy or Consulate and the U.S. authority.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family--whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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