The Costs to Adopt from the Philippines: Complete Guide

As you explore your adoption options, you may be wondering, how much does it cost to adopt from the Philippines?

The costs to adopt from the Philippines can range anywhere from $26,000 to $50,000. This may or may not include other possible fees such as the application fee, the home study, the U.S. processing fee, orphanage fees, a post-placement fee, your travel expenses and Visas, and so much more.

The international adoption agency that you choose to work with will provide you with a structured fee schedule when adopting a child, so you should know upfront the costs of your adoption.

A professional adoption agency should be very organized, and you will not be in the dark about the next fee you will be asked to pay.

Nor will you be expected to pay additional funds over and above what has already been presented to you. There should be no pressure to give donations or gift money over and above the fee structure that you were already quoted.

Visit Travel.State.Gov for up-to-date reports on adoption within each country of interest to know when travel and adoptions, if halted, will resume. 

Considering international adoption? International Adoption Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know is an article I enjoyed writing that covers so much about the pros and cons of international adoption.


The Costs of Adopting From the Philippines

When researching the costs to adopt a child from the Philippines, it was very difficult to compare apples to apples, so to speak. Each international adoption agency has its fee structure which can be quite confusing.

Also, I am noticing further into my research that I am getting that regardless of where you adopt from, the costs are basically about the same.

Perhaps the reason for this is because regardless of where you adopt from, the fees are typically roughly about the same.

After all, adoption agencies cannot put food on their tables by simply volunteering their time. They have had specialized training to help assist in connecting you with a child.

Travel expenses alone range widely from $3,000 to $6,000 or more in general for any country. In most cases, both you and your spouse will be required to travel to the country you wish to adopt.

That additional flight arrangement only adds to the cost of travel. Not to mention you may be required to make a second trip.

One international adoption agency shows an estimated total of around $26,000, which does not include the cost of travel, accommodations, and other travel expenses. Travel costs change constantly, so keep that in mind as well.

Concerning all adoption agencies, we looked at, they all appeared to balance out to be about the same in costs.

International adoption agencies understand that prospective adoptive parents will be shopping around, so to speak, so it is in their best interest to remain comparable to their competition.

In general, your expenses include your registration, application, and home study costs. Add to that any additional document certification fees, adoption agency fees, and additional fees from the Filipino government.

A couple of things to consider here. Make sure that the international adoption agency you are considering provides you with a comprehensive fee schedule so there are no surprises down the road.

Go over the fees listed and ask questions. What will apply to you and what costs listed will not? What is optional and what expenses are you required to pay?

Also, I strongly advise you to reach out to more than one agency and compare their fee structures. Are they comparable in costs? Does one agency seem to have more added fees than another?

Are the fees listed required by the United States and or the Philippines, or are there added expenses by the adoption agency?

With that said, adoption agencies provide a wonderful service, and there is a lot of work that is involved in organizing an international adoption. We certainly do not expect them to provide their services for free.

You just need to understand what all of the charges are for.

Verify the Adoption Agency is Hague-Accredited

Before we go much further about costs and fee structures, it is crucial that you first verify that the international adoption agencies you are considering are Hague-accredited.

Regardless of what country you may end up adopting from when adopting internationally, you are strongly advised to verify Hague credentials above all else.

The Hague Convention is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Most all reputable international adoption agencies will be Hague-accredited.

If an agency is trying to convince you that the Hague credentials do not matter, do not continue in that direction. If you learn that the agency you are considering is Hague-accredited, get that in writing.

To learn more about the Hague Convention, visit Travel.State.Gov for more information.

Any adoption agency that is Hague-accredited will want to be the first to tell you they are and will proudly show documentation of their Hague credentials for prospective adoptive parents to see without having to be asked.

We strongly encourage you to do your homework to prevent yourself from being a victim of greedy, untrustworthy agencies claiming to want to help you, yet in reality, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Many adoptive parents are desperate to adopt a child and are willing to pay thousands of dollars to do so.

How about adopting from Haiti?

Vet Your Adoption Agency Before Reaching For Your Wallet

It is common knowledge that the adoption process can be very expensive, so most couples pay for whatever is asked of them without even giving it a second thought.

This makes it easy to take advantage of prospective adoptive individuals wishing to adopt, as they already expect to pay out a lot of money and don’t think twice.

One story, in particular, comes to mind of a couple spending almost 100K to adopt their first child. They used a different adoption agency when they adopted their second child, and they paid much less than 50K that time. Please, be careful!

There are things you can do to help protect yourself from being taken advantage of. We STRONGLY encourage you to do the following with every adoption agency you consider using.

Follow these steps to protect yourself:

  • Contact the State Licensing Specialist in the state where the adoption agency is located. Is the agency in good standing? Do they have any complaints against them? How long have they held their adoption agency license?
  • Contact the State’s Attorney General’s Office located in the state capitol. Ask if any legal action has ever been taken against the agency, if there is any pending litigation against the agency, or if they have an established complaint file.
  • Request three references with the names and phone numbers of clients who have adopted a child through the agency within the last three years.

Information provided courtesy of Child Welfare Information Gateway

There are children in Colombia that are desperate to be adopted.

Costs of International Adoption in the Philippines – Helpful Facts

The following is courtesy of Travel.State.Gov:

In addition to the U.S. requirements, the Philippines obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements to adopt a child from the Philippines:

  • 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 before 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 the 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 in Manila’s American Citizen Services section at:

    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 seek 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 before the child receives 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 ICAB will take into account the stability of the relationship before 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, ICAB 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 the placement.

    Philippine law does not recognize LGBT marriage but does not expressly forbid gay or transgendered individuals from applying to adopt individually.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must have a minimum annual income of $40,000 USD.
  • Other: 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 the community or religious groups (priests, pastors, etc.), or from people who know the prospective adoptive parents and can testify that they can 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. ICAB 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.
  • Staying safe when traveling is a concern we all have, especially when we are traveling abroad. Stay up-to-date with travel alerts and warnings here:
  • Learn about U.S. Visas, which type of Visa is right for you, country information and their Visa requirements, and so much more here:
  • Would you like to entertain the idea of adoption from other countries besides the Philippines?

    The following link provides valuable, in-depth government-based information on each country you may be considering adopting a child from. This amazing resource will provide you with all the adoption details and requirements for the country of interest.

    Visit Traval.State.Gov – Intercountry Adoptions – Country Information to get the following information on each country:
    • Hague Convention Information
    • U.S. Immigration Requirements
    • Who Can Adopt
    • Who Can Be Adopted
    • How to Adopt
    • Traveling Abroad
    • After Adoption
    • Contact Information

Important to note is that due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, travel and adoption restrictions may apply. Get news updates for travel and adoption at Travel.State.Gov.

When you visit the country you may wish to adopt, you will see updated news articles to the right on the website about that particular country.

Adopting from Korea has its pros and cons. Learn more here.

Trina Greenfield - Adoption Author

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.