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U.S. Department of State
1995:  International Adoption -- Thailand
Bureau of Consular Affairs


     
                     INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION - THAILAND
     
                                                               
     DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR IS PROVIDED FOR
     GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY.  QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION
     OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FOREIGN COUNSEL.
                                                                
     
     GENERAL:  All adoptions in Thailand are managed by the
     Department of Public Welfare and the first step in the process
     is direct communication with that office.  For complete
     information and appropriate application forms, inquirers should
     write to:  Child Adoption Center, Department of Public Welfare,
     Rajvithee Road, (Rajvithee Home for Girls), Bangkok 10400,
     Thailand.  At the same time, inquirers should contact the
     international organization licensed to arrange intercountry
     adoptions of children in Thailand at the following addresses:
     Holt Sahathai Foundation, 20 Sukhumvit Soi 2, Prakanong,
     Bangkok 10110, Thailand, mailing address:  Holt Sahathai
     Foundation, P.O. Box Na Na 1478, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
     
     AVAILABILITY OF CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION:  You should be aware
     that adoption in Thailand is a difficult and time-consuming
     process, and that success cannot be guaranteed.  Recent
     statistics show that only about one of every six applications
     for intercountry adoption is eventually approved by Thai
     authorities.
     
                  IR-3 Immigrant Visas     IR-4 Immigrant Visas
     Fiscal       Issued to Thailand       Issued to Thailand 
     Year       Orphans Adopted Abroad   Orphans Adopted in U.S.
     
     FY-1989                9                      100
     FY-1990                6                       94
     FY-1991                6                      125
     FY-1992                3                       83
     FY-1993                4                       65
     FY-1994                7                       40
     
     QUALIFICATIONS:  Thai Law (Adoption Act, April 1979) stipulates
     strict requirements and procedures for adoption of children in
     Thailand.  The American Embassy is aware of no instance when
     these basic requirements have been waived for any reason. 
     Consequently, it is probably not useful for inquirers to pursue
     the matter further unless they meet the following criteria:
     
         1.  You are married;
         2.  Both you and your spouse are at least 30 years of age;
         3.  Both you and your spouse are at least 15 years older
         than the child to be adopted;
         4.  You are legally qualified under your state law to adopt
         a child.

     DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS:  After you obtain and complete an
     application for adoption, you must submit the following
     documents to the Department of Public Welfare:
     
         1.  Medical Certificate verifying good health for you and
         your spouse;
         2.  Birth Certificate for you and your spouse;
         3.  Marriage Certificate;
         4.  Proof of termination of any previous marriage (death
         certificate of spouse; decree of divorce or annulment);
         5.  Complete financial statement indicating all assets and
         liabilities (prepared by a CPA, if possible);
         6.  Recommendations from two responsible persons;
         7.  Confirmation from competent authority or relevant
         authority that after the adoption is finalized under Thai
         law it will also be legalized under the concerned law of
         the applicant's country;
         8.  Up-to-date license of the involved adoption agency;
         9.  Statement from the relevant state government Social
         Welfare Department authorizing your adoption agency to
         handle inter-country adoption with the Thai Department of
         Public Welfare;
         10. Photographs of yourself and your spouse (4 each), 4.5
         cm. x 6 cm.;
         11. Statement from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
         Service or U.S. consular official confirming that the
         child to be adopted will be the beneficiary of an
         immigrant visa petition.  (Note:  This statement will
         normally be delayed until the child to be adopted is
         identified and the process is well under way).
     
     AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS:  If you are in the United States,
     you must have the Thai Embassy or Consulate in the United
     States authenticate or legalize the documents.  If you reside
     in Thailand, the documents must be submitted to the Department
     of Public Welfare directly.  The Thai Embassy or Consulate will
     only be able to authenticate the seal of the United States
     Department of State.  It will therefore be necessary for
     notarized documents and certified copies of civil records and
     all other documents mentioned above to be authenticated first
     by the Office of the Secretary of State of your state, then by
     the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office, Room 2815,
     2201 C Street N.W., Washington, D.C.  20520.  There is a four
     dollar fee for the U.S. Department of State's seal, payable in
     the form of a check drawn on a U.S. bank or money order made
     payable to the Department of State.  Walk-in service is
     available in Room 2817 (D Street entrance) from 8 A.M. TO 12
     noon monday-friday, except holidays.  For more information
     about authentication, contact the Authentications Office at
     (202) 647-5002.
     
     PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:  (a) If you live in Thailand, the
     required documents must be submitted directly to the Thai
     Department of Public Welfare.  If you live in the United
     States, the documents must be submitted by a licensed adoption 
     agency or child welfare organization authorized to assist in
     intercountry adoptions; (b) a licensed adoption agency or child
     welfare organization in the United States must confirm that you
     are suitable person to adopt a child; (c) such an agency or
     organization must complete a formal home study if you live in
     the United States, and forward it to the Thai Department of
     Public Welfare.
     
     TIME REQUIREMENTS:  It is not possible to say exactly how long
     it takes to complete an intercountry adoption of a child in
     Thailand because it depends upon the exact status of the child
     to be adopted, the identity, location, and desires of the
     natural parents, and a variety of interdeterminable
     bureaucratic variables.  The most rapid adoption of which the
     American Embassy is aware took one year.  Occasionally, an
     adoption has required approximately 12-18 months.  
     
     TRAVEL OF ADOPTIVE PARENTS TO THAILAND:  The Department of
     Public Welfare will facilitate the issuance of documents
     necessary for the travel of the child.  Accordingly, the
     prospective adoptive parents should manage to stay in Thailand
     for about two weeks for this purpose.  The prospective adoptive
     parents have to be responsible for the expenses to be incurred
     in connection with the child's travel including passport fee,
     travelling tax and air fares.  In case a pre-adoption placement
     is approved, a definite appointment will be made by the
     Department of Public Welfare for the prospective adoptive
     parents to travel to Thailand in order to meet with and be
     interviewed by the Child Adoption Board; and then to receive
     the child for pre-adoption.  If only either one of the
     prospective adoptive parents can make such a trip, a written
     consent of the absent parent is required.
     
     U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS:  In order to meet the
     requirements for a U.S. visa, children adopted through the
     inter-country adoption process must meet the definition of
     orphan under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as
     amended.  Contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
     Service nearest you early in the process, before a child is
     identified.  Request a copy of the INS publication M-249Y
     (Revised, 1990) "The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective
     Adoptive Children".
     
     AMERICAN EMBASSY ASSISTANCE:
     
     Upon arrival in Thailand to try to arrange an adoption, U.S.
     citizens should register at the American Embassy, Consular
     Section, American Citizens Services.  The Embassy will be able
     to provide information about any outstanding travel advisories
     and to provide other information about Thailand including lists
     of physicians, attorneys, interpreters and translators.  The
     American Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Rd, Bangkok,
     Thailand, tel:  011 (66)(2) 252-504019 4300.  You may also
     write to the Embassy at APO San Francisco 96346.  
     

     QUESTIONS:  Specific questions regarding adoptions in Thailand
     may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or
     Consulate.  You may also contact the Office of Children's
     Issues, U.S. Department of State, Room 4800 N.S.,
     2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20520-4818, telephone
     (202) 647-2688 with specific adoption questions.  Recorded
     information concerning significant changes in adoption
     procedures is available 24 hours a day at: (202) 736-7000, or
     by automated fax (calling from the telephone on your fax
     machine) at (202) 647-3000.  If the country you are interested
     in is not listed, procedures have not significantly changed. 
     Information on immigrant visas is available from the State
     Department's Visa Office, at (202) 663-1225.  This 24 hour
     automated system includes options to speak with consular
     officers during business hours for questions not answered in
     the recorded material.  Application forms and petitions for
     immigrant visas are available from the
     U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the nearest office
     of which is listed in the federal pages of your telephone book,
     under  U.S. Department of Justice.
     
     In addition, the State Department publishes Consular
     Information Sheets and Travel Warnings.  Consular Information
     Sheets are available for every country in the world, providing
     information such as the location of the U.S. Embassy, health
     conditions, political situations, and crime reports.  When
     situations are sufficiently serious that the State Department
     recommends U.S. citizens avoid traveling to a country, a Travel
     Warning is issued.  Both Consular Information Sheets and Travel
     Warnings may be heard 24 hours a day by calling the State
     Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at
     (202) 647-5225 from a touch-tone telephone.  The recording is
     updated as new information becomes available.  In addition,
     this information is accessible through the automated fax
     machine, as above, and is also available at any of the 13
     regional passport agencies, field offices of the U.S.
     Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates
     abroad.  Furthermore, you may write in requesting information,
     sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Overseas Citizens
     Services, Room 4811 N.S., 2201 C St., N.W., U.S. Department of
     State, Washington, D.C.  20520-4818.  Finally, information is
     available through your personal computer.  If you have a
     computer and a modem, you can access the Consular Affairs
     Bulletin Board (CABB).  This service is free of charge, and may
     be reached at: (202) 647-9225.  Consular Information Sheets and
     Travel Warnings may also be accessed by subscribers to many
     on-line services.  For complete information on accessing
     consular information via computer, please request document
     1016, entitled "Consular Information Program," from the
     automated fax system, which is described in the preceding
     paragraph.
     
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