Private Adoption in the Philippines
Hello everyone! My family and I are in such a predicament. My uncle (a Filipino and a US citizen) is married to a Filipina who still lives in the Philippines. They are having difficulty conceiving and have thought of adopting when a friend of theirs who works at a lying in clinic somewhere in Manila told them that a baby was left at the clinic and if they would like to adopt him so his wife went to the clinic immediately. The baby (who is 2 years old now) had been with them since then. Unfortunately, my aunt did not file for adoption when the baby was given to her. Now, my uncle has filed a petition for both of them but we are lacking adoption papers. The immigration lawyer told them that his wife must adopt the child first before we can proceed with the petition. We might have to cancel the petition altogether while waiting for the adoption to fully materialize. Since my uncle lives and works here in the States, how can he fulfill the physical custody requirement? This baby has become our pride and joy since he came into our family two years ago. Is it possible for my aunt to adopt him by herself then my uncle petitions them as wife and immediate relative? Our immigration lawyer said that this is possible but I see so many holes in this issue. I would appreciate your comments and insights regarding this matter. I thank you all in advance. Have a good day.
The residency requirements relate only to families living in the Philippines at the time of their adoption.

However, do be aware that both the U.S. and the Philippines have ratified the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption. ALL adoptions must comply not only with Philippine law, but with Hague requirements and U.S. immigration requirements. It sounds as if your attorney is not familiar with these requirements.

My advice to you is to find an immigration attorney who understands the Hague process.

The Hague process is for American citizens adopting in other countries. A Filipino citizen residing or has a residence in the Philippines, adopting a Filipino close relative (grandson, nephew) is completely an internal process. You need to prove you have been caring for the child for 2 years or more to the INS. They will investigate who is actually caring for the child neighbors, etc. Consulting a good lawyer is a good idea to revent issues.
It will take an average of 18 months to bring the child home from the time the adoption application is submitted.
Legal Guardianship
To anyone considering starting the adoption process, it helps to have the Filipino lawyer get a court ordered legal guardianship as soon as possible to help satisfy the 2 year requirement for the State department rules. The good news is that the time from filing the adoption petition in the Philippine courts starts the timing for the 2 years. We filed in Aug 2009 and the adoption was granted Nov 12, 2010 by the court. I then had to get all the right papwer work (another 2 month process after the finalization) to file the I-130 to the INS. The children were approved for an IR-2 visa and it is now being processed thu the visa center and US Embassy.
In the case of orphan or abandoned child, this simplifies the process in all cases. The lawyer fee for handing an adoption is about P120,000 ($2500) whether it is one child or two as in our case. We got a $13,000 adoption credit from the IRS, which covered all our expenses and then some. We also had the fortune of having a very helpful DFWD (family services) worker assigned to our case. Good luck.
If the child is an abandoned child or and orphan, have a Filipino lawyer get your aunt assigned as the legal guardian, then start the adoption procedure over there. As an abandoned child or orphan, the Filipino court will quickly ( a few months) grant an adoption. Once the adoption is completed and they have the finalization and issued birth certificates, it would be the same as if your aunt was the natural mother.
If your uncle is a U.S. citizen and hopes to bring the child to the U.S. and obtain automatic citizenship for him, he will have to make sure that the adoption satisfies the Hague requirements.

Timing and planning is key. My wife was a Philippine citizen when we Hague requirements for Filipino adoptions (in country adoption thru Philippine courts). My wife got her citizenship after the adoption and then we petitioned them as our issues.
If the person is a US citizen only, then Hague kicks in. My questions is, "if the uncle holds dual citizenship, can he do the intracountry adoption?" Sounds like a question for an attorney to answer.
Good news. My wife just called from Manila at the US Embassy. Our 2 adopted grandchildren have been approved for thier visas and should have them in hand in about 1 week. Hopefully they will be here in a couple of weeks. I will meet them in LA, take them on a tour of California, let them play in some snow at Bear Mountain, and see Las Vegas before they come to Florida to live. Will try to post photos later!!
Our babies arrived!!
Destiny Stroud, age 13 and Mark Stroud, age 9 arrived Feb 10, 2012 at LAX. As IR-2, they became American citizen as soon as they set foot on American soil. Adoption petition submitted to Philippine court system by Philippine lawyer Aug 9, 2009. We attended the formal hearings in Tarlac June 13 and 18, 2010. Finality signed Aug 10, 2010. Afer receiving all the final, certified documents March 1, 2011, I-130s submitted to the INS April 10, 2011. INS approval received May 15 2011. Embassy interview on Jan 10, 2012. Visas recieved Jan 18, 2012. Left Manila Feb 10., 2012.
Congratulations on your two beautiful U.S. citizen children.

Congratulations on your:happydance:
Sir, i have adopted my nephew in the Philippines. When the petition was filed i was still LPR then last May 3, 2013 i got my citizenship thru the army. The decree of finality was granted October 31, 2013. My nephew is here now on B2 visa and would like to petition him on the basis of he is a special child and i am in the army reserves. the last lawyer i talked to said i fall in the Hague convention. Do you think this is the case? or i can still do immediate relative petition? Would appreciate your reply.
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