By: Magna Carta Law Office

Thailand inter-country adoption is operated in accordance with the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. Under Thailand’s Child Adoption Act of 1979, all inter-country adoption applications have to be processed through the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW referred to as a “Competent Authority”) or non-governmental child welfare agencies (Authorized Agencies) which are particularly authorized by DSDW and under the direction of the Child Adoption Board of Thailand.

Preliminary qualifications of a prospective foreign adoptive parent

  1. The adoptive parent must be more than 25 years old and must be at least 15 years older than the person to be adopted.

  2. A prospective foreign adoptive parent must have a legitimate spouse in case of applying as a couple or family.

  3. The adoptive parent must be eligible to adopt a child from Thailand under the laws of their home country.

Thai regulations regarding the children to be adopted

  1. The person to be adopted who is more than 15 years old must give his or her consent.

  2. If the person to be adopted is a minor (under the age of 20), consent must be received from:

  3. both parents if they are still alive;

  4. either parent if only one is alive or has custody;

  5. the legal representative or the prosecutor who has made a request to the court to approve the adoption;

  6. the person in charge of the hospital or other institution approved by the local governmental agency;

  7. the person who has taken care of an abandoned child for more than one year.

  8. The adoptive parent and the person to be adopted must receive consent from their spouse except where the spouse is not capable of giving consent or the spouse has left the area and his or her whereabouts are unknown for more than one year.

  9. A minor cannot be an adopted child of someone else, except if the child has been adopted by your spouse.

  10. It is not possible to adopt more than one child at a time, except for twins, siblings, or in cases of adopting the children of the applicant’s Thai spouse.

  11. DSDW advises that it is extremely unlikely that an abandoned child under the age of one year would be available for foreign adoption.


Once registered, the adoption is recognized by the Thai government, and the adoptive parents and the adopted person gain the benefits of adoption.

  1. The adopted child has the right to use the last name and inherit the assets of the adoptive parent. However, the adoptive parent cannot inherit the assets of the adopted person.

  2. From the date of registration, the adoptive parent has the authority to raise the adopted child as his or her own legal child.

  3. From the date of registration, biological parents no longer have rights over the child.