The Child Adoption Center of the Department of Public Welfare is the sole governmental social welfare agency responsible for processing adoption of Thai children. However, there are certain Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are licensed to deal with DPW’s Child Adoption Center in cases where a child is to be placed abroad.
Many prospective adoptive parents from overseas look for child adoption options in Thailand. The country has been known for foreign child adoption in recent years. However, the child adoption process in Thailand is fairly involved and is not a simple procedure. It may take up to two full years to process the Thai child adoption case. From this timeframe alone, you will have an indication of the meticulous process the adopting couples have to go through.
Under Thailand’s law, a foreign couple must satisfy four major requirements in order to process a child adoption claim
Additional supplementary evidences include substantiating documents such as proof of citizenship, marriage, legal status, etc. which must accompany all the required forms that must be submitted to the Thai Embassy and to the United States Department of State. This applies to a regular husband and wife couple who wants to adopt a Thai child. You can have a look at this article about adoption in Thailand as added reference.
But how about same-sex couples who want to adopt a Thai child? Whether the same-gender couples are from Thailand or overseas, allowing same-sex couples to adopt has been a controversial topic that has made many lawmakers question what the constitutional rights or parents and children really are.
Recently, a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s law that prohibits same-sex couples from adopting was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. It was reported that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of six same-sex couples and their children where the child was legally recognized with one parent and wanted to establish the same with the second. However, under state court ruling, the existing legal parent would have to give up their parental rights for an adoption to occur.
In Thailand, even with the growing LGBT community, same-sex marriage is still considered illegal. But that did not stop the LGBT community to recognize third sex couples – meaning same-sex couples living as married couples. According to Buriram Expats, there had been clamor in the past from rights activists to legalize same-sex marriage in Thailand petitioning Democrat and Pheu Thai parties for a new law. To date, no law has been passed yet to change the existing law banning same-sex marriages.
Generally, the Thai legal regime does not afford the same rights of adopting a child to gay couples as do many western nations. Although Thailand is known as an accepting culture for gay people, same-sex couples are still unable to legally register as a married couple. The Thailand adoption process is currently supervised by social workers who work according to a certain list of criteria, none of which qualify same-sex couples.