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Q: Immigration from Philippines - child ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: Immigration from Philippines - child
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: neoinoakleys-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 21 Mar 2006 10:46 PST
Expires: 20 Apr 2006 11:46 PDT
Question ID: 710108
I need to know what is the best way for my wife and I to bring my
wife's niece to the US from the Philippines?  I am a US Citizen, my
wife is not.  The child is 2 years old.

Here is a little rundown of the situation...
We recently learned that my wife cannot have children due to medical
reasons.  Her brother and sister-in-law, have oferred to let us raise
one of their children (their daughter).  They have done this for 2
reasons.  The first is obvious, since we can't have children of our
own.  The second, is to give one of their children an opportunity that
the child would never have living with them.  We are not looking to
"adopt" this child in the full legal sense of the word.  We simply
would like to act as a legal guardian for the child and raise her here
in the US as one of our own.

So, the question it possible and if so, how do we go about
sponsoring this child to come to the US?  What can we expect as far as
timing and cost?  Is there anything that needs to be done on the other
side in the the Phillippines? What else would we ned to know?

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 23 Mar 2006 23:38 PST
Greetings Neoinoakleys,
I'm from the Philippines, and though I may not know everything about
this child custody legalese stuff, I believe you might need to
approach DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development, ) with regard to custody of the child. Once you
are recognized as a trusted guardian of the child, then probably you
can apply to bring that child to the US.

Perhaps this page of the US Embassy in Manila about adopting a local
child may help (though you will not adopt the child, I believe the
same principles apply):

It might even turn out that you will have to adopt the child to be
sure, but I'll see if I can find out more.

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 29 Mar 2006 11:31 PST
That is good information, however where do I start?

Is it possible to just "sponsor" the child to come to the US?  I know
that the US allows relatives to be sponsored to come to the US, but
would the child qualify for such a thing?

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 29 Mar 2006 11:32 PST
BTW...the first URL didn't work for me...

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 29 Mar 2006 11:33 PST
Nevermind about the URL link, it just worked...It must have just been
a glitch the first time I tried it...

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 29 Mar 2006 18:59 PST
Hello Neoinoakleys-ga,
Glad to know I helped somewhat. Perhaps sponsoring is possible if you
know other immediate family of the child who would qualify as
guardians, like grandparents or uncles/aunst, and you get their
permission to bring the child to the US. It may involve the creation
of a document to legalize this permission, so you might need the help
of a local lawyer, and perhaps the approval of DSWD, as they are
concerned with children's issues like this. If your wife is the named
guardian of the niece, it might be easier. If I have time, I'll ask
around to get the detailed legal nitty gritty. For now, I hope this
stuff I said is helpful.

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 30 Mar 2006 11:56 PST
That was very helpful.

So, let me make sure I understand this properly.  I should have the
child's parents name my wife as a legal guardian?  When you say local
lawyer, do you mean here in the states or in the Philippines?  Where
and how do we go about filing such a document?

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 30 Mar 2006 18:54 PST
Hi again Neoinoakleys-ga,
Since you mentioned the child's parents as still alive, then there's
no need to name your wife as a guardian. You most likely have to
secure permission directly from the parents to bring the niece to the
US. I thought of having your wife titled as the legal guardian on the
assumption that the parents are no longer there. But since they're
still around, they must be asked for the permission to bring their
child abroad. Also, I assume in legalse terms that also that once in
the US, you and your wife will then act as the guardians, i.e.
"substitute parents," for the child.

Local lawyer, I meant in the Philippines. A Philippine lawyer will
have to notarize any legal document granting the permission to bring
the child to the US. I'm not sure yet, but I assume DSWD will have a
form made for that purpose. I have not checked with them yet on it,
and I'll do more offline research later on.

In short, if DSWD doesn't have a form, I believe you will just have to
make an affidavit or letter, or document like that, signed by the
child's parents, allowing you and your wife to bring the child to the
US. It must be notarized by a Philippine lawyer, as that country is
where the child is coming from. It may have to pass through DSWD to
settle any child welfare issues, but that I'll have to check later.

OK, that for now. I hope to be back with some more definite information later on.

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 03 Apr 2006 13:15 PDT
Thanks,  this is starting to make more sense now.

I will stand by for further clarifications...

Clarification of Question by neoinoakleys-ga on 10 Apr 2006 13:05 PDT
Have there been any further developments?  Hve you had a chance to
confirm any of these theories...Let me know...

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 11 Apr 2006 01:22 PDT
Haven't been able to ask my lawyer friends yet. Hope I could catch
them before the question expires. I'll get back to you as soon as I

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 11 Apr 2006 20:07 PDT
Hello Neoinoakleys,
I was able to speak to one of my lawyer friends. He said that, if you
are going to bring up the niece yourselves in the US, there is no
other option but to adopt the child. A simple affidavit allowing you
to take the child is not enough. Your Filipina spouse and niece will
have to go to the Philippine courts to undergo the adoption process.
This may involve the actual parents' giving up their legal rights to
the child, as that is my assumption of how adoption laws in the
Philippines work. In addition, my lawyer friend advises you to not
bring the child to the US before adoption as this could be charged
under the Anti-Child Trafficking Law. I'm afraid that though you
wanted an easer way, it may not be possible, and it may take some time
before you could bring your wife's niece to the US. Bringing the child
to the US without legal parents with her is prohibited under the
above-mentioned law:

Here is the Philippine government page about child adoption; 
and from the US Dep't of State: 

and DSWD's page on adoption:  

Information on the Philippines Anti-Child Trafficking Law:  

I hope this information has been helpful so far. Anything else, just
ask away. And I'm sorry about the likelihood that there may not be any
easier way.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Immigration from Philippines - child
From: politicalguru-ga on 20 Apr 2006 04:06 PDT
Dear neoinoakleys, 

Just for your information, until you tell Techtor that it is alright
to post the finding as an answer, he wouldn't get paid for all of the
effort he has done for you.

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