How to carry out an adoption in the Dominican Republic.

  • By:Vianela Morillo
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Adopting in the Dominican Republic is not always a simple process, due to how sensitive the matter is. There are several types of adoptions recognized in our country. These adoption types are practically the same types that can be found internationally. However, the legal requirement and process to be followed might vary.

Law 136-03, which is the code for Children and Adolescents in the Dominican Republic, defines the nature and purpose of adoptions in article 111, stating the following:

A legal institution of public order and social interest that allows creating, through a judgment rendered for that purpose, a voluntary affiliation link between individuals who do not have it by nature“.

 There are several types of adoptions in the Dominican Republic, these are:

  1. National privileged adoption.
  2. National privileged adoption by unknown affiliation.
  3. International privileged adoption.
  4. International privileged adoption by unknown affiliation.

In this article, rather than stating the requirements of each type of Adoption, we would like to establish:

  1. In which cases a certain type of Adoption applies.
  2. In which cases adoptions are admitted.

National privileged adoption

  • This type of adoption that can be processed by any Dominican citizen or foreign national with legal residence in this country.
  • It is done with a child or adolescent who has at least one known biological parent.

National privileged adoption by unknown affiliation.

  • It is characterized by the same feature as the previous type, the only difference is that at least one of the biological parents is unknown.

By applying, you would enter a waiting list.

International privileged adoption

  • This type of adoption is aimed at foreign nationals not residing in the Dominican Republic.
  • An important feature of this type of adoption is that it is done through an International Adoption Agency. The party interested in adopting a child or adolescent who is in the Dominican Republic is required to comply with the requirements of their country of origin.

International privileged adoption by unknown affiliation

  • It is characterized by the same feature as the previous type, the only difference is that at least one of the biological parents is unknown.

Legal Basis of Adoption in the Dominican Republic

Adoption has its legal basis in articles 111 to 169 of the Code for minors, which can be seen here The System of Protection and Fundamental Rights of Children and Adolescents

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is there an age limit to be able to adopt in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, the party interested in adopting in the Dominican Republic must be between 30 and 60 years old.

2. Is it lawful for a friend to adopt my biological child, who has no paternal last name?

No, it is not admissible and not applicable. The purpose of adoption is to create a family nucleus, not obtaining a last name. The formation and creation of a family are what is sought with the adoption of a child or adolescent. Conversely, the situation mentioned before would cause confusion to the minor in question.

3. Up to what age is it permissible to adopt a person in the Dominican Republic?

In some countries, the US is one example, there is no age limit to be adopted. However, here in the Dominican Republic, individuals can be adopted only until becoming eighteen (18) years of age.

4. Can I adopt with my boyfriend or girlfriend if I am married?

No, you cannot. If your legal status is married, you are not eligible to adopt. 2.

In this article, why a de facto separation is different than a divorce in the Dominican Republic, we establish the importance of divorces. Being separated does not take away your marital status as married, and thereby you keep the duties and rights that apply in marriage, according to your marriage regime.

5. Can a single woman or man adopt in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, they can.

6. Can my partner and I adopt if we are in a de facto union, concubinage or common law?

It is possible to do it for national adoptions. However, you will need to show proof that you have been in that consensual union for more than five (5) years.

If you are married, you would need to have at least five (5) years of marriage.

In case you were in a de facto union before getting married, you may add that time by stating it through an affidavit.

In the case of International Adoption, you are required to be married in order to qualify as a couple.

7. Can same-sex couples or an international same-sex marriage adopt in the Dominican Republic?

No, they cannot. It is not allowed by current legislation. In the Dominican Republic, marriages or de facto unions between same-sex individuals are not recognized.

8. If I am a foreign national married to a Dominican citizen, but I do not have legal residence in the Dominican Republic, can we opt for National adoption?

Unfortunately not. You would need to obtain a Dominican residency. Furthermore, if you are married to a Dominican national, you can easily obtain your Dominican residence through marriage in the country.

9. How long does the adoption process take in the Dominican Republic?

That is a good question. This process can take 2 to 4 years, contingent on many variables. Some examples are:

A) How appropriate is the profile of the adopter?

B) The ease of confirming all the documentation provided for the process.

C) But most importantly, the waiting list.

10. What is the entity or institution with jurisdiction to process and grant adoption privileges in the Dominican Republic?

The National Council for Children and Adolescents (known in Spanish as CONANI).

This process might be simple, but extremely sensitive due to the matter in question. It falls under the Family Law umbrella and addresses the most sensitive and delicate matter of any country “Infancy and Children”. Consequently, do not limit yourself to start the process if your interest stems from the bases that feed this process, which are:

A) Provide love. 

B) Receive love.

C) Create a family, which is the foundation and structure needed for a minor in society.

Legality is the basis of any process and this one should be one of the main ones since it grants the last name and changes the lifestyle of an individual. For those reasons, all precautions and meticulousness must be taken into account, given the potential misuse and especially the damage that can be done to a minor, exposing himself to what would be different from the principles and purpose of adoption. This is nothing more than abuse of all kinds, such as child trafficking and others.

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Posted in: Civil Law, Family Law (Boys, Girls and Teenagers in Dom. Rep.)


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