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Adopting Children in Indonesia

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Government of Indonesia Requirements for Adoption

Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in Indonesia must fulfill a variety of requirements set out by the Government of Indonesia. The Department of Social Affairs has appointed a few agencies through which all foreign adoptions must be channeled. In Jakarta the designated agency is Yayasan Sayap Ibu. They are the only agency that is alowed to deal with foreigners adopting in Indonesia. Below are listed the steps which foreign nationals must follow in order to adopt in Indonesia.

1. Contact the orphanage (in Jakarta: Sayap Ibu Foundation) and tell them you are interested in adopting an Indonesian child. You will be asked to meet with a social worker for an interview regarding your motivation and suitability. The basic requirements that adoptive parents must meet are as follows:

  • Prospective adopting families must be between the ages of 25 and 45. (husband 45 years, wife 40 years).
  • The couple must have been married for at least 5 years.
  • The couple must have been residents of Indonesia for a minimum of 2 years and have a permit issued by the local regent and from their embassy in Jakarta.
  • Couples can be either childless, have their own natural children, or have previously adopted an Indonesian child.
  • If a child from another country has been adopted previously, the foundation will not agree to an Indonesian child being placed with the family.
  • The couple should believe in God. Both parents must be able to appear in Court.

2. If the Sayap Ibu Foundation determines that you are suitable, you will have to submit the following paperwork, which will then be forwarded to the Department of Social Affairs.

  • Marriage Certificate which has been authenticated by the Indonesian Embassy in the country of issuance.
  • Birth Certificate of both parents which has been authenticated as above.
  • B irth certificate of previous children, authenticated as above.
  • Letters from close relatives of both prospective adoptive parents stating that they approve of the prospective parents’ desire to adopt an Indonesian child.
  • Health statement for husband and wife by a medical practitioner at an Indonesian government hospital.
  • Statement from an Indonesian government hospital gynaecologist regarding involuntary childlessness
  • Income statement
  • Good condust certificates from the Indonesian police for both husband and wife
  • Family photos and photos of the home and surroundings
  • Three photos each of husband and wife
  • Statement from the adoptive parents that they will contact the Indonesian Embassy at future areas of residence (with meterai/official stamp)
  • Statement of motivation for adopting an Indonesian child (with meterai).
  • Statement of domicile from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta an dfrom the local regent (RT/RW/Lurah/Camat).
  • Work Permit
  • Photocopies of husband's and wife's passports and KIMS.
  • A letter from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta stating that the child will be allowed to enter the United States after the adoption is granted, and that under U.S. adoption legislation an adopted child becomes a child of the adoptors as if he/she had been born to them in marriage

Note: All documents in English must be translated into Bahasa Indonesia (the national language) by a sworn translator in Indonesia (Sayap Ibu Foundation will assist).

  1. When all the above listed paperwork is in, the Department of Social Affairs can authorize the Sayap Ibu Foundation to release the child to you, provided that you have been residing in Indonesia a minimum of two and a half years. At this point you are considered to be the child's foster parents. The fostering period must last a minimum of 6 months before the adoption can be finalized in court. An Indonesian social worker will come to your home at least once to interview you.
  2. After you have completed the requisite 6 months of foster parenting, fulfilled the three year residency requirement, and have delivered all the necessary paperwork, a Court date will be set. The Court hearing will officially establish that you are the child's adoptive parents.
  3. Approximately 2 weeks after the Court hearing approving your adoption, you will receive the official court adoption document.
  4. With that document in hand, you can now apply for your child's Indonesian passport. The child will not be able to depart Indonesia, or be issued a U.S. visa, until he/she has a passport. With that document Indonesian passport be issued a US visa

Requirements for an Indonesian Passport include::

  • The child's birth certificate.
  • Copies of both parents' passports and residence/work permits.
  • Copy of the court adoption decree.
  • Letter of domicile from parents' lawyer stating that it is for the child's passport
  • Affidavit from your country's Embassy that the child will not become a foreign citizen automatically upon adoption.
  • Rp 50,000 processing fee.

Source: US Embassy

adopting a child from Indonesia

Sayap Ibu Foundation

Yayasan Sayap Ibu is the agency approved by the Department of Social Affairs on Social Welfare to make arrangements and give assistance for adoption by foreigners.

In Jakarta: Jl. Barito II No. 55, Jakarta Selatan 12130 Tel. (62-21) 722-1763, 726-6317. Ask to speak to Refliana to make an appointment with Bu Viviani. She is the first person they would need to speak too. She'll inform you of what is required. Bu Viviani is only available on Monday, Wednesday or Thurdays. [email protected]

Ibu Linda deals with most of the adoption process. She can be contacted on the above number but is often out of the office dealing with adoptions all over Indonesia. Her hp number is 0813-99546478. She is very helpful.

In Yogyakarta: Jl. Rajawali III, Pringwulung, Sleman, Yogyakarta Tel. (62-274) 514-068

adopting an indonesian child

Adoption Law

Adoption (pengangkatan anak) is governed by Law No. 23 of 2002 dated 22nd of Oct. 2002 concerning Child Protection; Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 44/HUK/1997 dated 31st of July 1997 concerning Fostering of Children Welfare through Adoption; Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 2/HUK/1995 dated 25th of Jan. 1995 concerning Completion of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993 concerning Implementation of Adoption; Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 2 of 1979 dated 7th of Apr. 1979 concerning Adoption; and Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 6 of 1983 dated 30th of Sept. 1983 concerning Completion of Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 2 of 1979 concerning Adoption.

Adoptions may only be implemented if in best interests of adoptive child. (Art. 39(1) of Law No. 23 of 2002 dated 22nd of Oct. 2002 concerning Child Protection). Adoptive parents must have same religion with adoptive child. (Id. at Art. 39(3)). Adoption by foreign citizens may only be conducted as last resort. (Id. at Art. 39(4)). Government and society provide guidance and supervision relating to adoption. (Id. at Art. 41(1)).

Three categories of adoptions are recognized in Indonesia: (i) adoptions of Indonesian citizens by Indonesian citizens (Point 1(1) of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 2/HUK/1995 dated 25th of Jan. 1995 amending Section II(3)(a) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993 concerning Implementation of Adoption); (ii) adoptions of Indonesian citizens by non-Indonesian citizens (id. amending Section II.3(b)); and (iii) adoptions of foreign citizens by Indonesian citizens (id. amending Section II.3(c)). Adoptions must be approved by Minister of Social Affairs and registered with Department of Social Affairs. (Section IV(1) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993).

Adoptive parents must: (i) have been married for at least five years unless doctor’s letter certifying impossibility of having children is submitted with adoption application (Point 1(2) of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 2/HUK/1995 amending Section V(A)(1)(a) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993); (ii) be between ages of 30 and 45 years (Section V(A)(1)(b) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993); (iii) have no more than one child (id. at Section V(A)(1)(c)); (iv) be of sound financial, physical and spiritual condition (id. at Section V(A)(1)(d) and (f)); (v) have good behaviour based on statement issued by Indonesian Police (id. at Section V(A)(1)(e)); (vi) provide written statement stating adoption is conducted for child's welfare (id. at Section V(A)(1)(g)); (vii) provide social report (laporan sosial) (id. at Section V(A)(1)(h)); (viii) have taken care of adoptive child for at least six months based on permit from Area Office Head of Department of Social Affairs (id. at Section VI(1)); and additionally, foreign adoptive parent applicants must: (a) obtain written agreement from state government of which they hold citizenship (id. at Section V(A)(2)(b)); and (b) have been working and living legally in Indonesia for at least two consecutive years supported by statement issued by authorized official (Point 1(3) of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 2/HUK/1995 amending Section V(A)(2)(c) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993); (c) provide periodical report on child’s development through Indonesian embassy in adoptive parent’s respective country (Section V(A)(2)(d) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993).

Foreign citizen children adopted by Indonesian adoptive parents and Indonesian citizen children adopted by foreign citizen parents may not be older than five years. (Point 1(4) of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 2/HUK/1995 amending Section V(A)(3)(b) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993). Foreign citizens may not adopt children who are already under parental care. (Section XI(1) of Attachment of Decree of Minister of Social Affairs No. 13/HUK/1993).

Examination of motives of adoptive parents and parents giving up child, including their sincerity, seriousness and awareness of consequences of adoption is substantial element of adoption process. (Point IV(3)(A)(3) (3.1) and (3.2) of Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 6 of 1983 dated 30th of Sept. 1983 concerning Completion of Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 2 of 1979 concerning Adoption).

Excerpted with permission from Sriro's Desk Reference of Indonesian Law.

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