Mahmud Kusuma, S.H., M.H.
(Certified Attorneys at Law)
Previously, the Hukumindo.com platform has talk about "What Language Must Be Used In The Agreement In Indonesia?" and on this occasion we will discuss about "How To Legally Adopt a Child in Indonesia?"
Another way to become a parent is by adopting a child. Adoption is not a new thing in Indonesia because parents have been able to do it for a long time. However, not many prospective parents know the procedures and requirements for legal adoption of children according to state regulations. The following is the explanation.
Child Adoption Requirements
The rules and procedures for child adoption are contained in the Indonesian Government Regulation Number: 54 of 2007 concerning The Implementation of Child Adoption. The requirements for child adoption are divided into two, for prospective parents and adopted children. The criteria for children who are allowed to be adoptive parents are:
- Not reached 18 years old;
- The main priority is the age of the child has not reached 6 years;
- For children aged 6-12 years, you can adopt as long as there is an urgent reason;
- For children aged 12-18 years only for children who need special protection;
- The child is an abandoned child or his biological parents abandon him/her;
- The child is in the care of a family or care institution; and
- The condition of the child requires special protection (eg.: victims of violence).
Meanwhile, the requirements for prospective parents who will adopt a child are:
- Physically and mentally healthy;
- The minimum age is 30 years and the highest is 55 years;
- Having the same religion as the prospective adopted child;
- Be of good character and never receive punishment for a crime;
- Married with a minimum of 5 years of marriage;
- Not same-sex couples;
- Economic and social conditions in a state of being able;
- Obtain the consent of the child, parent or guardian;
- Make a written statement that the adoption of a child is in the interests, welfare and protection of the child;
- There are social reports and local social workers;
- Have taken care of prospective adopted children for at least 6 months since the issuance of the parenting permit;
- Obtain permission from the minister or social service office.
Quoting from the official website of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), it is recommended that prospective adopted children and foster parents carry out a health screening test. This test aims to see the clinical condition and from each party, both parents and children. General health screening procedures include:
- Physical examination (birthmarks, scars, or other physical defects);
- Developmental screening;
- Chest x-ray;
- Complete blood count (red blood cells, antibodies to hepatitis A, B, C, syphilis, and HIV).
Meanwhile, if you are going to adopt a newborn, you should do some newborn screening. Some of the screenings such as thyroid hormone levels and hemoglobin. Don't forget to know the immunization status of the baby that your child has received.
Child Adoption Procedures and Methods
The first thing that prospective parents must do is submit a letter of application to the district court where the prospective adopted child lives. The application letter must attach all the requirements that have been described previously.
The second procedure, the social service officer will make a home visit and check on the economic and social conditions of the family. Checks include:
- Economic conditions;
- Acceptance from prospective adoptive siblings (if you already have children), social interactions, mental conditions, and others;
- Financial checks need to be carried out by social workers to find out permanent work and family income.
For foreigners, there must be approval to adopt an Indonesian baby from the competent authority of the country of origin.
The third stage of the adoption of a child is when the social service agency assesses that the prospective parents are worthy, the child and the parents live together. This is a process for prospective parents and children to know and interact with each other for 6 months. The social service office will issue a Temporary Care Permit and carry out supervision and guidance during the care period.
The fourth procedure for the adoption is the couple will undergo a trial in district court by presenting at least two witnesses. This process is to assess parenting patterns and interactions during the 6 month trial period between children and prospective parents.
The fifth stage is the determination of the application's decision, whether the court approves it or not. If the court agrees, a decree with legal force will be issued. If the court rejects the application, the child will return to the Child Care Institution office. If the court has determined the result and the adoption process has been completed, proceed to the next procedure.
The sixth procedure for the adoption is the adoptive parents need to report and submit a copy of the court order to the Ministry of Social Affairs. In addition to the Ministry of Social Affairs, foster parents also need to provide a copy to the Regency or City Population and Civil Registration Office. For prospective adopted children who come from orphanages, the foundation must have a written permission from the Minister of Social Affairs. The contents of the permit stated that the foundation had received approval in the field of child adoption activities. The process of determining the status of a foster child in court takes approximately three to four months. The stipulation from district court coincides with a substitute birth certificate which states the child's status as an adopted child of the adopting parent issued by Regency or City Population and Civil Registration Office. Neither party can cancel the adoption status. The entire process of formally adopting a child from start to finish takes approximately two years. 
The process of adopting a child in Indonesia is not an easy matter, there are two decisive stages in it, the first is the process at the relevant Social Service and the second is the process of applying for adoption at the relevant District Court. Both require a lot of time and energy. And if you have any issue with this topic, contact us, feel free in 24 hours, we will be glad to help you.
*) For further information please contact:
Mahmud Kusuma Advocate
Tokopedia Care Tower, 17th Floor, Unit 2&5,
Outer West Ring Road, 101, Rawa Buaya,
Cengkareng Subdistrict, West Jakarta,
Jakarta - Indonesia.
1. "Cara dan Syarat Adopsi Anak di Indonesia Sesuai Aturan yang Berlaku", hellosehat.com., diakses pada tanggal 26 November 2021, https://hellosehat.com/sehat/informasi-kesehatan/langkah-langkah-prosedur-adopsi-anak-di-indonesia/