DOMESTIC ADOPTION (RA 8552)
WHO MAY ADOPT?
Any Filipino citizen:
- Of legal age
- In possession of full civil capacity and legal rights
- Of good moral character
- Has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude
- Emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children
- At least 16 years older than the adoptee (waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee’s parent)
- Who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of family.
- Possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals
- His/her country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines
- He/she has been living in the Philippines for at least 3 years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered. This requirement is waived for the following:
- A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity; or
- One who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or
- One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or
- The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities
- He/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter
Husband and Wife shall jointly adopt, EXCEPT in the following cases:
- If one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or
- If one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter; provided, however that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or
- If the spouses are legally separated from each other.
WHO MAY BE ADOPTED?
- Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;
- The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;
- An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;
- A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;
- A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or
- A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).
STEPS IN DOMESTIC ADOPTION UNDER RA 8552
- Adoptive Parents are required to attend a pre-adoption counseling, seminar or fora at the DSWD.
- Adoptive Parents files an application for adoption at the DSWD.
- Declaration of the child as Abandoned (Optional). In some cases, even before a child is matched for adoption, once efforts to locate his/her biological parents fail, the child is registered as foundling by the concerned government agency. Thereafter, the child will be a subject to legal proceedings to declare him/her abandoned and ready for adoption.
- Homestudy shall be conducted by DSWD or child-placing agency. If the adoptive parents residing abroad, the Homestudy shall only be conducted by an agency duly accredited by the Inter-country adoption board.
- Matching of the child to the adoptive parents based on the Home Study is conducted by the DSWD.
- DSWD issues a pre-adoption placement authority. This means that the child is ready for supervised trial custody.
- Supervised Trial Custody shall be conducted. The child will be placed under the custody of the adoptive parents for a period of six(6) months.
- If the assessment on the trial custody yields positive results, DSWD issues its written consent to adoption after the supervised trial custody.
- Adoptive parents shall then file a Petition for Adoption at the Regional Trial Court within 30 days after the receipt of the consent to Adopt.
- Court proceedings for adoption will follow.
- Upon approval of the adoption, the court shall issue an adoption decree.
- Once the judgment/adoption decree is issued and becomes final, the birth certificate of the adoptee will be processed from the Local Civil Registrar until the NSO.