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Page 1 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

Republic Act No. 8552 February 25, 1998 (iv) Conduct public information and educational
campaigns to promote a positive environment for
adoption;
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES AND POLICIES ON THE
DOMESTIC ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN AND FOR
OTHER PURPOSES (v) Ensure that sufficient capacity exists within
government and private sector agencies to handle
adoption inquiries, process domestic adoption
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of applications, and offer adoption-related services
the Philippines in Congress assembled:: including, but not limited to, parent preparation and
post-adoption education and counseling; and
ARTICLE I
GENERAL PROVISIONS (vi) Encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the
child's identity and culture in his/her native land, and
Section 1. Short Title. This Act shall be known as the only when this is not available shall intercountry
"Domestic Adoption Act of 1998." adoption be considered as a last resort.

Section 2. Declaration of Policies. (a) It is hereby declared Section 3. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Act, the
the policy of the State to ensure that every child remains under following terms shall be defined as:
the care and custody of his/her parent(s) and be provided with
love, care, understanding and security towards the full and (a) "Child" is a person below eighteen (18) years of age.
harmonious development of his/her personality. Only when such
efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or
(b) "A child legally available for adoption" refers to a
adoption within the child's extended family is available shall
child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily
adoption by an unrelated person be considered.
committed to the Department or to a duly licensed and
accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, freed of
(b) In all matters relating to the care, custody and adoption of a the parental authority of his/her biological parent(s) or
child, his/her interest shall be the paramount consideration in guardian or adopter(s) in case of rescission of adoption.
accordance with the tenets set forth in the United Nations (UN)
Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Declaration on Social
(c) "Voluntarily committed child" is one whose parent(s)
and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of
knowingly and willingly relinquishes parental authority to
Children with Special Reference to Foster Placement and
the Department.
Adoption, Nationally and Internationally; and the Hague
Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in
Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Toward this end, the State (d) "Involuntarily committed child" is one whose
shall provide alternative protection and assistance through foster parent(s), known or unknown, has been permanently
care or adoption for every child who is neglected, orphaned, or and judicially deprived of parental authority due to
abandoned. abandonment; substantial, continuous, or repeated
neglect; abuse; or incompetence to discharge parental
responsibilities.
(c) It shall also be a State policy to:

(e) "Abandoned child" refers to one who has no proper


(i) Safeguard the biological parent(s) from making
parental care or guardianship or whose parent(s) has
hurried decisions to relinquish his/her parental authority
deserted him/her for a period of at least six (6)
over his/her child;
continuous months and has been judicially declared as
such.
(ii) Prevent the child from unnecessary separation from
his/her biological parent(s);
(f) "Supervised trial custody" is a period of time within
which a social worker oversees the adjustment and
(iii) Protect adoptive parent(s) from attempts to disturb emotional readiness of both adopter(s) and adoptee in
his/her parental authority and custody over his/her stabilizing their filial relationship.
adopted child.
(g) "Department" refers to the Department of Social
Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental Welfare and Development.
authority shall be administratively or judicially declared
so as to establish the status of the child as "legally
(h) "Child-placing agency" is a duly licensed and
available for adoption" and his/her custody transferred
accredited agency by the Department to provide
to the Department of Social Welfare and Development
comprehensive child welfare services including, but not
or to any duly licensed and accredited child-placing or
limited to, receiving applications for adoption,
child-caring agency, which entity shall be authorized to
evaluating the prospective adoptive parents, and
take steps for the permanent placement of the child;
preparing the adoption home study.
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(i) "Child-caring agency" is a duly licensed and (a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full
accredited agency by the Department that provides civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character,
twenty four (24)-hour residential care services for has not been convicted of any crime involving moral
abandoned, orphaned, neglected, or voluntarily turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of
committed children. caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than
the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and
(j) "Simulation of birth" is the tampering of the civil care for his/her children in keeping with the means of
registry making it appear in the birth records that a the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year
certain child was born to a person who is not his/her difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee
biological mother, causing such child to lose his/her true may be waived when the adopter is the biological
identity and status. parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee's
parent;
ARTICLE II
PRE-ADOPTION SERVICES (b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as
above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That
his/her country has diplomatic relations with the
Section 4. Counseling Service. The Department shall provide
Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living
the services of licensed social workers to the following:
in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years
prior to the filing of the application for adoption and
(a) Biological Parent(s) Counseling shall be provided maintains such residence until the adoption decree is
to the parent(s) before and after the birth of his/her entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her
child. No binding commitment to an adoption plan shall diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate
be permitted before the birth of his/her child. A period of government agency that he/she has the legal capacity
six (6) months shall be allowed for the biological to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government
parent(s) to reconsider any decision to relinquish allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her
his/her child for adoption before the decision becomes adopted son/daughter: Provided, Further, That the
irrevocable. Counseling and rehabilitation services shall requirements on residency and certification of the
also be offered to the biological parent(s) after he/she alien's qualification to adopt in his/her country may be
has relinquished his/her child for adoption. waived for the following:

Steps shall be taken by the Department to ensure that (i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt
no hurried decisions are made and all alternatives for a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
the child's future and the implications of each consanguinity or affinity; or
alternative have been provided.
(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate
(b) Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) Counseling son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or
sessions, adoption fora and seminars, among others,
shall be provided to prospective adoptive parent(s) to
(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and
resolve possible adoption issues and to prepare
seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a
him/her for effective parenting.
relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse;
(c) Prospective Adoptee Counseling sessions shall be or
provided to ensure that he/she understands the nature
and effects of adoption and is able to express his/her
(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the
views on adoption in accordance with his/her age and
termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her
level of maturity.
financial accountabilities.

Section 5. Location of Unknown Parent(s). It shall be the


Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following
duty of the Department or the child-placing or child-caring
cases:
agency which has custody of the child to exert all efforts to locate
his/her unknown biological parent(s). If such efforts fail, the child
shall be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the (i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate
subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared son/daughter of the other; or
abandoned.
(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate
Section 6. Support Services. The Department shall develop a son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse
pre-adoption program which shall include, among others, the has signified his/her consent thereto; or
above mentioned services.
(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each
ARTICLE III other.
ELIGIBILITY
In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts
Section 7. Who May Adopt. The following may adopt: the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority
shall be exercised by the spouses.
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Section 8. Who May Be Adopted. The following may be child-placing or child-caring agency has made a case study of
adopted: the adoptee, his/her biological parent(s), as well as the
adopter(s), and has submitted the report and recommendations
(a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who on the matter to the court hearing such petition.
has been administratively or judicially declared
available for adoption; At the time of preparation of the adoptee's case study, the
concerned social worker shall confirm with the Civil Registry the
(b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the real identity and registered name of the adoptee. If the birth of
other spouse; the adoptee was not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be
the responsibility of the concerned social worker to ensure that
the adoptee is registered.
(c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to
improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;
The case study on the adoptee shall establish that he/she is
legally available for adoption and that the documents to support
(d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said
this fact are valid and authentic. Further, the case study of the
person has been consistently considered and treated
adopter(s) shall ascertain his/her genuine intentions and that the
by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;
adoption is in the best interest of the child.

(e) A child whose adoption has been previously


The Department shall intervene on behalf of the adoptee if it
rescinded; or
finds, after the conduct of the case studies, that the petition
should be denied. The case studies and other relevant
(f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has documents and records pertaining to the adoptee and the
died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated adoption shall be preserved by the Department.
within six (6) months from the time of death of said
parent(s).
Section 12. Supervised Trial Custody. No petition for
adoption shall be finally granted until the adopter(s) has been
Section 9. Whose Consent is Necessary to the Adoption. given by the court a supervised trial custody period for at least
After being properly counseled and informed of his/her right to six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust
give or withhold his/her approval of the adoption, the written psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a
consent of the following to the adoption is hereby required: bonding relationship. During said period, temporary parental
authority shall be vested in the adopter(s).
(a) The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;
The court may motu proprio or upon motion of any party reduce
(b) The biological parent(s) of the child, if known, or the the trial period if it finds the same to be in the best interest of the
legal guardian, or the proper government adoptee, stating the reasons for the reduction of the period.
instrumentality which has legal custody of the child; However, for alien adopter(s), he/she must complete the six (6)-
month trial custody except for those enumerated in Sec. 7 (b) (i)
(c) The legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, ten (10) (ii) (iii).
years of age or over, of the adopter(s) and adoptee, if
any; If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the
prospective adopter(s) through a pre-adoption placement
(d) The illegitimate sons/daughters, ten (10) years of authority issued by the Department, the prospective adopter(s)
age or over, of the adopter if living with said adopter shall enjoy all the benefits to which biological parent(s) is entitled
and the latter's spouse, if any; and from the date the adoptee is placed with the prospective
adopter(s).
(e) The spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be
adopted. Section 13. Decree of Adoption. If, after the publication of the
order of hearing has been complied with, and no opposition has
been interposed to the petition, and after consideration of the
ARTICLE IV case studies, the qualifications of the adopter(s), trial custody
PROCEDURE report and the evidence submitted, the court is convinced that
the petitioners are qualified to adopt, and that the adoption would
Section 10. Hurried Decisions. In all proceedings for redound to the best interest of the adoptee, a decree of adoption
adoption, the court shall require proof that the biological shall be entered which shall be effective as of the date the
parent(s) has been properly counseled to prevent him/her from original petition was filed. This provision shall also apply in case
making hurried decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the petitioner(s) dies before the issuance of the decree of
the child, and to sustain that all measures to strengthen the adoption to protect the interest of the adoptee. The decree shall
family have been exhausted and that any prolonged stay of the state the name by which the child is to be known.
child in his/her own home will be inimical to his/her welfare and
interest. Section 14. Civil Registry Record. An amended certificate of
birth shall be issued by the Civil Registry, as required by
Section 11. Case Study. No petition for adoption shall be set the Rules of Court, attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the
for hearing unless a licensed social worker of the Department, child of the adopter(s) by being registered with his/her surname.
the social service office of the local government unit, or any The original certificate of birth shall be stamped "cancelled" with
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the annotation of the issuance of an amended birth certificate in if the adoptee is still a minor or incapacitated. The reciprocal
its place and shall be sealed in the civil registry records. The new rights and obligations of the adopter(s) and the adoptee to each
birth certificate to be issued to the adoptee shall not bear any other shall be extinguished.
notation that it is an amended issue.
The court shall order the Civil Registrar to cancel the amended
Section 15. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and certificate of birth of the adoptee and restore his/her original birth
Records. All hearings in adoption cases shall be confidential certificate.
and shall not be open to the public. All records, books, and
papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Succession rights shall revert to its status prior to adoption, but
Department, or any other agency or institution participating in the only as of the date of judgment of judicial rescission. Vested
adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential. rights acquired prior to judicial rescission shall be respected.

If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third All the foregoing effects of rescission of adoption shall be without
person is necessary for purposes connected with or arising out prejudice to the penalties imposable under the Penal Code if the
of the adoption and will be for the best interest of the adoptee, criminal acts are properly proven.
the court may merit the necessary information to be released,
restricting the purposes for which it may be used.
ARTICLE VII
VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

Section 21. Violations and Penalties. (a) The penalty of


ARTICLE V imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to
EFFECTS OF ADOPTION twelve (12) years and/or a fine not less than Fifty thousand
pesos (P50,000.00), but not more than Two hundred thousand
Section 16. Parental Authority. Except in cases where the pesos (P200,000.00) at the discretion of the court shall be
biological parent is the spouse of the adopter, all legal ties imposed on any person who shall commit any of the following
between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee shall be acts:
severed and the same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).
(i) obtaining consent for an adoption through coercion,
Section 17. Legitimacy. The adoptee shall be considered the undue influence, fraud, improper material inducement,
legitimate son/daughter of the adopter(s) for all intents and or other similar acts;
purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations
provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them (ii) non-compliance with the procedures and safeguards
without discrimination of any kind. To this end, the adoptee is provided by the law for adoption; or
entitled to love, guidance, and support in keeping with the means
of the family.
(iii) subjecting or exposing the child to be adopted to
danger, abuse, or exploitation.
Section 18. Succession. In legal and intestate succession,
the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of
(b) Any person who shall cause the fictitious registration of the
succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. However,
birth of a child under the name(s) of a person(s) who is not
if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will, the
his/her biological parent(s) shall be guilty of simulation of birth,
law on testamentary succession shall govern.
and shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium period and
a fine not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00).
ARTICLE VI
RESCISSION OF ADOPTION
Any physician or nurse or hospital personnel who, in violation of
his/her oath of office, shall cooperate in the execution of the
Section 19. Grounds for Rescission of Adoption. Upon abovementioned crime shall suffer the penalties herein
petition of the adoptee, with the assistance of the Department if prescribed and also the penalty of permanent disqualification.
a minor or if over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapacitated,
as guardian/counsel, the adoption may be rescinded on any of
Any person who shall violate established regulations relating to
the following grounds committed by the adopter(s): (a) repeated
the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents, and
physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter(s) despite
communications of adoption applications, cases, and processes
having undergone counseling; (b) attempt on the life of the
shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1)
adoptee; (c) sexual assault or violence; or (d) abandonment and
year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less
failure to comply with parental obligations.
than Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) but not more than Ten
thousand pesos (P10,000.00), at the discretion of the court.
Adoption, being in the best interest of the child, shall not be
subject to rescission by the adopter(s). However, the adopter(s)
A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the
may disinherit the adoptee for causes provided in Article 919 of
consummated offense under this Article shall be imposed upon
the Civil Code.
the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein
enumerated. Acts punishable under this Article, when committed
Section 20. Effects of Rescission. If the petition is granted, by a syndicate or where it involves two (2) or more children shall
the parental authority of the adoptee's biological parent(s), if be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and
known, or the legal custody of the Department shall be restored shall merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
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Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a Section 26. Repealing Clause. Any law, presidential decree
syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative
conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out order, rule, or regulation contrary to, or inconsistent with the
any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article. Penalties as provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified, or amended
are herein provided, shall be in addition to any other penalties accordingly.
which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other
laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations. Section 27. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act is
held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected
When the offender is an alien, he/she shall be deported thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.
immediately after service of sentence and perpetually excluded
from entry to the country. Section 28. Effectivity Clause. This Act shall take effect
fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in any
Any government official, employee or functionary who shall be newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.
found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who
shall conspire with private individuals shall, in addition to the Approved: February 25, 1998
above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with
existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That
upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said Republic Act 8043
government official, employee, or functionary concerned shall The Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995
automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the case.

Section 22. Rectification of Simulated Births. A person who "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES TO GOVERN INTER-
has, prior to the effectivity of this Act, simulated the birth of a COUNTRY ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN, AND FOR
child shall not be punished for such act: Provided, That the OTHER PURPOSES"
simulation of birth was made for the best interest of the child and Section 1. Short Title. This Act shall be known as the "Inter-
that he/she has been consistently considered and treated by that Country Adoption Act of 1995."
person as his/her own son/daughter: Provided, further, That the
application for correction of the birth registration and petition for Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared the policy
adoption shall be filed within five (5) years from the effectivity of of the State to provide every neglected and abandoned child with
a family that will provide such child with love and care as well as
this Act and completed thereafter: Provided, finally, That such
opportunities for growth and development. Towards this end,
person complies with the procedure as specified in Article IV of
efforts shall be exerted to place the child with an adoptive family
this Act and other requirements as determined by the in the Philippines. However, recognizing that inter-country
Department. adoption may be considered as allowing aliens not presently
allowed by law to adopt Filipino children if such children cannot
ARTICLE VIII be adopted by qualified Filipino citizens or aliens, the State shall
FINAL PROVISIONS take measures to ensure that inter-country adoptions are
allowed when the same shall prove beneficial to the child's best
interests, and shall serve and protect his/her fundamental rights.
Section 23. Adoption Resource and Referral Office. There
shall be established an Adoption Resources and Referral Office Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act. the term:
under the Department with the following functions: (a) monitor (a) Inter-country adoption refers to the socio-legal process
the existence, number, and flow of children legally available for of adopting a Filipino child by a foreigner or a Filipino citizen
adoption and prospective adopter(s) so as to facilitate their permanently residing abroad where the petition is filed, the
matching; (b) maintain a nationwide information and educational supervised trial custody is undertaken, and the decree of
campaign on domestic adoption; (c) keep records of adoption adoption is issued outside the Philippines.
proceedings; (d) generate resources to help child-caring and (b) Child means a person below fifteen (15) years of age
child-placing agencies and foster homes maintain viability; and unless sooner emancipated by law.
(e) do policy research in collaboration with the Intercountry (c) Department refers to the Department of Social Welfare
Adoption Board and other concerned agencies. The office shall and Development of the Republic of the Philippines.
be manned by adoption experts from the public and private (d) Secretary refers to the Secretary of the Department of
sectors. Social Welfare and Development.
(e) Authorized and accredited agency refers to the State
welfare agency or a licensed adoption agency in the country of
Section 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. Within six the adopting parents which provide comprehensive social
(6) months from the promulgation of this Act, the Department, services and which is duly recognized by the Department.
with the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Office of Civil (f) Legally-free child means a child who has been voluntarily
Registry General, the Department of Justice, Office of the or involuntarily committed to the Department, in accordance with
Solicitor General, and two (2) private individuals representing the Child and Youth Welfare Code.
child-placing and child-caring agencies shall formulate the (g) Matching refers to the judicious pairing of the adoptive
necessary guidelines to make the provisions of this Act child and the applicant to promote a mutually satisfying parent-
operative. child relationship.
(h) Board refers to the Inter-country Adoption Board.
Section 25. Appropriations. Such sum as may be necessary ARTICLE II
for the implementation of the provisions of this Act shall be THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD
included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following
its enactment into law and thereafter. Sec. 4. The Inter-Country Adoption Board. There is hereby
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created the Inter-Country Adoption Board, hereinafter referred to accredited by their own government to conduct inter-country
as the Board to act as the central authority in matters relating to adoption: Provided, however, That the total number of authorized
inter-country adoption. It shall act as the policy-making body for and accredited foreign private adoption agencies shall not
purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Act, in consultation exceed one hundred (100) a year;
and coordination with the Department, the different child-care (j) to take appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality of
and placement agencies, adoptive agencies, as well as non- the records of the child, the natural parents and the adoptive
governmental organizations engaged in child-care and parents at all times;
placement activities. As such, it shall: (k) to prepare, review or modify, and thereafter, recommend to
the Department of Foreign Affairs, Memoranda of Agreement
(a) Protect the Filipino child from abuse, exploitation,
respecting inter-country adoption consistent with the
trafficking and/or sale or any other practice in connection with
implementation of this Act and its stated goals, entered into,
adoption which is harmful, detrimental, or prejudicial to the child;
between and among foreign governments, international
(b) Collect, maintain, and preserve confidential information
organizations and recognized international non-governmental
about the child and the adoptive parents;
organizations;
(c) Monitor, follow up, and facilitate completion of adoption of
(l) to assist other concerned agencies and the courts in the
the child through authorized and accredited agency;
implementation of this Act, particularly as regards coordination
(d) Prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with
with foreign persons, agencies and other entities involved in the
an adoption and deter improper practices contrary to this Act;
process of adoption and the physical transfer of the child; and
(e) Promote the development of adoption services including
(m) to perform such other functions on matters relating to
post-legal adoption;
inter-country adoption as may be determined by the President.
(f) License and accredit child-caring/placement agencies and
collaborate with them in the placement of Filipino children; ARTICLE III
(g) Accredit and authorize foreign adoption agency in the PROCEDURE
placement of Filipino children in their own country; and
(h) Cancel the license to operate and blacklist the child-caring
and placement agency or adoptive agency involved from the Sec. 7. Inter-Country Adoption as the Last Resort. The
accreditation list of the Board upon a finding of violation of any Board shall ensure that all possibilities for adoption of the child
provision under this Act. under the Family Code have been exhausted and that inter-
country adoption is in the best interest of the child. Towards this
Sec. 5. Composition of the Board. The Board shall be end, the Board shall set up the guidelines to ensure that steps
composed of the Secretary of the Department as ex officio will be taken to place the child in the Philippines before the child
Chairman, and six (6) other members to be appointed by the is placed for inter-country adoption: Provided, however, That the
President for a nonrenewable term of six (6) years: Provided, maximum number that may be allowed for foreign adoption shall
That there shall be appointed one (1) psychiatrist or not exceed six hundred (600) a year for the first five (5) years.
psychologist, two (2) lawyers who shall have at least the
qualifications of a regional trial court judge, one (1) registered Sec. 8. Who May be Adopted. Only a legally free child may
social worker and two (2) representatives from non- be the subject of inter-country adoption. In order that such child
governmental organizations engaged in child-caring and may be considered for placement, the following documents must
placement activities. The members of the Board shall receive a be submitted to the Board:
per diem allowance of One thousand five hundred pesos (a)Child study;
(P1,500) for each meeting attended by them: Provided, further, (b)Birth certificate/foundling certificate;
That no compensation shall be paid for more than four (4) (c)Deed of voluntary commitment/decree of
meetings a month. abandonment/death certificate of parents;
(d)Medical evaluation /history;
Sec. 6. Powers and Functions of the Board. The Board (e)Psychological evaluation, as necessary; and
shall have the following powers and functions: (f)Recent photo of the child.
(a) to prescribe rules and regulations as it may deem Sec. 9. Who May Adopt. An alien or a Filipino citizen
reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, after permanently residing abroad may file an application for inter-
consultation and upon favorable recommendation of the different country adoption of a Filipino child if he/she:
agencies concerned with the child-caring, placement, and
adoption; (a) is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least
(b) to set the guidelines for the convening of an Inter-country sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted, at the time
Adoption Placement Committee which shall be under the direct of application unless the adopter is the parent by nature of the
supervision of the Board; child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent:
(c) to set the guidelines for the manner by which (b) if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;
selection/matching of prospective adoptive parents and adoptive (c) has the capacity to act and assume all rights and
child can be made; responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws, and
(d) to determine a reasonable schedule of fees and charges to has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited
be exacted in connection with the application for adoption; counselor in his/her country;
(e) to determine the form and contents of the application for (d) has not been convicted of a crime involving moral
inter-country adoption; turpitude;
(g) to institute systems and procedures to prevent improper (e) is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
financial gain in connection with adoption and deter improper (f) is in a position to provide the proper care and support and
practices which are contrary to this Act; to give the necessary moral values and example to all his
(h) to promote the development of adoption services, including children, including the child to be adopted;
post-legal adoption services, (g) agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied
(i) to accredit and authorize foreign private adoption agencies under Philippine laws, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the
which have demonstrated professionalism, competence and Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to
have consistently pursued non-profit objectives to engage in the implement the provisions of this Act;
placement of Filipino children in their own country: Provided, (h) comes from a country with whom the Philippines has
That such foreign private agencies are duly authorized and diplomatic relations and whose government maintains a similarly
Page 7 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

authorized and accredited agency and that adoption is allowed During the trial custody, the adopting parent(s) shall submit to
under his/her national laws; and the governmental agency or the authorized and accredited
(i) possesses all the qualifications and none of the agency, which shall in turn transmit a copy to the Board, a
disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable progress report of the child's adjustment. The progress report
Philippine laws. shall be taken into consideration in deciding whether or not to
issue the decree of adoption.
Sec. 10. Where to File Application. An application to adopt a
Filipino child shall be filed either with the Philippine Regional The Department of Foreign Affairs shall set up a system by
Trial Court having jurisdiction over the child, or with the Board, which Filipino children sent abroad for trial custody are
through an intermediate agency, whether governmental or an monitored and checked as reported by the authorized and
authorized and accredited agency, in the country of the accredited inter-country adoption agency as well as the
prospective adoptive parents, which application shall be in repatriation to the Philippines of a Filipino child whose adoption
accordance with the requirements as set forth in the has not been approved.
implementing rules and regulations to be promulgated by the
Sec. 15. Executive Agreements. The Department of Foreign
Board.
Affairs, upon representation of the Board, shall cause the
The application shall be supported by the following documents
preparation of Executive Agreements with countries of the
written and officially translated in English.
foreign adoption agencies to ensure the legitimate concurrence
(a) Birth certificate of applicant(s); of said countries in upholding the safeguards provided by this
(b) Marriage contract, if married, and divorce decree, if Act.
applicable;
ARTICLE IV
(c) Written consent of their biological or adoptive children
PENALTIES
above ten (10) years of age, in the form of sworn statement;
(d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation by a duly
licensed physician and psychologist;
Sec. 16. Penalties.
(e) Income tax returns or any document showing the financial
capability of the applicant(s); (a) Any person who shall knowingly participate in the conduct or
(f) Police clearance of applicant(s); carrying out of an illegal adoption, in violation of the provisions of
(g) Character reference from the local church/minister, the this Act, shall be punished with a penalty of imprisonment
applicant's employer and a member of the immediate community ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years
who have known the applicant(s) for at least five (5) years; and and/or a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), but
(h) Recent postcard-size pictures of the applicant(s) and his not more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200.000), at the
immediate family; discretion of the court. For purposes of this Act, an adoption is
illegal if it is effected in any manner contrary to the provisions of
The Rules of Court shall apply in case of adoption by judicial
this Act or established State policies, its implementing rules and
proceedings.
regulations, executive agreements, and other laws pertaining to
adoption. Illegality may be presumed from the following acts:
Sec. 11. Family Selection/Matching. No child shall be
matched to a foreign adoptive family unless it is satisfactorily (1)consent for an adoption was acquired through, or attended
shown that the child cannot be adopted locally. The clearance, by coercion, fraud, improper material inducement;
as issued by the Board, with the copy of the minutes of the (2)there is no authority from the Board to effect adoption;
meetings, shall form part of the records of the child to be (3)the procedures and safeguards placed under the law for
adopted. When the Board is ready to transmit the Placement adoption were not complied with; and
Authority to the authorized and accredited inter-country adoption (4)the child to be adopted is subjected to, or exposed to
agency and all the travel documents of the child are ready, the danger, abuse and exploitation.
adoptive parents, or any one of them, shall personally fetch the (b)Any person who shall violate established regulations relating
child in the Philippines. to the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents and
Sec. 12. Pre-adoptive Placement Costs. The applicant(s) communications of adoption applications, cases and processes
shall bear the following costs incidental to the placement of the shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1)
child; year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less
than Five thousand pesos (P5,000), but not more than Ten
(a) The cost of bringing the child from the Philippines to the
thousand pesos (P10,000), at the discretion of the court.
residence of the applicant(s) abroad, including all travel
expenses within the Philippines and abroad; and
A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the
(b) The cost of passport, visa, medical examination and
consummated felony under this Article shall be imposed upon
psychological evaluation required, and other related expenses.
the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein
Sec. 13. Fees, Charges and Assessments. Fees, charges, enumerated.
and assessments collected by the Board in the exercise of its
Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a
functions shall be used solely to process applications for inter-
syndicate or where it involves two or more children shall be
country adoption and to support the activities of the Board.
considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall
merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Sec. 14. Supervision of Trial Custody. The governmental
agency or the authorized and accredited agency in the country of Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a
the adoptive parents which filed the application for inter-country syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons
adoption shall be responsible for the trial custody and the care of conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out
the child. It shall also provide family counseling and other related any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article.Penalties as
services. The trial custody shall be for a period of six (6) months are herein provided shall be in addition to any other penalties
from the time of placement. Only after the lapse of the period of which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other
trial custody shall a decree of adoption be issued in the said laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations.
country a copy of which shall be sent to the Board to form part of Sec. 17. Public Officers as Offenders. Any government
the records of the child. official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of
Page 8 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire It is hereby recognized that administrative processes under the
with private individuals shall, in addition to the above-prescribed jurisdiction of the Department of Social Welfare and
penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service Development for the declaration of a child legally available for
laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That upon the filing of a adoption of abandoned, surrendered, or neglected children are
case, either administrative or criminal, said government official, the most expeditious proceedings for the best interest and
employee or functionary concerned shall automatically suffer welfare of the child.
suspension until the resolution of the case.

Section. 2. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act, the


ARTICLE V following terms shall mean:
FINAL PROVISIONS
(1) Department of Social Welfare and Development
Sec. 18. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The Inter- (DSWD) is the agency charged to implement the
country Adoption Board, in coordination with the Council for the provisions of this Act and shall have the sole authority
Welfare of Children, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the to issue the certification declaring a child legally
Department of Justice, after due consultation with agencies available for adoption.
involved in child-care and placement, shall promulgate the
necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of (2) Child refers to a person below eighteen (18) years of
this Act within six (6) months after its effectivity. age or a person over eighteen (18) years of age but is
Sec. 19. Appropriations. The amount of Five million pesos unable to fully take care of him/herself or protect
(P5,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the proceeds of the himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty,
Lotto for the initial operations of the Board and subsequently the exploitation, or discrimination because of physical or
appropriations of the same shall be included in the General mental disability or condition.
Appropriations Act for the year following its enactment.
Sec. 20. Separability Clause. If any provision, or part hereof (3) Abandoned Child refers to a child who has no
is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the proper parental care or guardianship, or whose
provision not otherwise affected, shall remain valid and parent(s) have deserted him/her for a period of at least
subsisting. three (3) continuous months, which includes a founding.
Sec. 21. Repealing Clause. Any law, decree, executive order,
administrative order or rules and regulations contrary to, or (4) Neglected Child refers to a child whose basic needs
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, have been deliberately unattended or inadequately
modified or amended accordingly. attended within a period of three (3) continuous months.
Sec. 22. Effectivity Clause. This Act shall take effect fifteen Neglect may occur in two (2) ways:
(15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general
circulation. (a) There is physical neglect when the child is
malnourished, ill-clad, and without proper
shelter. A child is unattended when left by
Approved: June 7, 1995
himself/herself without proper provisions
and/or without proper supervision.
Republic Act No. 9523 March 12, 2009
(b) There is emotional neglect when the child
AN ACT REQUIRING CERTIFICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT is maltreated, raped, seduced, exploited,
OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT (DSWD) TO overworked, or made to work under conditions
DECLARE A "CHILD LEGALLY AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION" not conducive to good health; or is made to
AS A PREREQUISITE FOR ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS, beg in the streets or public places; or when
AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF children are in moral danger, or exposed to
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8552, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE gambling, prostitution, and other vices.
DOMESTIC ADOPTION ACT OF 1998, REPUBLIC ACT NO.
8043, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE INTER-COUNTRY (5) Child Legally Available for Adoption refers to a child
ADOPTION ACT OF 1995, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603, in whose favor a certification was issued by the DSWD
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE that he/she is legally available for adoption after the fact
CODE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES of abandonment or neglect has been proven through
the submission of pertinent documents, or one who was
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of voluntarily committed by his/her parent(s) or legal
the Philippines in Congress assembled:: guardian.

Section 1. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared the (6) Voluntarily Committed Child is one whose parent(s)
policy of the State that alternative protection and assistance shall or legal guardian knowingly and willingly relinquished
be afforded to every child who is abandoned, surrendered, or parental authority to the DSWD or any duly accredited
neglected. In this regard, the State shall extend such assistance child-placement or child-caring agency or institution.
in the most expeditious manner in the interest of full emotional
and social development of the abandoned, surrendered, or (7) Child-caring agency or institution refers to a private
neglected child. non-profit or government agency duly accredited by the
DSWD that provides twenty-four (24) hour residential
Page 9 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

care services for abandoned, neglected, or voluntarily certified copy of a tracing report issued by the
committed children. Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC),
National Headquarters (NHQ), Social Service
(8) Child-placing agency or institution refers to a private Division, which states that despite due
non-profit institution or government agency duly diligence, the child's parents could not be
accredited by the DWSD that receives and processes found; and
applicants to become foster or adoptive parents and
facilitate placement of children eligible for foster care or (d) Returned registered mail to the last known
adoption. address of the parent(s) or known relatives, if
any.
(9) Petitioner refers to the head or executive director of
a licensed or accredited child-caring or child-placing (3) Birth certificate, if available; and
agency or institution managed by the government, local
government unit, non-governmental organization, or (4) Recent photograph of the child and photograph of
provincial, city, or municipal Social Welfare the child upon abandonment or admission to the
Development Officer who has actual custody of the agency or institution.
minor and who files a certification to declare such child
legally available for adoption, or, if the child is under the
Section 4. Procedure for the Filing of the Petition. The
custody of any other individual, the agency or institution
petition shall be filed in the regional office of the DSWD where
does so with the consent of the child's custodian.
the child was found or abandoned.

(10) Secretary refers to the Secretary of the DSWD or


The Regional Director shall examine the petition and its
his duly authorized representative.
supporting documents, if sufficient in form and substance and
shall authorize the posting of the notice of the petition
(11) Conspicuous Place shall refer to a place conspicuous place for five (5) consecutive days in the locality
frequented by the public, where by notice of the petition where the child was found.
shall be posted for information of any interested person.
The Regional Director shall act on the same and shall render a
(12) Social Case Study Report (SCSR) shall refer to a recommendation not later than five (5) working days after the
written report of the result of an assessment conducted completion of its posting. He/she shall transmit a copy of his/her
by a licensed social worker as to the social-cultural recommendation and records to the Office of the Secretary
economic condition, psychosocial background, current within forty-eight (48) hours from the date of the
functioning and facts of abandonment or neglect of the recommendation.
child. The report shall also state the efforts of social
worker to locate the child's biological parents/relatives.
Section 5. Declaration of Availability for Adoption. Upon
finding merit in the petition, the Secretary shall issue a
Section 3. Petition. The petition shall be in the form of an certification declaring the child legally available for adoption
affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized within seven (7) working days from receipt of the
by law to administer oaths. It shall contain facts necessary to recommendation.
establish the merits of the petition and shall state the
circumstances surrounding the abandonment or neglect of the
Said certification, by itself shall be the sole basis for the
child.
immediate issuance by the local civil registrar of a foundling
certificate. Within seven (7) working days, the local civil registrar
The petition shall be supported by the following documents: shall transmit the founding certificate to the National Statistic
Office (NSO).
(1) Social Case Study Report made by the DSWD, local
government unit, licensed or accredited child-caring or Section 6. Appeal. The decision of the Secretary shall be
child-placing agency or institution charged with the appealable to the Court of Appeals within five (5) days from
custody of the child; receipt of the decision by the petitioner, otherwise the same shall
be final and executory.
(2) Proof that efforts were made to locate the parent(s)
or any known relatives of the child. The following shall Section 7. Declaration of Availability for Adoption of
be considered sufficient: Involuntarily Committed Child and Voluntarily Committed
Child. The certificate declaring a child legally available for
(a) Written certification from a local or national adoption in case of an involuntarily committed child under Article
radio or television station that the case was 141, paragraph 4(a) and Article 142 of Presidential Decree No.
aired on three (3) different occasions; 603 shall be issued by the DSWD within three (3) months
following such involuntary commitment.
(b) Publication in one (1) newspaper of general
circulation; In case of voluntary commitment as contemplated in Article 154
of Presidential Decree No. 603, the certification declaring the
(c) Police report or barangay certification from child legally available for adoption shall be issued by the
the locality where the child was found or a Secretary within three (3) months following the filing of the Deed
Page 10 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

of Voluntary Commitment, as signed by the parent(s) with the Section 13. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15)
DSWD. days following its complete publication in two (2) newspapers of
general circulation or in the Official Gazette.
Upon petition filed with the DSWD, the parent(s) or legal
guardian who voluntarily committed a child may recover legal NEW RULE ON ADOPTION
custody and parental authority over him/her from the agency or
institution to which such child was voluntarily committed when it
A. DOMESTIC ADOPTION
is shown to the satisfaction of the DSWD that the parent(s) or
legal guardian is in a position to adequately provide for the
needs of the child: Provided, That, the petition for restoration is Section 1. Applicability of the Rule. This Rule covers the
filed within (3) months after the signing of the Deed of Voluntary domestic adoption of Filipino children.
Commitment.
Section 2. Objectives. (a) The best interests of the child shall
Section 8. Certification. The certification that a child is legally be the paramount consideration in all matters relating to his care,
available for adoption shall be issued by the DSWD in lieu of a custody and adoption, in accordance with Philippine laws, the
judicial order, thus making the entire process administrative in United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN
nature. Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the
Protection and Welfare of Children with Special Reference to
Foster Placement and Adoption, Nationally and Internationally,
The certification, shall be, for all intents and purposes, the
and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and
primary evidence that the child is legally available in a domestic
Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption.
adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic Act No. 8552 and
in an inter-country adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic
Act No. 8043. (b) The State shall provide alternative protection and
assistance through foster care or adoption for every
child who is a foundling, neglected, orphaned, or
Section. 9. Implementing Rules and Regulations. The
abandoned. To this end, the State shall:
DSWD, together with the Council for Welfare of Children, Inter-
Country Adoption Board, two (2) representatives from licensed or
accredited child-placing and child-caring agencies or institution, (i) ensure that every child remains under the
National Statistics Office and Office of the Civil Registrar, is care and custody of his parents and is
hereby tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulations of provided with love, care, understanding and
this Act within sixty (60) days following its complete publication. security for the full and harmonious
development of his personality. Only when
such efforts prove insufficient and no
Upon effectivity of this Act and pending the completion of the
appropriate placement or adoption within the
drafting of the implementing rules and regulations, petitions for
childs extended family is available shall
the issuance of a certification declaring a child legally available
adoption by an unrelated person be
for adoption may be filled with the regional office of the DSWD
considered.
where the child was found or abandoned.

(ii) safeguard the biological parents from


Section 10. Penalty. The penalty of One hundred thousand
making hasty decisions in relinquishing their
pesos (P100,000.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos
parental authority over their child;
(P200,000.00) shall be imposed on any person, institution, or
agency who shall place a child for adoption without the
certification that the child is legally available for adoption issued (iii) prevent the child from unnecessary
by the DSWD. Any agency or institution found violating any separation from his biological parents;
provision of this Act shall have its license to operate revoked
without prejudice to the criminal prosecution of its officers and (iv) conduct public information and educational
employees. campaigns to promote a positive environment
for adoption;
Violation of any provision of this Act shall subject the government
official or employee concerned to appropriate administrative, civil (v) ensure that government and private sector
and/or criminal sanctions, including suspension and/or dismissal agencies have the capacity to handle adoption
from the government service and forfeiture of benefits. inquiries, process domestic adoption
applications and offer adoption-related
Section 11. Repealing Clause. Sections 2(c)(iii), 3(b), (e) and services including, but not limited to, parent
8(a) of Republic Act No. 8552, Section 3(f) of Republic Act No. preparation and post-adoption education and
8043, Chapter 1 of Title VII, and VIII of Presidential Decree No. counseling;
603 and any law, presidential decree, executive order, letter of
instruction, administrative order, rule, or regulation contrary to or (vi) encourage domestic adoption so as to
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby reprealed, preserve the childs identity and culture in his
modified or amended accordingly. native land, and only when this is not available
shall inter-country adoption be considered as a
Section 12. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act is last resort; and
held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected
thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.
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(vii) protect adoptive parents from attempts to (j) Emotional neglect exists when a child is raped,
disturb their parental authority and custody seduced, maltreated, exploited, overworked or made to
over their adopted child. work under conditions not conducive to good health or
made to beg in the streets or public places, or placed in
Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental moral danger, or exposed to drugs, alcohol, gambling,
authority shall be administratively or judicially declared prostitution and other vices.
so as to establish the status of the child as legally
available for adoption and his custody transferred to (k) Child-placement agency refers to an agency duly
the Department of Social Welfare and Development or licensed and accredited by the Department to provide
to any duly licensed and accredited child-placing or comprehensive child welfare services including, but not
child-caring agency, which entity shall be authorized to limited to, receiving applications for adoption,
take steps for the permanent placement of the child. evaluating the prospective adoptive parents and
preparing the adoption home study report.
Section 3. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Rule:
(l) Child-caring agency refers to an agency duly
(a) Child is a person below eighteen (18) years of age licensed and accredited by the Department that
at the time of the filing of the petition for adoption. provides 24-hour residential care services for
abandoned, orphaned, neglected or voluntarily
committed children.
(b) A child legally available for adoption refers to a
child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily
committed to the Department or to a duly licensed and (m) Department refers to the Department of Social
accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, freed of Welfare and Development.
the parental authority of his biological parents, or in
case of rescission of adoption, his guardian or (n) Deed of Voluntary Commitment refers to the
adopter(s). written and notarized instrument relinquishing parental
authority and committing the child to the care and
(c) Voluntarily committed child is one whose parents custody of the Department executed by the childs
knowingly and willingly relinquish parental authority biological parents or in their absence, mental incapacity
over him in favor of the Department. or death, by the childs legal guardian, to be witnessed
by an authorized representative of the Department after
counseling and other services have been made
(d) Involuntarily committed child is one whose parents,
available to encourage the biological parents to keep
known or unknown, have been permanently and
the child.
judicially deprived of parental authority over him due to
abandonment; substantial, continuous or repeated
neglect and abuse; or incompetence to discharge (o) Child Study Report refers to a study made by the
parental responsibilities. court social worker of the childs legal status, placement
history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-
cultural background and that of his biological family
(e) Foundling refers to a deserted or abandoned infant
needed in determining the most appropriate placement
or child whose parents, guardian or relatives are
for him.
unknown; or a child committed to an orphanage or
charitable or similar institution with unknown facts of
birth and parentage and registered in the Civil Register (p) Home Study Report refers to a study made by the
as a foundling. court social worker of the motivation and capacity of the
prospective adoptive parents to provide a home that
meets the needs of a child.
(f) Abandoned child refers to one who has no proper
parental care or guardianship or whose parents have
deserted him for a period of at least six (6) continuous (q) Supervised trial custody refers to the period of time
months and has been judicially declared as such. during which a social worker oversees the adjustment
and emotional readiness of both adopters and adoptee
in stabilizing their filial relationship.
(g) Dependent child refers to one who is without a
parent, guardian or custodian or one whose parents,
guardian or other custodian for good cause desires to (r) Licensed Social Worker refers to one who
be relieved of his care and custody and is dependent possesses a degree in bachelor of science in social
upon the public for support. work as a minimum educational requirement and who
has passed the government licensure examination for
social workers as required by Republic Act No. 4373.
(h) Neglected child is one whose basic needs have
been deliberately not attended to or inadequately
attended to, physically or emotionally, by his parents or (s) Simulation of birth is the tampering of the civil
guardian. registry to make it appear in the birth records that a
certain child was born to a person who is not his
biological mother, thus causing such child to lose his
(i) Physical neglect occurs when the child is
true identity and status.
malnourished, ill-clad and without proper shelter.
Page 12 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

(t) Biological Parents refer to the childs mother and (iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and
father by nature. seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse a relative
within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity
(u) Pre-Adoption Services refer to psycho-social or affinity of the Filipino spouse.
services provided by professionally-trained social
workers of the Department, the social services units of (3) The guardian with respect to the ward after the
local governments, private and government health termination of the guardianship and clearance of his
facilities, Family Courts, licensed and accredited child- financial accountabilities.
caring and child-placement agencies and other
individuals or entities involved in adoption as authorized Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the
by the Department. following cases:

(v) Residence means a persons actual stay in the (i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate
Philippines for three (3) continuous years immediately child of one spouse by the other spouse; or
prior to the filing of a petition for adoption and which is
maintained until the adoption decree is entered.
(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own
Temporary absences for professional, business, health,
illegitimate child: Provided, however, That the
or emergency reasons not exceeding sixty (60) days in
other spouse has signified his consent thereto;
one (1) year does not break the continuity requirement.
or

(w) Alien refers to any person, not a Filipino citizen,


(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from
who enters and remains in the Philippines and is in
each other.
possession of a valid passport or travel documents and
visa.
In case husband and wife jointly adopt or one spouse
adopts the illegitimate child of the other, joint parental
Section 4. Who may adopt. The following may adopt:
authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

(1) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full


Section 5. Who may be adopted. The following may be
civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character,
adopted:
has not been convicted of any crime involving moral
turpitude; who is emotionally and psychologically
capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) (1) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who
years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position has been voluntarily committed to the Department
to support and care for his children in keeping with the under Articles 154, 155 and 156 of P.D. No. 603 or
means of the family. The requirement of a 16-year judicially declared available for adoption;
difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee
may be waived when the adopter is the biological (2) The legitimate child of one spouse, by the other
parent of the adoptee or is the spouse of the adoptees spouse;
parent;
(3) An illegitimate child, by a qualified adopter to raise
(2) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as the status of the former to that of legitimacy;
above-stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his
country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the (4) A person of legal age regardless of civil status, if,
Philippines, that he has been living in the Philippines for prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently
at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of considered and treated by the adopters as their own
the petition for adoption and maintains such residence child since minority;
until the adoption decree is entered, that he has been
certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any
appropriate government agency to have the legal (5) A child whose adoption has been previously
capacity to adopt in his country, and that his rescinded; or
government allows the adoptee to enter his country as
his adopted child. Provided, further, That the (6) A child whose biological or adoptive parents have
requirements on residency and certification of the died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated
aliens qualification to adopt in his country may be within six (6) months from the time of death of said
waived for the following: parents.

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt (7) A child not otherwise disqualified by law or these
a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of rules.
consanguinity or affinity; or
Section 6. Venue. The petition for adoption shall be filed with
(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child the Family Court of the province or city where the prospective
of his Filipino spouse; or adoptive parents reside.
Page 13 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

Section 7. Contents of the Petition. The petition shall be (iii) is married to a Filipino citizen and
verified and specifically state at the heading of the initiatory seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse
pleading whether the petition contains an application for change a relative within the fourth degree of
of name, rectification of simulated birth, voluntary or involuntary consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino
commitment of children, or declaration of child as abandoned, spouse.
dependent or neglected.
3) If the adopter is the legal guardian of the adoptee,
1) If the adopter is a Filipino citizen, the petition shall the petition shall allege that guardianship had been
allege the following: terminated and the guardian had cleared his financial
accountabilities.
(a) The jurisdictional facts;
4) If the adopter is married, the spouse shall be a co-
(b) That the petitioner is of legal age, in petitioner for joint adoption except if:
possession of full civil capacity and legal
rights; is of good moral character; has not (a) one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate
been convicted of any crime involving moral child of the other, or
turpitude; is emotionally and psychologically
capable of caring for children; is at least (b) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own
sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, illegitimate child and the other spouse signified
unless the adopter is the biological parent of written consent thereto, or
the adoptee or is the spouse of the adoptees
parent; and is in a position to support and care
(c) if the spouses are legally separated from
for his children in keeping with the means of
each other.
the family and has undergone pre-adoption
services as required by Section 4 of Republic
Act No. 8552. 5) If the adoptee is a foundling, the petition shall allege
the entries which should appear in his birth certificate,
such as name of child, date of birth, place of birth, if
2) If the adopter is an alien, the petition shall allege the
known; sex, name and citizenship of adoptive mother
following:
and father, and the date and place of their marriage.

(a) The jurisdictional facts;


6) If the petition prays for a change of name, it shall
also state the cause or reason for the change of name.
(b) Sub-paragraph 1(b) above;
In all petitions, it shall be alleged:
(c) That his country has diplomatic relations
with the Republic of the Philippines;
(a) The first name, surname or names, age
and residence of the adoptee as shown by his
(d) That he has been certified by his diplomatic record of birth, baptismal or foundling
or consular office or any appropriate certificate and school records.
government agency to have the legal capacity
to adopt in his country and his government
(b) That the adoptee is not disqualified by law
allows the adoptee to enter his country as his
to be adopted.
adopted child and reside there permanently as
an adopted child; and
(c) The probable value and character of the
estate of the adoptee.
(e) That he has been living in the Philippines
for at least three (3) continuous years prior to
the filing of the petition and he maintains such (d) The first name, surname or names by
residence until the adoption decree is entered. which the adoptee is to be known and
registered in the Civil Registry.
The requirements of certification of the aliens
qualification to adopt in his country and of A certification of non-forum shopping shall be included
residency may be waived if the alien: pursuant to Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure.
(i) is a former Filipino citizen who
seeks to adopt a relative within the Section 8. Rectification of Simulated Birth. In case the petition
fourth degree of consanguinity or also seeks rectification of a simulated of birth, it shall allege that:
affinity; or
(a) Petitioner is applying for rectification of a simulated
(ii) seeks to adopt the legitimate child birth;
of his Filipino spouse; or
(b) The simulation of birth was made prior to the date of
effectivity of Republic Act No. 8552 and the application
Page 14 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

for rectification of the birth registration and the petition 4. The illegitimate children of the adopter living
for adoption were filed within five years from said date; with him who are ten (10) years of age or over;
and
(c) The petitioner made the simulation of birth for the
best interests of the adoptee; and 5. The spouse, if any, of the adopter or
adoptee.
(d) The adoptee has been consistently considered and
treated by petitioner as his own child. C. Child study report on the adoptee and his biological
parents;
Section 9. Adoption of a foundling, an abandoned, dependent or
neglected child. In case the adoptee is a foundling, an D. If the petitioner is an alien, certification by his
abandoned, dependent or neglected child, the petition shall diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate
allege: government agency that he has the legal capacity to
adopt in his country and that his government allows the
(a) The facts showing that the child is a foundling, adoptee to enter his country as his own adopted child
abandoned, dependent or neglected; unless exempted under Section 4(2);

(b) The names of the parents, if known, and their E. Home study report on the adopters. If the adopter is
residence. If the child has no known or living parents, an alien or residing abroad but qualified to adopt, the
then the name and residence of the guardian, if any; home study report by a foreign adoption agency duly
accredited by the Inter-Country Adoption Board; and
(c) The name of the duly licensed child-placement
agency or individual under whose care the child is in F. Decree of annulment, nullity or legal separation of the
custody; and adopter as well as that of the biological parents of the
adoptee, if any.
(d) That the Department, child-placement or child-caring
agency is authorized to give its consent. Section 12. Order of Hearing. If the petition and attachments
are sufficient in form and substance, the court shall issue an
order which shall contain the following:
Section 10. Change of name. In case the petition also prays
for change of name, the title or caption must contain:
(1) the registered name of the adoptee in the birth
certificate and the names by which the adoptee has
(a) The registered name of the child;
been known which shall be stated in the caption;

(b) Aliases or other names by which the child has been


(2) the purpose of the petition;
known; and

(3) the complete name which the adoptee will use if the
(c) The full name by which the child is to be known.
petition is granted;

Section 11. Annexes to the Petition. The following documents


(4) the date and place of hearing which shall be set
shall be attached to the petition:
within six (6) months from the date of the issuance of
the order and shall direct that a copy thereof be
A. Birth, baptismal or foundling certificate, as the case published before the date of hearing at least once a
may be, and school records showing the name, age week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of
and residence of the adoptee; general circulation in the province or city where the
court is situated; Provided, that in case of application for
B. Affidavit of consent of the following: change of name, the date set for hearing shall not be
within four (4) months after the last publication of the
1. The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or notice nor within thirty (30) days prior to an election.
over;
The newspaper shall be selected by raffle under the
2. The biological parents of the child, if known, supervision of the Executive Judge.
or the legal guardian, or the child-placement
agency, child-caring agency, or the proper (5) a directive to the social worker of the court, the
government instrumentality which has legal social service office of the local government unit or any
custody of the child; child-placing or child-caring agency, or the Department
to prepare and submit child and home study reports
3. The legitimate and adopted children of the before the hearing if such reports had not been
adopter and of the adoptee, if any, who are ten attached to the petition due to unavailability at the time
(10) years of age or over; of the filing of the latter; and

(6) a directive to the social worker of the court to


conduct counseling sessions with the biological parents
Page 15 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

on the matter of adoption of the adoptee and submit her The court may, motu proprio or upon motion of any party, reduce
report before the date of hearing. the period or exempt the parties if it finds that the same shall be
for the best interests of the adoptee, stating the reasons therefor.
At the discretion of the court, copies of the order of hearing shall
also be furnished the Office of the Solicitor General through the An alien adopter however must complete the 6-month trial
provincial or city prosecutor, the Department and the biological custody except the following:
parents of the adoptee, if known.
a) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative
If a change in the name of the adoptee is prayed for in the within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or
petition, notice to the Solicitor General shall be mandatory. affinity; or

Section 13. Child and Home Study Reports. In preparing the b) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his
child study report on the adoptee, the concerned social worker Filipino spouse; or
shall verify with the Civil Registry the real identity and registered
name of the adoptee. If the birth of the adoptee was not c) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to
registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the responsibility of adopt jointly with his or her spouse the latters relative
the social worker to register the adoptee and secure a certificate within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or
of foundling or late registration, as the case may be. affinity.

The social worker shall establish that the child is legally available If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the
for adoption and the documents in support thereof are valid and prospective adopter through a pre-adoption placement authority
authentic, that the adopter has sincere intentions and that the issued by the Department, the court shall order that the
adoption shall inure to the best interests of the child. prospective adopter shall enjoy all the benefits to which the
biological parent is entitled from the date the adoptee is placed
In case the adopter is an alien, the home study report must show with him.
the legal capacity to adopt and that his government allows the
adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child in the absence The social worker shall submit to the court a report on the result
of the certification required under Section 7(b) of Republic Act of the trial custody within two weeks after its termination.
No. 8552.
Section 16. Decree of Adoption. If the supervised trial custody
If after the conduct of the case studies, the social worker finds is satisfactory to the parties and the court is convinced from the
that there are grounds to deny the petition, he shall make the trial custody report and the evidence adduced that the adoption
proper recommendation to the court, furnishing a copy thereof to shall redound to the best interests of the adoptee, a decree of
the petitioner. adoption shall be issued which shall take effect as of the date the
original petition was filed even if the petitioners die before its
Section 14. Hearing. Upon satisfactory proof that the order of issuance.
hearing has been published and jurisdictional requirements have
been complied with, the court shall proceed to hear the petition. The decree shall:
The petitioner and the adoptee must personally appear and the
former must testify before the presiding judge of the court on the
A. State the name by which the child is to be known and
date set for hearing.
registered;

The court shall verify from the social worker and determine
B. Order:
whether the biological parent has been properly counseled
against making hasty decisions caused by strain or anxiety to
give up the child; ensure that all measures to strengthen the 1) the Clerk of Court to issue to the adopter a
family have been exhausted; and ascertain if any prolonged stay certificate of finality upon expiration of the 15-
of the child in his own home will be inimical to his welfare and day reglementary period within which to
interest. appeal;

Section 15. Supervised Trial Custody. Before issuance of the 2) the adopter to submit a certified true copy of
decree of adoption, the court shall give the adopter trial custody the decree of adoption and the certificate of
of the adoptee for a period of at least six (6) months within which finality to the Civil Registrar where the child
the parties are expected to adjust psychologically and was originally registered within thirty (30) days
emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship. from receipt of the certificate of finality. In case
The trial custody shall be monitored by the social worker of the of change of name, the decree shall be
court, the Department, or the social service of the local submitted to the Civil Registrar where the court
government unit, or the child-placement or child-caring agency issuing the same is situated.
which submitted and prepared the case studies. During said
period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the 3) the Civil Registrar of the place where the
adopter. adoptee was registered:
Page 16 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

a. to annotate on the adoptees The adoption may be rescinded based on any of the following
original certificate of birth the decree grounds committed by the adopter:
of adoption within thirty (30) days
from receipt of the certificate of 1) repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the
finality; adopter despite having undergone counseling;

b. to issue a certificate of birth which 2) attempt on the life of the adoptee;


shall not bear any notation that it is a
new or amended certificate and which
3) sexual assault or violence; or
shall show, among others, the
following: registry number, date of
registration, name of child, sex, date 4) abandonment or failure to comply with parental
of birth, place of birth, name and obligations.
citizenship of adoptive mother and
father, and the date and place of their Adoption, being in the best interests of the child, shall not be
marriage, when applicable; subject to rescission by the adopter. However, the adopter may
disinherit the adoptee for causes provided in Article 919 of the
c. to seal the original certificate of Civil Code.
birth in the civil registry records which
can be opened only upon order of the
court which issued the decree of
adoption; and Section 20. Venue. The petition shall be filed with the Family
Court of the city or province where the adoptee resides.
d. to submit to the court issuing the
decree of adoption proof of Section 21. Time within which to file petition. The adoptee, if
compliance with all the foregoing incapacitated, must file the petition for rescission or revocation of
within thirty days from receipt of the adoption within five (5) years after he reaches the age of
decree. majority, or if he was incompetent at the time of the adoption,
within five (5) years after recovery from such incompetency.
If the adoptee is a foundling, the court shall
order the Civil Registrar where the foundling Section 22. Order to Answer. The court shall issue an order
was registered, to annotate the decree of requiring the adverse party to answer the petition within fifteen
adoption on the foundling certificate and a new (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof. The order and copy of
birth certificate shall be ordered prepared by the petition shall be served on the adverse party in such manner
the Civil Registrar in accordance with the as the court may direct.
decree.
Section 23. Judgment. If the court finds that the allegations of
Section 17. Book of Adoptions. The Clerk of Court shall keep the petition are true, it shall render judgment ordering the
a book of adoptions showing the date of issuance of the decree rescission of adoption, with or without costs, as justice requires.
in each case, compliance by the Civil Registrar with Section
16(B)(3) and all incidents arising after the issuance of the
decree. The court shall order that the parental authority of the biological
parent of the adoptee, if known, or the legal custody of the
Department shall be restored if the adoptee is still a minor or
Section 18. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. incapacitated and declare that the reciprocal rights and
All hearings in adoption cases, after compliance with the obligations of the adopter and the adoptee to each other shall be
jurisdictional requirements shall be confidential and shall not be extinguished.
open to the public. All records, books and papers relating to the
adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or any
other agency or institution participating in the adoption The court shall further declare that successional rights shall
proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential. revert to its status prior to adoption, as of the date of judgment of
judicial rescission. Vested rights acquired prior to judicial
rescission shall be respected.
If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third
person is necessary for security reasons or for purposes
connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the It shall also order the adoptee to use the name stated in his
best interests of the adoptee, the court may, upon proper motion, original birth or foundling certificate.
order the necessary information to be released, restricting the
purposes for which it may be used. The court shall further order the Civil Registrar where the
adoption decree was registered to cancel the new birth
Section 19. Rescission of Adoption of the Adoptee. The certificate of the adoptee and reinstate his original birth or
petition shall be verified and filed by the adoptee who is over foundling certificate.
eighteen (18) years of age, or with the assistance of the
Department, if he is a minor, or if he is over eighteen (18) years Section 24. Service of Judgment. A certified true copy of the
of age but is incapacitated, by his guardian or counsel. judgment together with a certificate of finality issued by the
Branch Clerk of the Court which rendered the decision in
Page 17 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

accordance with the preceding Section shall be served by the adopted or the spouse of such parent, in which case
petitioner upon the Civil Registrar concerned within thirty (30) the age difference does not apply;
days from receipt of the certificate of finality. The Civil Registrar
shall forthwith enter the rescission decree in the register and b) if married, the name of the spouse who must be
submit proof of compliance to the court issuing the decree and joined as co-petitioner except when the adoptee is a
the Clerk of Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the legitimate child of his spouse;
decree.
c) that he has the capacity to act and assume all rights
The Clerk of Court shall enter the compliance in accordance with and responsibilities of parental authority under his
Section 17 hereof. national laws, and has undergone the appropriate
counseling from an accredited counselor in his country;
Section 25. Repeal. - This supersedes Rule 99 on Adoption and
Rule 100 of the Rules of Court. d) that he has not been convicted of a crime involving
moral turpitude;

e) that he is eligible to adopt under his national law;

f) that he can provide the proper care and support and


instill the necessary moral values and example to all his
children, including the child to be adopted;
B. INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION
g) that he agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child,
as embodied under Philippine laws and the U. N.
Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by
the rules and regulations issued to implement the
Section 26. Applicability. The following sections apply to inter-
provisions of Republic Act No. 8043;
country adoption of Filipino children by foreign nationals and
Filipino citizens permanently residing abroad.
h) that he comes from a country with which the
Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose
Section 27. Objectives. The State shall:
government maintains a similarly authorized and
accredited agency and that adoption of a Filipino child
a) consider inter-country adoption as an alternative is allowed under his national laws; and
means of child care, if the child cannot be placed in a
foster or an adoptive family or cannot, in any suitable
i) that he possesses all the qualifications and none of
manner, be cared for in the Philippines;
the disqualifications provided in this Rule, in Republic
Act No. 8043 and in all other applicable Philippine laws.
b) ensure that the child subject of inter-country adoption
enjoys the same protection accorded to children in
Section 31. Annexes. - The petition for adoption shall contain
domestic adoption; and
the following annexes written and officially translated in English:

c) take all measures to ensure that the placement


a) Birth certificate of petitioner;
arising therefrom does not result in improper financial
gain for those involved.
b) Marriage contract, if married, and, if applicable, the
divorce decree, or judgment dissolving the marriage;
Section 28. Where to File Petition. A verified petition to adopt
a Filipino child may be filed by a foreign national or Filipino
citizen permanently residing abroad with the Family Court having c) Sworn statement of consent of petitioners biological
jurisdiction over the place where the child resides or may be or adopted children above ten (10) years of age;
found.
d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation of the
It may be filed directly with the Inter-Country Adoption Board. petitioner certified by a duly licensed physician and
psychologist;
Section 29. Who may be adopted. Only a child legally
available for domestic adoption may be the subject of inter- e) Income tax returns or any authentic document
country adoption. showing the current financial capability of the petitioner;

Section 30. Contents of Petition. The petitioner must allege: f) Police clearance of petitioner issued within six (6)
months before the filing of the petitioner;
a) his age and the age of the child to be adopted,
showing that he is at least twenty-seven (27) years of g) Character reference from the local church/minister,
age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the child the petitioners employer and a member of the
to be adopted at the time of application, unless the immediate community who have known the petitioner
petitioner is the parent by nature of the child to be for at least five (5) years;
Page 18 of 18 ADOPTION LAWS (Special Proceedings) | amgisidro

h) Full body postcard-size pictures of the petitioner and


his immediate family taken at least six (6) months
before the filing of the petition.

Section 32. Duty of Court. The court, after finding that the
petition is sufficient in form and substance and a proper case for
inter-country adoption, shall immediately transmit the petition to
the Inter-Country Adoption Board for appropriate action.

Section 33. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on August 22,
2002 following its publication in a newspaper of general
circulation.