There are so many reasons to consider adopting a child. For one, thousands of Filipino children need a new home, one where they will be nurtured and loved. For couples having problems conceiving, this might be their only chance at forming a family. The same goes for single parents who want to care for a child and form their own family. At the end of the day, adoption is a personal decision for every prospective parent.
If you want to adopt a child and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to adopt in the Philippines.
What are the types of adoption in the Philippines?
Both an adoptive family or relatives can adopt a child. An agency adoption is the one type of adoption in the Philippines. It’s where the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or other child-placing agencies help adoptive parents go through the process of finding a child and applying to be their family.
Another type of adoption is where the child is placed under the care of relatives within the 4th degree of consanguinity.
Who can adopt?
The Congress provides clear policies on adopting in the Philippines through the Republic Act No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.
As a prospective parent, you are eligible for adopting a child if you meet the following criteria:
- You’re of legal age
- You’re at least 16 years older than the adoptee (age gap could be less if you’re the biological parent, sibling, or spouse of the adoptee’s parent)
- You can prove you have the capacity to assume all rights and duties to exercise parental authority (including emotional and psychological capability)
- You are of good character and have not been convicted of any crime
The DSWD will also make sure that prospective parents have the position to support, educate, and care for the adoptee. They will have to undergo rigorous pre-adoption services before being declared fit to raise a child.
If you’re a foreign national and you want to adopt in the Philippines, that’s possible too. You just have to make sure of a few things:
- You’re a citizen of a state with diplomatic relations with the Philippines
- You’ve been certified by your diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate agency that you’re qualified to adopt in your country
- Your government will allow the adoptee to enter your country and live there permanently as an adopted child
Much like the guidelines for locals, foreign nationals also need to pass the DSWD assessment along with other requirements and certifications.
Who can be adopted?
According to R.A. No. 8552, these are the people eligible for adoption:
- Anyone below 18 years old who has been administratively and judicially declared available for adoption
- A legitimate son or daughter can be adopted 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
- A child whose biological or adoptive parent/s has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six months from the time of death of parent/s.
What are the requirements for adopting?
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Here’s what you’ll need to tick off:
- Home Study Report
- PSA birth certificate
- Marriage Contract or Divorce, Annulment, Declaration of Nullity, or Legal Separation documents;
- Written consent to the adoption by the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, and illegitimate sons/daughters if living with the applicant, who is at least ten (10) years old
- Health certificate from a licensed physician as well as psychological evaluation
- NBI/Police Clearance
- Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability
- Three (3) character references, namely from the local church/minister, the employer, and a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least three (3) years
- 3×5 sized pictures of the applicants and their family taken at least three months prior
- Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption fora or seminars.
What are the steps to adopting?
According to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), below are the general process adoptive parents will undergo. They’re split into two phases:
- Attend an adoption forum/seminar
- Apply to the DSWD-Field Office/Licensed Foster Care Agencies or Child Placing Agencies
- Have an agency social worker assess you and look into your Home Study Report
- Wait for a child to be matched to you
- Have your Pre-Adoption Placement Authority (PAPA) and Affidavit of Consent to Adoption issued
- Be under a Post-Placement Supervision Period least 3 months while you live with the child
- Be issued a Certificate of Consent to Adoption
- File a Petition for Adoption
- Supervised Trial Custody Period of 6 months or less
- Hearing of the petition in court
- Issuance of Decree of Adoption and Entry of Judgment
You can expect the process of adoption to take months, if not a few years, but in the end everything will be worth it. You get to care for a child and form a family, after all.
How much will it cost?
The DSWD services are free but as an adoptive parent, you will have to shoulder the cost of the adoption documents and requirements. You will have to spend money on lawyers too if your case needs it.
If you’re adopting, you should also be financially prepared for anything the child needs like hospital check-ups and basic needs.
Which foundations can I come to?
Aside from the DSWD, you can also come to other organizations and foundations if you are looking to adopt. Kaisahang Buhay Foundation and NORFIL Foundation can help you out. Other non-profit organizations you can look into are ROHEI Foundation and All God’s Children which help people from all over the world adopt from the Philippines and other countries.
Even if you’re not adopting, you can also donate to these organizations to help them take care of the children.
Where can know more about adopting a child in the Philippines?
You can also reach out to the NCR Region office of DSWD’s Domestic Adoption and Foster Care Services through (632) 5310-1834 and (632) 8733-0010 loc 103.
Lastly, you can send Krishna Mei A. Salazar (Adoption) or Angelique V. Diaz (Foster Care) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Tell us about your adoption journey in the comments!