Thinking of adopting a child? Here's how

MANILA, Philippines – Thinking of adopting a child?

Close to 6,500 Filipino children are in need of a permanent home.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 3,793 children have already been made legally available for adoption since 2009, under the care of residential care facilities.

Some 2,000 children were directly placed by their biological parents to the care of another family other than their relatives, while 236 children are in foster care whose parents signified interest to adopt them.

The Philippines celebrates Adoption Consciousness every February 10 to 18, with the government supporting awareness campaigns on legal adoption of children. (READ: Consider adopting a child, gov't asks couples)

Philippine laws allow legal adoption of Filipino children. Republic Act (RA) No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 allows Filipino citizens to adopt Filipino children while foreign nationals are also allowed under RA 8043. (READ: Being a mother goes beyond bearing children)

Have you ever thought of adoption? Here are some guidelines under the law:

What are the types of adoption?

Prospective parents may adopt through agencies or through their relatives. Agency adoption takes place when a licensed adoption agency finds adoptive families for children as facilitated by the DSWD.

Direct placement of children to a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity is considered family or relative adoption. 

Who can adopt?

Individuals or couples of legal age that are at least 16 years older than the adoptee may adopt. In the case that the adopter is the biological parent or sibling of the adoptee, the minimum age gap may no longer be required.

The adopter must also have the capacity to act and assume all rights and duties to exercise parental authority. He or she should be of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving morality.

The adopter should also be in the position to support, educate, and care for his or her children and the child to be adopted. 

Prospective parents and adoptee should undergo counselling services and adoption seminars organized by the DSWD.

In the case of foreign nationals interested in adopting in the Philippines, the adopter should be a citizen of a state that has diplomatic relations with the country. The diplomatic or consular office of the prospective parent must also be certify that:

The foreign national interested in adopting should submit all necessary clearances and certification as required by the DSWD.

Who may be adopted?

According to RA 8552, the following may be adopted:

What are the requirements?

Here are the documents needed for adoption:

Adoptee

Prospective adoptive parents

What are the steps in adoption?

Here are the steps in adoption:

What are the costs?

The applicant will have to spend for securing the documents required for adoption.

DSWD services are free, but the services of accredited child placing agencies may vary.

The applicant will also have to consider lawyer fees when he or she undergo the judicial phase of adoption.– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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