Archive | February 16th, 2016

Adopting a child

February is Adoption Consciousness Month. With this year’s theme as “Legal na Ampon ako, anak na Totoo,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development shows us how one (or a couple) can adopt a child legally in the Philippines.

Before considering adoption, one must know if they are eligible to adopt a Filipino child.

The eligibility includes that he or she is of legal age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, provided, however that the minimum age gap between the adopter and the adoptee may not be required if the adopter is the biological parent or sibling of the adoptee or the spouse of the adoptee`s parent;

The adopter has also have the capacity to act and assume all the rights and duties incident to the exercise of parental authority and that they are of good moral character and have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;

The adopted must also be in a position to support, educate and care for his/her legitimate and illegitimate children and the child to be adopted in keeping with the means of the family; and has undergone pre-adoption services.

In addition to the qualifications, an alien (not a Filipino citizen) may also adopt if he or she: is a citizen of a state which has diplomatic relations with the Philippines; and has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate agency that: he/she is qualified to adopt in his/her country; and his/her government will allow the adoptee to enter the adopter`s country and reside there permanently as an adopted child;

The foreign adopted must also have submitted the necessary clearances and such other certifications as may be required by the Department.

When applying for adoption, interested applicants must consult with a DSWD social worker to be assessed if they are ready to adopt a child or not. Moreover, they also need to comply with certain requirements before they could go with the adoption process.

The requirements follow:

  1. Authenticated birth certificate
  2. Marriage Contract or Divorce, Annulment, Declaration of Nullity, or Legal Separation documents;
  3. Written consent to the adoption by the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, and illegitimate sons/daughters if living with the applicant, who are at least ten (10) years old;
  4. Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and when appropriate, psychological evaluation;
  5. NBI/Police Clearance
  6. Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability, e.g. Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate or Statement of Assets and Liabilities;
  7. 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;
  8. 3×5 sized pictures of the applicant(s) and his/her immediate family taken within the last three (3) months;
  9. Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption fora or seminars.

In addition, foreign nationals shall submit the following:

  1. Certification that the applicant(s) have legal capacity to adopt in his/her country and that his/her country has a policy, or is a signatory of an international agreement, which allows a child adopted in the Philippines by its national to enter his/her country and permanently reside therein as his/her legitimate child which may be issued by his/her country’s diplomatic or consular office or central authority n inter-country adoption or any government agency which has jurisdiction over child and family matters; or in the absence of any of the foregoing, the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Board may also certify that the Philippines and the applicants’ country have an existing agreement or arrangement on inter-country adoption whereby a child who has been adopted in the Philippines or has a pre-adoption placement approved by the Board is allowed to enter and remain as permanent resident in the applicant’s country as his/her legitimate child.
  2. Certificate of Residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs, as appropriate;
  3. Two (2) character references from a non-relatives who knew the applicant(s) in the country of which he/she is a citizen or was a resident prior to residing in the Philippines, except for those who have resided in the Philippines for more than fifteen (15) years;
  4. Police Clearance from all places of residence in the past two years immediately prior to residing in the Philippines.

The DSWD is an active advocate of legal adoption in the Philippines. For more information on how to go through the adoption process, they can visit a social worker at DSWD located at Masterson Ave., Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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February 2016