How To Adopt in the Philippines
Whether adoption is a desire that has been in your heart for a long time or an option you’ve never really considered up until recently, we’re here to help you navigate through this wonderful journey. But before pursuing adoption, there are things every family needs to know. We’re giving you a rundown of the requirements and processes, plus helpful links to guide you as you consider and actually pursue adoption.
WHO MAY ADOPT?
- Of legal age
- Full capacity and legal rights
- Good moral character, no conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude
- Emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children
- At least 16 years older than the adoptee UNLESS biological parent of the adoptee or the spouses of the adoptee’s parent
- Guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities
- Same qualifications for Filipino citizens
- The country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines
- Has been living in the Philippines for at least 3 years prior to the filing of the application
- Certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country
- His/her government allows the adoptee to enter the country as his/her adopted son/daughter
- Requirements for residency and certification of qualification is waived for the following
- Former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity OR affinity
- Seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse
- Married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity OR affinity of the Filipino spouse
Note: If married, husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
- If one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other
- If one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter PROVIDED that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto
- If the spouses are legally separated from each other
***If spouses jointly adopted or one spouse adopted the illegitimate child of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by parents.
WHO MAY BE ADOPTED?
- Any person below 18 years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption.
- The legitimate son or daughter by one spouse by the other spouse
- An illegitimate son or daughter by an adopter to improve his or her status to that of legitimacy.
- A person of legal age, if prior to adoption, has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his or her child since he or she is a minor.
- A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded.
- A child whose biological or adopted parent(s) has died.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND DSWD
- Share your interest with DSWD or an accredited agency
- Sign up and attend an adoption forum
- Prepare preliminary requirements
- Submit requirements to DSWD or agency
- DSWD makes a case study report
- Wait to be matched with a child
- Placement issuance of Pre-Adoption Placement Authority (PAPA)
- Supervised trial custody for 6 months or less (adjustment period)
- Recommendation and consent of DSWD
- File a petition for adoption in court
- Decree of adoption
- Issuance of Travel Authority if foreign adoption
- PSA Birth Certificate
- PSA Marriage Certificate (if adopters are married)
- Written authorization to the adoption of the legitimate, adopted, or illegitimate children living with the applicant who are aged ten (10) years old and above
- Health Certificate of adopting couple and their family member
- NBI Clearance or Police Clearance
- Latest Income Tax Return (ITR) or any proof of income
- Three (3) Character References
- Statement of Acceptance from labeled guardian
- Latest family picture and home photos
- Home Study Report
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
- The application to DSWD does not entail a fee apart from the expenses in gathering the necessary requirements.
- Child-placing agencies may ask a fee for their services in procuring the required documents and for their assistance through the process.
- Another expense is your lawyer to legally adopt the child, which is a fee that varies per lawyer.
***However, we advise families to also financially prepare the same way they would allot a budget for the arrival of a biological child (check-ups, buying baby needs, etc.).
Stay tuned! The ROHEI Foundation team answers some of your Frequently Asked Questions about adoption!
Related Articles and Resources
5 Tips for Starting Your Adoption JourneyOctober 26th, 2018
In the Philippines, roughly a mere hundred out of 2000 children are adopted per year, domestically. The sad reality of the orphan crisis is that hundreds of thousands of children grow up not knowing the love of a family. Why? Adoption is not easy. Families rarely consider adoption as an option. Adoption consists of decisions […]