Can Adoption Really Be This Simple?
On January 6, 2022, the Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act (RA 11642) was finally signed into law!
Why we need it
Many think that the adoption process is complicated. It is true that the process can be long, seemingly complex, and expensive, but it is achievable with perseverance and the right guidance, especially with the new adoption law.
In the past year, ROHEI Foundation did 200 consultations with potential adoptive and foster families. We realized that there are loving families who want to grow through adoption or foster care, but they hesitate to start their journeys because the full legal adoption process can feel intimidating and daunting.
During that year, we could only clarify the process for families, and encourage them to set out on their adoption journey. In November last year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) granted us a Child-Placing Agency license. It allows us to facilitate adoption and foster care placements. We can now journey with families in the process itself. We hope that the new law encourages more families to open their hearts and homes to orphaned and abandoned children!
What this will do
One reason many adoption cases are delayed is that DSWD personnel face many challenges. Even with the help of Child-Placing Agencies that facilitate adoption and foster care placements, social workers find themselves handling multiple DSWD projects that require more personnel.
“We acknowledge their hard work here; we have always seen that they have the true intent of helping these children and their families. But again, as I repeat, the DSWD personnel who have been handling adoption cases are also pulled out, time and again, for all the other functions in DSWD,” Senator Pia Cayetano shared in her speech when the Senate passed the bill at the third hearing. See full video here.
With all of that, we want to honor social workers and DSWD for what they have been faithfully doing to help orphaned and abandoned children. We hope that this new law will streamline the process for the organization.
It will establish a new government body
Currently, the DSWD is the authority that oversees all adoption and foster care cases. This law will establish the National Authority for Child Care (NACC)* that will simplify the entire process. The NACC will be in charge of facilitating placements and developing families, and the social workers under this body will also be fully dedicated to clearing children who are eligible for adoption.
*The NACC was previously know as the Inter-Country Adoption Board prior to its reorganization. Find them on Facebook here.
It will remove the judicial phase of adoption
The law states that the judicial phase of adoption will no longer apply to adoption. However, it still requires Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) before it can come into play. In other words, while we are still waiting for the IRR, the adoption and foster care processes will stay the same. In the meantime, we are not yet certain when they will be implemented.
After the IRR is approved, all adoption and foster care processes will go through the NACC as the government body dedicated to adoption and foster care. In the future, instead of a court process, the journey will be purely administrative. This means that adoptions need only go through the NACC to be finalized, unlike before.
For parents who are in the middle of the process, we encourage you to bring this up with your social worker to know how it might apply to you! You may also check out these FAQs from the NACC.
It will make the adoption process faster and more cost-friendly
Before the Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act, families were required to attend several court hearings to complete their adoption journeys.
This law will lessen their expenses for lawyers and court hearings. To add, Senator Risa Hontiveros explained at the same third Senate hearing that “this bill will abbreviate the waiting time of adoptive parents to six to nine months. Instead of years, the waiting time will now only be as long as a pregnancy of a mother.”
What we can do
Pray and prepare
While the Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act is finally a law, we are still waiting for the creation of the IRR. While waiting, we can pray for the smooth creation of the NACC, and a seamless transition of duties and personnel from different organizations.
We can also take the first steps towards adoption and foster care. While the judicial process is disappearing, the application process will remain mostly the same. We can already take the pre-adoption seminar as the first step to adoption, or begin to assemble the documents for our foster license. If you’re open to exploring the next steps, visit our Adoption and Foster Care section.
Advocate and act
Now that the new law has greatly simplified the adoption process, it is time to advocate and spread the word! Openly share facts and details about adoption with your family and friends. Research about the orphan crisis in the Philippines and find out how you can be a part of the solution. Open your heart and consider adoption or foster care.
Find a community of advocates who are equally passionate about adoption and foster care. Ask questions. Share posts. The signing of the law started the ball rolling; let’s drive the momentum forward! We cannot underestimate the power of advocacy to change the hearts and minds of potential adoptive and foster parents all around our nation.
Please note that this is a developing story. We’ll be posting updates and new articles as new developments regarding RA 11642 arise. Stay tuned!
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