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Adoption Procedures

Guiding Laws:
RA 8552: Domestic Adoption Act of 1998
RA 8043: Inter-country Adoption Act of 1995
A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC: Rules on Adoption
Source: DSWD ADOPTION MANUAL (Published by the Social Technology Bureau,
DSWD Central Office)
Adoption: a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose
parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the
Two types of Adoption in the Philippines:
1. Agency Adoption
- When a licensed adoption agency finds and develops adoptive families for children
who are voluntarily or involuntarily committed. The adoptive families go through the
process from application to finalization of the childs adoption under the auspices of
the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or a licensed childplacing agency.
2. Direct/Independent Placement Adoption
- When the biological parents make a direct placement of the child either to a
relative, a member of their family, or a friend/non-relative, a member of their family,
or a friend/non-relative with whom they relinquish their child. Relative and
independent adoptions are directly filed in Family Court. Such will only come to the
attention of the DSWD if so ordered by the Family Court judge.
Matrix on Agency Adoption
Adopter (Parent)
1. Pre-Adoption
1. Attendance to Adoption
Fora or Seminar at DSWD
Regional Office
- A certificate of attendance
shall be issued to the
prospective adoptive parents,
which will be a prerequisite
for the home study, to be able
to apply for adoption.

Adoptee (Child)
1. Counseling (for known
biological parents1):
- a period of six months shall be
allowed for the biological
parents to reconsider any
decision to relinquish
his/her/their child for adoption
before the decision becomes
Consent of the biological parent

1 For the cases of abandoned and surrendered and sometimes neglected children

relinquishing their child for

adoption shall be in the form of
the Deed of Voluntary
Commitment (DVC)

2. Application
for Adoption

For children whose biological

parents are not known and
cannot be traced (i.e.
foundling), announcements
and advertisements shall be
made in different forms of
media (TV, radio,
newspapers) shall be made to
locate the parents of the
child. Investigations shall also
be made. If after 3 months
there has been no claim to
the child/no information was
traced, the child shall be
issued a Certificate of
Foundling (from the NSO)

2. Counseling to the
Prospective Adoptee
- in cases where the adoptees
consent is needed before he/she
can be adopted, counseling
sessions shall be conducted by
the social worker assigned to the
1. Attendance to Adoption 1. Preparation of the Child
Forum/Group Orientation
Study Report
or One-on-One Session
-refers to a study of a childs
Adoption Forum/Group
legal status, placement history,
Orientation: a strategy using
psychological, social, spiritual,
a group technique through
medical, ethno-cultural
which a small group of three
background, and that of his/her
to six couples of prospective
biological family as basis in
adoptive parents (PAPs) or
determining the most
members of the family to gain appropriate placement for
knowledge and understanding him/her. This shall be prepared
on adoption.
by the social worker of a DSWD
One-on-One Session: for those residential facility of a licensed
parents who cannot attend
child caring agency.

the forum
2. Application
- After securing the
requirements for Adoption,
prospective adoptive parents
shall apply for adoption at the
DSWD Regional Office that
has jurisdiction on them.

3. Matching

2. Issuance of the
Certification Declaring a
Child Legally Available for
Adoption (CDCLAA)
- with the absence of any claims
upon the child, this certification
shall be issued, signed by the
Secretary of the DSWD. This
certification shall be needed for
the matching of the child and
the PAPs.

3. Preparation of Home
Study Reports
Homestudy: a series of
planned interviews,
homevisits and collateral
interviews, with the
applicants, their children and
other persons who may have
direct involvement with the
- an evaluation of the
PAPs will be included in
the Homestudy Report.
This will determine if
the application of the
PAPs will be approved
or not.
Matching: refers to the judicious pairing of a child with a family
based on the childs needs and his/her capacity to benefit from
the placement as well as the capacity and interest of the
adoptive parents to meet his/her needs.
Matching is carried out during a regular matching conference by
the Matching Committee otherwise called the Child Welfare
Specialist Group (CWSG) in the regional level where the social
workers of the child and family are present.
Composition of the CWSG:
1. Social worker
2. Lawyer specializing on child and youth welfare cases
3. A physician
4. psychiatrist or psychologist
5. Representative of a non-government organization of the
adoptive parents, or child welfare agencies in consultation with
the recognized association or organization of adoptive parents

and child caring agencies.

During the matching conference, the needs/background of the
child shall be matched with the background/profile of the PAPs. If
matched, the adopter and adoptee shall proceed to the trial
If not matched, the PAPs and child shall proceed to the
Interregional Matching Conference done at the DSWD Central
If there are no matching parents for the child still, he/she will be
issued an Inter-Country Adoption Clearance (ICA Clearance)
and shall be referred to the Intercountry Adoption Board to be
matched to foreign PAPs.
Meanwhile, the parents who refused to accept the child that was
matched to them shall be counseled to reconsider their decision.
If they still refused for the second time, they will be reconsidered
again for another matching conference.
Meanwhile, those children and PAPs who have been matched
shall be prepared before Placement through counseling sessions.
4. Placement

5. Supervised
Trial Custody

Placement: refers to the physical transfer of an adoptive child

from a child caring agency or foster home to the adoptive
parents who shall be responsible for his/her care and custody.
Supervised Trial Custody: refers to the period of adjustment
within the first six months after the placement of a child in an
adoptive home whereby a social worker helps the adoptive family
and the child in the adjustment process to facilitate the legal
union through adoption.
Disruption of Adoptive Placement: Occurs when adoption
placement is not completed or discontinued due to problems
either or both on the part of the child and/or adoptive family.
- Can occur due to the following:
Mismatching of adoptive family and child
Inadequate assessment and preparation of adoptive
Poor preparation of the child
Fragmented post placement visits
Once the placement has been disrupted, the child shall be

withdrawn from the home of the PAPs and shall be brought back
to the residential facility/child placing agency which he/she came
6. Finalization of
the Childs

Once the supervised trial custody has been successful, the steps
in finalization of the childs adoption shall be carried out:
1. Issuance of the Consent to Adoption: Issued and Signed
by the Regional Director
2. Preparation and Filing of Petition for Adoption:
acquiring of services of a legal counsel to represent the adoptive
parents in the trial court proceedings. The petition for adoption
shall be filed in the Family Court where the adoptive parents
3. Petition for Adoption: Filed at an appropriate Family Court,
and upon completion of the requirement for the said petition,
hearing will be conducted in the Family Court. During the court
proceedings, the appearance of the social worker may be
required, and the Home Study Reports and Child Study Reports,
as well as Consent for Adoption issued shall be submitted to the
4. Issuance of Adoption Decree: After the recommendation
and reports of the DSWD and other pieces of evidence and the
court is satisfied that the petitioners are qualified to adopt, an
Adoption Decree shall be issued.
The decree shall have the following effects:
1. Severe all legal ties between the biological parent/s and the
adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the
2. Deem the adoptee as a legitimate child of the adopter
3. Give the adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations
arising from the relationship of parent and child, including but
not limited to:
a. the right of the adopted to choose the name the child to
be known; and
b. the right of the adopter and the adoptee to be legal and
compulsory heirs of each other.
Once the decree has been issued, it will be forwarded to the
Local Civil Registrar to change the birth certificate of the

Note: Even if the DSWD has issued consent of adoption, the court
may still rule against adoption. Though usually, court listens to
the recommendation of the DSWD.
The Adoption Decree may still be rescinded due to following
a. repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter
despite having undergone counseling
b. attempt on the life of the adoptee
c. sexual assault or violence
d. abandonment or failure to comply with parental obligations
The petition shall be filed by the adoptee, upon reaching the age
of majority, or if he/she is a minor, with the assistance of the

Requirements for Application for Adoption:
Authenticated 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
are at least ten (10) years old;
Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and
psychological evaluation by a psychologist;
NBI/Police Clearance
Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial
capability, e.g. Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate or Statement of
Assets and Liabilities;
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;
3x5 sized pictures of the applicant(s) and his/her immediate family
taken within the last three (3) months;
Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption fora or seminars.
In addition, foreign nationals shall submit the following:

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 countrys diplomatic or consular
office or central authority n intercountry adoption or any government agency
which has jurisdiction over child and family matters; or in the absence of any of
the foregoing, the Philippine Intercountry Adoption Board may also certify that
the Philippines and the applicants country have an existing agreement or
arrangement on intercountry 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 applicants country as
his/her legitimate child.
Certificate of Residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of
Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs, as appropriate;
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;
Police Clearance from all places of residence in the past two years
immediately prior to residing in the Philippines.