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1) Attend a Pre-Adoption Seminar. This is the initial step for couples or individuals who are
interested to adopt a child in the Philippines. Inquire with the nearest office of the Department
of Social Welfare and Development in your area about their adoption seminars.

These seminars are intended to educate the public on the benefits and responsibility
involved in the adoption process in the Philippines. While the focus usually is on the adoption
of abandoned children, these seminars are useful as an eye-opener for prospective adoptive
parents who are looking at adopting children of relatives or other persons who are prepared
to give their consent to an adoption in the Philippines.

2) Application for Adoption. Prospective adoptive parents may file an application to adopt
a child in the Philippines.

3) Declaration of Abandonment. This occurs when a child is abandoned or when efforts to

locate the natural parents fail. The equivalent of this procedure in the case of a Philippine
adoption with the consent of the natural parents is the signing by the latter of a DEED OF
VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT. Theoretically, this is where the State as parens patriae
assumes its role as temporary custodian of the child preparatory to the adoption by the
prospective adoptive parents. The intervention by the State at this point is to ensure the best
interests of the child.

4) Homestudy. “Home Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the
motivation and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to provide a home that meets the
needs of a child.

5) Matching. This is the process of determining if the motivation and capacity of the adoptive
parents match the needs of the child subject to adoption in the Philippines.

6) Child Study. “Child Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the
child’s legal status, placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-cultural
background and that of his biological family needed in determining the most appropriate
placement for him.

7) Pre-Adoption Placement Authority. Issued by the DSWD attesting to the fitness of the
child for the next step which is the Supervised Trial Custody.

8) Supervised Trial Custody. refers to the period of time during which a social worker
oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopters and adoptee in stabilizing
their filial relationship.

9) Administrative Consent to Adopt. This is issued by the DSWD after conducting the
supervised trial custody indicating the government’s consent to cede custody of the child to
the prospective parents subject to judicial approval by the court.

The Judicial Process of Adoption in the Philippines

After the consent to adopt issued by the DSWD, the process can proceed with the filing of
the Petition for Adoption with the Regional Trial Court of the place where the adoptive parents
reside. Note, however, that the procedure can likewise be initiated judicially (instead of 1 to 9
above) by filing the Petition in court from the very start, but the case will proceed jointly with
the administrative process (more particularly under Nos. 3 to 9 above).

1) Filing of Petition for Adoption at the Regional Trial Court. This commences the
adoption process with Philippine courts. The petition is accompanied by documentation which
will prove the capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt the subject child, such as
proof of financial capacity, social and religious support, and the proper psychological make
up to adopt.There are no blank forms to fill up, the Petition being a legal document that can
be executed properly with the assistance of adoption lawyers.

2) Publication of the Petition. Before hearing, the court will order the publication of the
Hearing of the Petition in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three
consecutive weeks. There is a determination at this point by the court of the sufficiency of the
petition in form and substance before moving ahead with the hearings on the adoption case.

3) Hearing. After the publication of the Petition and the court determines that the petition is
sufficient in form and substance, hearings will be scheduled to receive the testimony of the
witnesses which will support the Petition. The two main witnesses are the adoptive parents,
the social worker, and when required by the court, the psychologist who conducted the

4) Decree of Adoption. After the hearing the evidence, the court renders a decision and a
decree of adoption giving custody of the child subject of the adoption, the cancellation of the
birth certificate (if one has already been issued) and a new one issued with the adoptive
parents named as father and mother on the birth certificate.

5) Authorization To Travel Abroad. If the adoptive parents intend to bring the child to
another country, the DSWD will issue an authority to travel when the judgment of the court
approving the adoption becomes final and executory.