Thursday, September 6, 2012


Philippines Adoption: Q & A

Philippines Adoption Attorneys, Lawyers

Q. What laws governs domestic and inter-country adoption in the Philippines?
  1. There are two laws on adoption [1] Republic Act 8552 Domestic Adoption Act of 1998; and [2] Republic Act 8043 Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995. RA 8552 amended Articles 183 up to 193 of the Family Code and the law governing for Filipino citizens adopting other Filipinos (whether relatives or strangers) with certain exceptions. While RA 8043, governs the adoption of Filipinos by foreigners and is being implemented by the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB).
    Republic Act 8552, also known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 encourages domestic adoption to preserve the child’s identity and culture and only when this is not available shall inter-country adoption be considered as a last resort.
Q. Who may be adopted?
  1. The following may be adopted:
  1. Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;
  2. The legitimate son or daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;
  3. An illegitimate son or daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his / her status to that of legitimacy;
  4. A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adoptor(s) as his / her own child since minority;
  5. A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded;
  6. A child whose biological or adoptive parent (s) has / have died, provided that no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent (s);
Q. Can an alien adopt in the Philippines?
  1. Yes, Section 7 (b) of RA 8552 allows an alien to adopt under the domestic adoption law provided that he /she meets the following requirements:
  • Of legal age and at least 16 years older than the adoptee (except when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee or is the spouse of the adoptee’s parent).
  • Possesses full civil capacity and legal rights.
  • Of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children.
  • In a position to support and care for his / her children in keeping with the means of the family.
  • His / her country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines.
  • Has been certified by the diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he / she has the legal capacity to adopt in his / her country and that his / her government allows the adoptee to enter his / her country as an adopted child.
  • Has been living continuously in the Philippines for at least three (3) years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered.
Section 7 (c) also provides that the guardian, with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his / her financial accountability, is also qualified to adopt under the law.
Q. Are there any exceptions on residency requirement of the alien?
  1. Yes. The requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his / her country may be waived for the following cases:
  1. The applicant is a former Filipino citizen seeking to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity;
  2. The applicant is seeking to adopt the legitimate son or daughter of his / her Filipino spouse;
  3. The applicant is married to a Filipino citizen, and seeks to adopt jointly with his / her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.
Q. Are there any exceptions to the rule that the husband and wife shall jointly adopt?
  1. Yes, 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 or daughter, provided, however, that the other spouse has signified his/her consent.
  • If the spouses are legally separated from each other.
In case the husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son or daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.
Q. What does the law says about supervised trial custody? Are there any exceptions to this?
  1. The law provides that no petition for adoption shall be finally granted until the adopter has been given by the court a supervised trial custody period for at least six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship. During the said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested on the adopter. An alien adopter must complete the six (6) month trial custody except in the following cases:
  • Former Filipino citizens adopting a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity
  • One who is adopting the legitimate son or daughter of his / her Filipino spouse
  • One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his / her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.
Q. I have a child out of wedlock and I am married to another man. My husband would like to adopt my illegitimate child. Should I ask for the consent of the biological father and what should I do if he refused?
  1. Under the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 the written consent of the natural parent is required. However, if the father has abandoned the child and you cannot locate him despite earnest efforts then there is no need for the said consent. The best interest and welfare of the child is still the consideration.
Q. What are the specific provisions involving qualifications for US immigration of a child (within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity) adopted under the Domestic Adoption Law of the Philippines by an American citizen married to a Filipino or former Filipino citizen?
  1. You have to comply with the following before the adopted child can be eligible for an immigrant visa:
  1. The adoption of the child must take place before the age of 16 (or be the sibling of a child who was adopted by the same parents while under the age of 18). The adoption must be legal and final. The adoption must be legal. This means that the Philippine (family) court has approved the petition filed in this regard. The decree becomes final and executory.
  2. Once the legal custody has been awarded by the family court in the Philippines then the adoptive parents must have had the legal custody of the child for at least two (2) years. The legal custody commenced from the date that the adoptive parents were granted legal custody of the child, or the date the adoption becomes final and executory, whichever comes first. This means that the adoptive parents must have physically resided with the adopted child for at least two (2) years prior to immigration. During this period, the adoptive parents must exercise parental control. In case they (adopted parents and the child) resided separately for a certain period, an evidence must be presented to establish the fact that the child and the adoptive parents had a bona fide parent-child relationship. Lastly, the child must satisfy all primary documentary needed for immigrant visa.
For more info:
Visit the website:
Duano Law Office  
9th Flr. Suite 9N Future Point Plaza 3
No.111 Panay Ave., South Triangle Quezon City 
1103 Philippines
Tel: (02) 425-5221;  0919-2345-113; (02) 411-56-05


  1. Sir / Ma'am,

    Would like to get advise on the procedures of my fiance adopting my daughter after our marriage. The child carries no father's detail on her birth certificate.

    Hoping for a response from your team.

    Thank you,
    Izza Mendoza

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