Most Frequently Asked Questions
RA 8552 (Adoption)
1. What are the legal bases for the implementation of adoption?
- Under RA 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, the DSWD is mandated to facilitate
the provision of immediate and permanent placement of a child legally available for
adoption, needing an adoptive family.
- RA 9523 or the CDCLAA law is an act requiring the Certification of the DSWD to declare a
“Child Legally Available for Adoption” as a pre-requisite for adoption proceedings, amending
for this purpose certain provisions of RA 8552.
- RA 8043, otherwise known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995”
- Presidential Decree No. 603, Otherwise known as the “Child and Youth Welfare Code, and
for other purposes”
2. What are the types of adoption in the Philippines?
- Agency adoption is when a licensed adoption agency finds and develops adoptive families
for children who are voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the state. The adoptive
families go through a process from application as prospective adoptive family facilitated by
Department of Social Welfare and Development or a licensed child-placing agency like the
Kaisahang Buhay Foundation to finalization of the child’s adoption in court.
- Family or relative adoption are those where the biological parents make a direct placement
of the child to a relative or a member within the 4th degree of consanguinity.
3. What is function of the DSWD in the implementation of adoption?
- The State through the Department of Social Welfare and Development is the competent
authority to implement the Adoption program, pursuant to the passage of Republic Act 8552
or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998. The Program Management Bureau-Adoption
Resource and Referral Division implements the Adoption Program of the Department, which
provides permanent family care arrangement to abandoned (including foundlings),
neglected and surrendered children, with the following functions:
a. Formulate/develop and enhance policies and other issuances that will protect the
Filipino child from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and adoption practice that is
harmful, detrimental and prejudicial to the best interests of the child.
b. Issue guidelines on adoption, including pre and post adoption services;
c. Monitors, provides technical assistance and assess compliance of Field Offices
counterpart and other agencies/ stakeholders involved in child placement.
- Conduct of Regional Matching Conference
- Development of prospective adoptive families
- Conduct advocacy on adoption program
d. Facilitates the review of dossier of children and processes the issuance of Certification
Declaring A Child Legally Available for Adoption, following the Republic Act 9523,
which was used to be a court procedure.
e. Act as Secretariat to local matching conferences that aimed to match the children
legally available for adoption to approved local adoptive parents and recommend the
child towards permanent placement.
f. Facilitates issuance of Clearance and endorse the case of the child to the Intercountry
Adoption Board for possible intercountry adoption placement.
4. Who are the target clientele group of the program?
- Abandoned, Neglected, Surrendered Children;
- Children who are Legally Available for Adoption;
- Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs)
5. What are the components of the program?
- Facilitates issuance of a Certification declaring a child as legally available for adoption
- Recruitment of potential adoptive families
- Development of adoptive applicants as parents to a particular child in need of a home
- Selection of a family who can best contribute to the total development of a particular
- Preparation of the child and family prior to placement to ensure acceptance and
readiness to new relationship
- Post-Placement Supervision for at least 3 months to facilitate the child’s adjustment in
the family prior to the completion of adoption legalization
- Preparation for removal of the child from the adoptive home if the placement disrupts
while alternative plans are being worked out
- Finalization of adoption and termination of service with issuance of the final decree of
adoption and emended birth certificate
- Organization of groups of adoptive parents as part of support system
- Post adoption services for adoptee, adopter and birth parents to include counseling,
assistance during search and reunion and linkage to support group such as the Adoptive
Families Foundation among others
- Clearing the child for intercountry adoption
6. Why do you think there are still many people who are hesitant to give adoption to try?
- The cost and long process in court, though the Department is free of charge for those who
wanted to adopt children, however, the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) will spend
money once they get the service of a private lawyer in the finalization of the child’s adoption
7. Breakdown for cost of adoption with the DSWD
- The DSWD does not require any adoption fees from the applicant/s. However, there are
certain requirements that the prospective adoptive parents need to pay on their own such
as in applying for authenticated birth certificate and marriage contract from the PSA,
securing medical certificate and NBI or Police Clearance, among others. It is when the
petitioner (this is the parent/s that are filing a petition for adoption in court) would start to
file a petition for adoption in court that he/she/they would have to get the services of a legal
counsel for a fee that is agreed with such legal counsel. This in not within the control of the
8. What are the benefits of adopting a child?
- Under the R.A. 8552, the Adoptive parent/s is/are entitled to maternity leave of two months
and paternity leave of seven days if the adoptive child is less than seven years old at the
time of placement to the Adoptive parents. PAPs would be able to give a home to a child.
9. How to adopt my niece / nephew (relative) step-daughter / step-son
- Step-parent and relative adoption (within fourth degree of consanguinity) cases are directly
being filed in court and does not require to go through the Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD) process. They may visit and inquire from the family courts near
their place for further information on the requirements and processes of adoption.
10. Do soon-to-be parents have counseling services offered to them as they go through the
preparations and processes of adopting a child?
- Yes, the PAPs were required to attend the adoption forum which a certification on their
attendance is one of the requirements in the application as basis for the approval as
adoptive parents. The social worker will discuss the processes that will help the PAPs decide
and determine their readiness to adopt.
11. What companies or agencies does DSWD work closely with to promote adoption?
- The Department work closely with the following Government and Non-government
Organization to strengthen our advocacies on legal adoption. Department of Interior and
Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DEPED), Department of Justice (DOJ),
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Department of
Health (DOH) and DSWD’s Licensed and Accredited Non-Government Organizations
(Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, NORFIL Foundation and Association of Child Caring Agencies
in the Philippines (ACCAP)
12. Alien PAPs qualified to adopt domestically but has the intention to eventually bring the child
outside the country.
- Include in the petition for adoption the intention of the PAPs to eventually bring the child
outside the country so that Family Court Judges are aware of their intention and strict
compliance to the requirements if the PAPs are alien but qualified to adopt domestically.
13. What will happen to adoption cases of children already granted by the Court but did not
comply with the requirements per R.A 9523?
- Judges of the Family Courts are advised to check the petition on adoption cases and ensure
that the CDCLAA is attached except for relative adoption cases.
14. Is it appropriate to let the birthmother/father signs in the Deed of Voluntary Commitment
(DVC) upon admission of the child in the CCA/RSCC?
- No. This is not compliant to the provision under the law which states that biological parents
shall be safeguarded from hurried decisions by providing them counseling and other services
focusing on their strengths as parents.
15. Is there a standard age gap between the PAPs and the adopted child?
- There is no set age limit for PAPs but the age gap of at least 16 years between the child and
the PAPs should be observed. Also, the motivation of the PAPs should be highly considered
in the assessment.
16. Can a single/unmarried member of the LGBT applies as an adoptive parent?
- There is no provision in the law that prohibits them to apply as adoptive parents. However,
they can apply as adoptive parents as long they are qualified under the law and they are still
subject for assessment and recommendation of the social worker.
- It is not stated in the law that single/LGBT may apply as adoptive parent. Court has no
qualification of such adoption of LGBT sector. However, court may deny the petition
outright. It is very important that social workers should conduct a thorough assessment to
single applicants provided that they will submit psychological evaluation
17. Is there any difference in terms of adoption requirements between a married couple and
- Same requirements and qualifications as long as the PAP (s) is/are assessed to be suitable to
meet the child’s need and have parenting capabilities. However, for single applicant, the
DSWD requires psychological evaluation as an additional requirement. The immediate family
of the single PAP should also be considered in the assessment.
- Meanwhile, for married couple, DSWD may require psychological evaluation if necessary.
18. If the child was born out of marriage and the birthfather did not acknowledge the child, who
will give the consent?
- The birthmother will only give consent and has the parental authority of the child. If the
birthfather acknowledged the child, he will sign the Deed of Voluntary Commitment
especially if the child would be recommended for intercountry adoption. Some countries
would require the signature of the birthfather who acknowledged parental authority over
19. Is adoption revocable?
- Adoption being in the best interest of the child, shall not be subject to rescission by the
adopter/s. The adoption may be rescinded only upon the petition of the adoptee with the
assistance of the DSWD on the following grounds committed by the adopters. (1. repeated
physical and verbal maltreatment 2. attempt on the life of the adoptee 3. sexual assault or
violence 4. abandonment and failure to comply with parental obligation)
20. What if the child is endangering the life of the PAPs?
- PAPs may disinherit the child.
21. Provision of financial assistance to low income prospective adoptive families who would like
to legalize the adoption.
- The DSWD has no lawyer who handles adoption cases hence they could only be referred to
avail the assistance of IBP lawyers or lawyers known to the prospective adoptive families for
lesser legal fees.