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3 Things to Know Before Starting The Adoption Process

All children deserve a loving family and a safe home to live in. Unfortunately, circumstances might make this more challenging to achieve for some. They may be abandoned, orphaned, or taken away from their biological parents due to neglect. Adoption remains a viable choice for individuals and couples to give these children a second chance at getting a family. 

In the Philippines, the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) is a one-step quasi-judicial agency that overlooks alternative child care, including the adoption process. It is attached to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Its adoption program is implemented under the recently passed Republic Act No. 11642, or the Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act. If you plan on adopting a child in the Philippines, looking through NACC’s adoption requirements is a good idea. That way, you’ll know exactly what you need. Here are the most critical factors you’ll need to know before beginning the adoption process.

Who Can Adopt 

It’s essential to determine if both the adopter and adoptee are qualified to undergo the adoption process. An adult would be eligible to adopt if he or she is at least twenty-five (25) years old and at least sixteen years (16) older than the adoptee. However, the latter may not be applicable if the adopter is the biological parent or sibling of the adoptee. 

The adopter would have to be of good moral character and must be able to demonstrate it with a clean criminal record. He or she must also have total civil capacity and legal rights. Finally, he or she must be emotionally and psychologically well enough and be in a good financial position to sufficiently provide for a child.  

If the adopter is married, he or she must adopt jointly with his or her spouse, save for a few exceptions, such as:

  1. If the adoptee is the legitimate child of his or her spouse.
  2. If he or she seeks to adopt his or her illegitimate child.
  3. If he or she is legally separated from his or her spouse.

For these three exceptions, the spouse who would want to adopt need not do so jointly with his or her spouse.  

Who Can Be Adopted 

On the other hand, a child can only be eligible to be adopted if he or she is under eighteen years old. The child should also be administratively or judicially declared available for adoption. However, someone of legal age could be adopted by someone who was consistently cared for and treated by the adoptee as family when he or she was a minor. 

Examples of eligible children may include an illegitimate child of one parent by the other parent. There have also been cases of illegitimate children turned legitimate by their parents through adoption. Children whose parents have since died or whose previous adoptions have been rescinded can also be declared available for adoption. 

Requirements for Local Adoption 

Finally, it’s essential to get all your requirements ready before you begin the adoption process. Adoption is a lengthy procedure lasting up to a year or more. Ensuring that the documents needed on your end are set can help speed it up. 

It’s likely that you already have many of these requirements. The DSWD will require you to submit your Birth Certificate, Certificate of Employment, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or Police Clearance. You’ll also need your marriage or nullity of marriage documents, such as a Marriage Certificate or Declaration of Nullity if applicable. They will also require your medical certificate to ensure you’re physically well enough for your parental duties.  

The NACC also wants to ensure your financial capabilities are sufficient to cover the needs of the prospective adoptee. Because of this, they’ll likewise require documentary proof of said financial capabilities, such as tax returns or bank statements.

Next, prepare the requirements that are specific to the adoption process. Remember to fill up your application form and attend the adoption seminar to get your certificate of attendance. Prepare 3×5 inch-sized whole-body photos of yourself and, if applicable, your family. If you have other children aged ten or above in the house, they’ll need to fill out a written consent to adoption for you. Finally, you’ll need at least three (3) character references who will prepare letters attesting to your character and general reputation. The NACC will use these to review your suitability for caring for a child. 

By keeping these in mind, you’ll be able to make the beginning of your adoption smooth sailing. In the next part of this series, you’ll be able to get an overview of the adoption process so that you’ll know what to expect throughout.

(to be continued)

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