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Section 7, Article III of RA 8552 reads:

SEC. 7. Who May Adopt. - The following may adopt:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil
capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been
convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and
psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16)
years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and
care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The
requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the
adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological
parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptees parent;
(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for
Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic
relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been
living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to
the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence
until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by
his/her 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 his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, further, That the
requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification
to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:
(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within
the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or
(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of
his/her Filipino spouse; or
(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt
jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4 th)
degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouses; or
(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the
guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.
Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of
the other; or
(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate
son/daughter: Provided, however, That the other spouse has
signified his/her consent thereto; or
(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the
illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be
exercised by the spouses. (Emphasis supplied)

Steps and court procedures in domestic adoption

The Supreme Court has issued guidelines in petitions for adoptions under RA
8552 and RA 8043. Basically, a petition for domestic adoption under RA 8552
will go through these steps:
[1] A lawyer prepares the petition for the person or persons wanting to adopt. The
petition includes documents like birth certificates, marriage certificate, proof of
financial capacity (like ITR, bank deposit, etc), clearances (barangay, police, NBI,
fiscal, court), and others as proof of good moral character, good health, etc.
[2] Upon payment of the filing or docket fee, the petition is raffled to a Family
Court (of the city nearest the place where the petitioner resides). If the petition is
sufficient in form and substance, the court issues an order, usually within a month
after the filing of the petition, setting the case for initial hearing and ordering the
court social worker to conduct a case study and home visit.
[3] The court order is published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week
for three weeks. The newspaper is chosen by raffle conducted by the Office of the
Clerk of Court, in compliance with a Supreme Court circular. If a small time
newspaper wins in the raffle, the total cost for the publication could be as low as
Php 7,000. But if a big time newspaper like the Bulletin or the Inquirer wins the
raffle, the total cost could be as high as Php 50,000.
[4] Before the initial hearing, the social worker conducts a case study and home
visit. The social worker submits his investigation report and recommendations to
the court before the initial hearing.
[5] On the date of the initial hearing, the petitioner and the prospective adoptee
must be present. The lawyer presents what are known as the jurisdictional facts
(petition, proof of publication in newspaper, notice to the Office of the Solicitor
General, etc).
[6] If there is no opposition to the petition for adoption by any party, then the
lawyer asks the court permission for an ex-parte presentation of evidence, done
before only the court stenographer and the court appointed commissioner (the
branch clerk of court). The court however can require presentation of evidence in
open court. All in all, the case could take up to about a year to finish.
[7] If the court decision is favorable and there is no appeal by any party, then the
court issues a Certificate of Finality. The lawyer then coordinates with the Local
Civil Registrar (of the town or city where the court is located, and the adoptees

birthplace) and the National Statistics Office for the issuance of a new birth
certificate bearing the petitioners surname.
Section 11. Annexes to the Petition. The following documents shall be
attached to the petition:
A. Birth, baptismal or foundling certificate, as the case may be, and school
records showing the name, age and residence of the adoptee;
B. Affidavit of consent of the following:
1. The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;
2. The biological parents of the child, if known, or the legal guardian,
or the child-placement agency, child-caring agency, or the proper
government instrumentality which has legal custody of the child;
3. The legitimate and adopted children of the adopter and of the
adoptee, if any, who are ten (10) years of age or over;
4. The illegitimate children of the adopter living with him who are ten
(10) years of age or over; and
5. The spouse, if any, of the adopter or adoptee.
C. Child study report on the adoptee and his biological parents;
D. If the petitioner is an alien, certification by his diplomatic or consular
office or any appropriate government agency that he has the legal capacity to
adopt in his country and that his government allows the adoptee to enter his
country as his own adopted child unless exempted under Section 4(2);
E. Home study report on the adopters. If the adopter is an alien or residing
abroad but qualified to adopt, the home study report by a foreign adoption
agency duly accredited by the Inter-Country Adoption Board; and
F. Decree of annulment, nullity or legal separation of the adopter as well as
that of the biological parents of the adoptee, if any.

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