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Who may adopt? An alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing

abroad may file an application for inter-country adoption of a

Filipino child if
(1) Any Filipino citizen of

- legal age, in possession

a) is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least
- of full civil capacity and legal rights,
sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted, at the
-of good moral character, time of application unless the adopter is the parent by nature
of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent:
- has not been convicted of any crime involving moral

- who is emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for (b) if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;

- at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and

(c) has the capacity to act and assume all rights and
- who is in a position to support and care for his children in responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws,
keeping with the means of the family. and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an
accredited counselor in his/her country;
The requirement of a 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
(d) has not been convicted of a crime involving moral
adoptee’s parent;

(2) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as

(e) is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
above-stated for Filipino nationals: Provided,

- That his country has diplomatic relations with the

Republic of the Philippines, (f) is in a position to provide the proper care and support and
to give the necessary moral values and example to all his
children, including the child to be adopted;
- that he has been living in the Philippines for at least three
(3) continuous years prior to the filing of the petition for
adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption (g) agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied
decree is entered, under Philippine laws, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of
the Child, and to abide by the rules

and regulations issued to implement the provisions of this Act;

-that he has been certified by his diplomatic or consular
office or any appropriate government agency to have the legal
capacity to adopt in his country, and
(h) comes from a country with whom the Philippines has
diplomatic relations and whose government maintains a
similarly authorized and accredited agency and that adoption
- that his government allows the adoptee to enter his country
is allowed under his/her national laws; and
as his adopted child.

(i) possesses all the qualifications and none of the

(3) The guardian with respect to the ward after the
disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable
termination of the guardianship and clearance of his
Philippine laws.
financial accountabilities.

Who may be adopted. – The following may be adopted: Only a child legally available for domestic adoption may be the
subject of intercountry adoption.
Legally-free child means a child who has been voluntarily or
involuntarily committed to the Department, in accordance
(1) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been
with the Child and Youth Welfare Code.
voluntarily committed to the Department under Articles 154,
155 and 156 of P.D. No. 603 or judicially declared available for

(2) The legitimate child of one spouse, by the other spouse;

(3) An illegitimate child, by a qualified adopter to raise the

status of the former to that of legitimacy;

(4) A person of legal age regardless of civil status, if, prior to

the adoption, said person has been consistently considered
and treated by the adopters as their own child since minority;

(5) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or

2/12/2019 Rules of Court - New Rule on Adoption

(6) A child whose biological or adoptive parents have died:

Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6)
months from the time of death of said parents.

(7) A child not otherwise disqualified by law or these rules.

Where to file the petition? Family Court where the child resides or may be found or

To Inter Country Adoption Board (ICA)

The petition for adoption shall be filed with the Family Court
of the province or city where the prospective adoptive parents

Supervised Trial Custody Supervision of Trial Custody. — The governmental agency or

the authorized and accredited agency in the country of the
Before issuance of the decree of adoption, the court shall give
adoptive parents which filed the application for inter-country
the adopter trial custody of the adoptee for a period of at least
adoption shall be responsible for the trial custody and the care
six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust
of the child.
psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a
bonding relationship.
It shall also provide family counseling and other related
The trial custody shall be monitored by the social worker of
services. The trial custody shall be for a period of six (6)
the court, the Department, or the social service of the local
months from the time of placement. Only after the lapse of
government unit, or the child-placement or child-caring
the period of trial custody shall a decree of adoption be issued
agency which submitted and prepared the case studies. During
in the said country a copy of which shall be sent to the Board
said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in
to form part of the records of the child.
the adopter.

During the trial custody, the adopting parent(s) shall submit to

The court may, motu proprio or upon motion of any party,
the governmental agency or the authorized and accredited
reduce the period or exempt the parties if it finds that the agency, which shall in turn transmit a copy to the Board, a
same shall be for the best interests of the adoptee, stating the progress report of the child's adjustment. The progress report
reasons therefor. shall be taken into consideration in deciding whether or not to
issue the decree of adoption.

An alien adopter however must complete the 6-month trial

custody except the following: The Department of Foreign Affairs shall set up a system by
which Filipino children sent abroad for trial custody are
monitored and checked as reported by the authorized and
a) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within accredited inter-country adoption agency as well as the
the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or repatriation to the Philippines of a Filipino child whose
adoption has not been approved.

b) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino

spouse; or

c) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt

jointly with his or her spouse the latter’s relative within the
fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity.

If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with
the prospective adopter through a pre-adoption placement
authority issued by the Department, the court shall order that
the prospective adopter shall enjoy all the benefits to which
the biological parent is entitled from the date the adoptee is
placed with him.

The social worker shall submit to the court a report on the

result of the trial custody within two weeks after its



If the adopter is married, the spouse shall be a co-petitioner if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;
for joint adoption except if:

(a) one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other,

(b) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child and
the other spouse signified written consent thereto, or

(c) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

CONSENT REQUIREMENT Written consent of their biological or adoptive children above

ten (10) years of age, in the form of sworn statement;
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.


The adoption may be rescinded based on any of the following

grounds committed by the adopter:

1) repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter

despite having undergone counseling;

2) attempt on the life of the adoptee;

3) sexual assault or violence; or

4) abandonment or failure to comply with parental obligations.

Adoption, being in the best interests of the child, shall not be

subject to rescission by the adopter.

However, the adopter may disinherit the adoptee for causes

provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code.

PENAL PROVISION Sec. 16. Penalties. — (a) Any person who shall knowingly
participate in the conduct or carrying out of an illegal
adoption, in violation of the provisions of this Act, shall be
punished with a penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6)
years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine of not
less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), but not more than
Two hundred thousand pesos (P200.000), at the discretion of
the court. For purposes of this Act, an adoption is illegal if it is
effected in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Act or
established State policies, its implementing rules and
regulations, executive agreements, and other laws pertaining
to adoption. Illegality may be presumed from the following

(1) consent for an adoption was acquired through, or attended

by coercion, fraud, improper material inducement;

(2) there is no authority from the Board to effect adoption;

(3) the procedures and safeguards placed under the law for
adoption were not complied with; and

(4) the child to be adopted is subjected to, or exposed to

danger, abuse and exploitation.

(b) Any person who shall violate established regulations

relating to the confidentiality and integrity of records,
documents and communications of adoption applications,
cases and processes shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment
ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years,
and/or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000),
but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000), at the
discretion of the court.

A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for

the consummated felony under this Article shall be imposed
upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts
herein enumerated.

Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a

syndicate or where it involves two or more children shall be
considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall
merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a

syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons
conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying
out any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article.
Penalties as are herein provided shall be in addition to any
other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts
punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders,
and proclamations.

Sec. 17. Public Officers as Offenders. — Any government

official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of
violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire
with private individuals shall, in addition to the
above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with
existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That
upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said
government official, employee or functionary concerned shall
automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the


The requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s

qualification to adopt in his country may be waived
Sec. 11. Family Selection/Matching. — No child shall be
for the following: matched to a foreign adoptive family unless it is satisfactorily
shown that the child cannot be adopted locally. The clearance,
(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative
as issued by the Board, with the copy of the minutes of the
within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or
meetings, shall form part of the records of the child to be
adopted. When the Board is ready to transmit the Placement
Authority to the authorized and accredited inter-country
(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino
adoption agency and all the travel documents of the child are
spouse; or
ready, the adoptive parents, or any one of them, shall
personally fetch the child in the Philippines.

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt Sec. 12. Pre-adoptive Placement Costs. — The applicant(s)
jointly with his spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree shall bear the following costs incidental to the placement of
of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse. the child;

(a) The cost of bringing the child from the Philippines to the
residence of the applicant(s) abroad, including all travel
expenses within the Philippines and abroad; and

(b) The cost of passport, visa, medical examination and

psychological evaluation required, and other related expenses.