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ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY


COLLEGE OF LAW


ADOPTION

LAWS, RULES AND JURISPRUDENCE GOVERNING DOMESTIC AND INTER-
COUNTRY ADOPTIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES

ANUGOT, JOAN
DOMINGO, JOAHNA PAULA
GARCIA, GIL II
ILAGAN, KAREN CATE
KAHULUGAN, AUDA BEA
PADLAN, GLAIZA MAY
TAY, JONATHAN

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS IN SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
3 MANRESA
MARCH 2013

SUBMITTED TO
ATTY. GERALDINE QUIMOSING-TIU
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A. DEFINITION

Adoption, as defined in the Philippine Law Dictionary
1
, is a means devised in law
so that persons who are otherwise childless in need one who has developed, and who
are capable of giving the love, care and attention to a child that normally only the natural
parents can tender, may take the child as their own.

In The Matter Of The Adoption Of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia Honorato B.
Catindig
2
, adoption is defined as the process of making a child, whether related or not to
the adopter, possess in general, the rights accorded to a legitimate child. It is a juridical
act, a proceeding in rem which creates between two persons a relationship similar to
that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation.


B. NATURE AND CONCEPT

The modern trend is to consider adoption not merely as an act to establish a
relationship of paternity and filiation, but also as an act which endows the child with a
legitimate status. This was, indeed, confirmed in 1989, when the Philippines, as a State
Party to the Convention of the Rights of the Child initiated by the United Nations,
accepted the principle that adoption is impressed with social and moral responsibility,
and that its underlying intent is geared to favor the adopted child. Republic Act No. 8552,
otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, secures these rights and
privileges for the adopted.
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There is without any prescribed action that may be instituted for the judicial
confirmation of a de facto adoption. Nor do our adjective and substantive laws on
adoption provide for such a proceeding. In fact, the only proper and authorized
procedure relative to adoption is outlined in the rule on adoption itself. No action or
proceeding for judicial confirmation of a de facto adoption is authorized in this
jurisdiction. Furthermore, by its very nature and purpose, a decree of adoption can never
be made to retroact.
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1
Frederico B. Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3
rd
Ed., 1988
2
In The Matter Of The Adoption Of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia Honorato B. Catindig, G.R.
No. 148311, March 31, 2005
3
Ibid.
4
Office of the Court Administrator vs. Gines, A.M. No. RTJ 92-802, July 5, 1993
ADOPTION
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The act of adoption fixes a status, vis., that of parent and child. More technically,
it is an act by which relations of paternity and affiliation are recognized as legally existing
between persons not so related by nature. It has been defined as the taking into ones
family of the child of another as son or daughter and heir and conferring on it a title to
the rights and privileges of such. The purpose of an adoption proceeding is to effect this
new status of relationship between the child and its adoptive parents, the change of
name which frequently accompanies adoption being more an incident than the object of
the proceeding.
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ADOPTION IS A PRIVILEGE

While adoption has often been referred to in the context of a "right," the privilege
to adopt is itself not naturally innate or fundamental but rather a right merely created by
statute. It is a privilege that is governed by the state's determination on what it may
deem to be for the best interest and welfare of the child. Matters relating to adoption,
including the withdrawal of the right of an adopter to nullify the adoption decree, are
subject to regulation by the State.


C. GOVERNING LAWS

1. The basic governing law on domestic adoption is Republic Act No. 8552, which is An
Act Establishing the Rules and Policies on the Domestic Adoption of Filipino Children. It
was approved on February 25, 1998. It took effect fifteen (15) days after its complete
publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspaper of general circulation.

2. Inter-country or foreing adoptions, however, are governed by Republic Act No. 8043,
which is An Act Establishing the Rules to Govern Inter-Country Adooption of Filipino
Children approved on June 2, 1995.

3. Prior laws on adoption include provisions in the Child and Youth Welfare Code,
Presidential Decree No. 603, the Family Code and Executive Order No. 91 which
amended Articles 28, 29, 30, 31, 33 and 35 of Presidential Decree No. 603.

4. The Family Code expressly repealed Articles 17-19, 27-31, 39-42 of the Civil Code
and Articles 27-29, 31, 33 and 35 of Presidential Decree No. 603.

5. And to implement the provisions of the Family Courts Act, the Supreme Court
promulgated the Rule on Adoption, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, effective August 22, 2002,
which supersedes Rule 99 and 100 of the Rules of Court on adoption, except Sections 6
and 7 thereof.

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Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals and Maximo Wong, G.R. No. 97906
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I. DOMESTIC ADOPTION (RULES ON ADOPTION: A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC )






This new rule on adoption, which supersedes the rules in adoption in the Rules of
Court, provides for the procedures in domestic adoption and inter-country adoption.
Sections 1 to 25 primarily applies to domestic adoption and section 26 to 33 applies to
inter-country adoption.

Other provisions on adoption are found in Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 or
Republic Act 8043, Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 or Republic Act 1998.

RA 8552 amended Articles 183 up to 193 of the Family Code of the Philippines
and is the governing law for Filipino citizens adopting other Filipinos (whether relatives or
strangers) with some exceptions. Under Article 192 of the FC, the adopting couple may
under certain circumstances ask for judicial rescission of the adoption. Rescission of
adoption is no longer allowed under RA 8552.

RA 8043 on the other hand, governs the adoption of Filipinos by foreigners, and
is implemented by the Inter-Country Adoption Board.





















Section 1. Applicability of the Rule.
This Rule covers the domestic adoption of Filipino children.
Sec. 2. Objectives.
(a) The best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration in all
matters relating to his care, custody and adoption, in accordance with Philippine
laws, the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN
Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare
of Children with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption, Nationally
and Internationally, and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and
Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption.

(b) The State shall provide alternative protection and assistance through foster
care or adoption for every child who is a foundling, neglected, orphaned, or
abandoned. To this end, the State shall:
(i) ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of his
parents and is provided with love, care, understanding and security for
the full and harmonious development of his personality. Only when such
efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or adoption within
the childs extended family is available shall adoption by an unrelated
person be considered.

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BEST INTERESEST OF THE ADOPTEE

In all laws on adoption, the objectives stated are all for the benefit and best
interest of the child so that proper care and custody may be provided to him. This is for
the reason that this present rule, RA 8043 and RA 8552 are enacted to provide for the
procedure, qualifications and conditions that must be complied with and met by persons
who opt to adopt. The purpose of adoption is the promotion of the welfare of the child
and the enhancement of his opportunities for a useful and happy life, and every
intendment is sustained to promote that objective.

The Supreme Court has said that adoption statutes, being humane and salutary,
hold the interests and welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration. They are
designed to provide homes, parental care and education for unfortunate, needy or
orphaned children and give them the protection of society and family, as well as to allow
childless couples or persons to experience the joys of parenthood and give them legally
a child in the person of the adopted for the manifestation of their natural parental

(ii) safeguard the biological parents from making hasty decisions in
relinquishing their parental authority over their child;
(iii) prevent the child from unnecessary separation from his biological
parents;

(iv) conduct public information and educational campaigns to promote a
positive environment for adoption;

(v) ensure that government and private sector agencies have the
capacity to handle adoption inquiries, process domestic adoption
applications and offer adoption-related services including, but not limited
to, parent preparation and post-adoption education and counseling;

(vi) encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the childs identity
and culture in his native land, and only when this is not available shall
inter-country adoption be considered as a last resort; and

(vii) protect adoptive parents from attempts to disturb their parental
authority and custody over their adopted child.
Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental authority shall be
administratively or judicially declared so as to establish the status of the child as
legally available for adoption and his custody transferred to the Department of
Social Welfare and Development or to any duly licensed and accredited child-
placing or child-caring agency, which entity shall be authorized to take steps for
the permanent placement of the child.

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instincts. Every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these
noble and compassionate objectives of the law.
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INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW

Accordingly, the law should be construed liberally, in a manner that will sustain
rather than defeat said purpose. The law must also be applied with compassion,
understanding and less severity in view of the fact that it is intended to provide homes,
love, care and education for less fortunate children.

FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ADOPTER

Adoption, although a recourse primarily for the benefit of the child, it also has
benefit for the adoptee such that persons with no children are allowed to adopt so that
they may experience the joys of paternity and have an object for the manifestations of
their instinct of parenthood.

HISTORY: PRIMARY PURPOSE WAS CONTINUITY OF ADOPTERS FAMILY

In ancient times, the Romans undertook adoption to assure male heirs in the
family. The continuity of the adopter's family was the primary purpose of adoption and all
matters relating to it basically focused on the rights of the adopter. There was hardly any
mention about the rights of the adopted. Countries, like Greece, France, Spain and
England, in an effort to preserve inheritance within the family, neither allowed nor
recognized adoption. It was only much later when adoption was given an impetus in law
and still later when the welfare of the child became a paramount concern. Spain itself
which previously disfavored adoption ultimately relented and accepted the Roman law
concept of adoption which, subsequently, was to find its way to the archipelago.

The Americans came and introduced their own ideas on adoption which, unlike
most countries in Europe, made the interests of the child an overriding consideration. In
the early part of the century just passed, the rights of children invited universal attention;
the Geneva Declaration of Rights of the Child of 1924 and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights of 1948, followed by the United Nations Declarations of the Rights of the
Child, were written instruments that would also protect and safeguard the rights of
adopted children.

The Civil Code of the Philippines of 1950 on adoption, later modified by the Child
and Youth Welfare Code and then by the Family Code of the Philippines, gave
immediate statutory acknowledgment to the rights of the adopted. In 1989, the United
Nations initiated the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The Philippines, a State Party

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In Re: Petition for Adoption ff Michelle P. Lim. G.R. Nos. 168992-93, May 21, 2009

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to the Convention, accepted the principle that adoption was impressed with social and
moral responsibility, and that its underlying intent was geared to favor the adopted child.
R.A. No. 8552 secured these rights and privileges for the adopted. Most importantly, it
affirmed the legitimate status of the adopted child, not only in his new family but also in
the society as well. The new law withdrew the right of an adopter to rescind the adoption
decree and gave to the adopted child the sole right to sever the legal ties created by
adoption.
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Pg. 348
Family code Artilce 185.
Aricle 186









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Isabelita S. Lahom vs. Jose Melvin Sibulo (previously referred to as "DR. MELVIN S. LAHOM"),
G.R. No. 143989, July 14, 2003
Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Rule:
(a) Child is a person below eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the filing of
the petition for adoption.

(b) A child legally available for adoption refers to a child who has been
voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department or to a duly licensed and
accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, freed of the parental authority of
his biological parents, or in case of rescission of adoption, his guardian or
adopter(s).

(c) Voluntarily committed child is one whose parents knowingly and willingly
relinquish parental authority over him in favor of the Department.

(d) Involuntarily committed child is one whose parents, known or unknown,
have been permanently and judicially deprived of parental authority over him due
to abandonment; substantial, continuous or repeated neglect and abuse; or
incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities.

(e) Foundling refers to a deserted or abandoned infant or child whose parents,
guardian or relatives are unknown; or a child committed to an orphanage or
charitable or similar institution with unknown facts of birth and parentage and
registered in the Civil Register as a foundling.

(f) Abandoned child refers to one who has no proper parental care or
guardianship or whose parents have deserted him for a period of at least six (6)
continuous months and has been judicially declared as such.

(g) Dependent child refers to one who is without a parent, guardian or
custodian or one whose parents, guardian or other custodian for good cause
desires to be relieved of his care and custody and is dependent upon the public
for support.

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(h) Neglected child is one whose basic needs have been deliberately not
attended to or inadequately attended to, physically or emotionally, by his parents
or guardian.

(i) Physical neglect occurs when the child is malnourished, ill-clad and without
proper shelter.

(j) Emotional neglect exists when a child is raped, seduced, maltreated,
exploited, overworked or made to work under conditions not conducive to good
health or made to beg in the streets or public places, or placed in moral danger,
or exposed to drugs, alcohol, gambling, prostitution and other vices.

(k) Child-placement agency refers to an agency duly licensed and accredited by
the Department to provide comprehensive child welfare services including, but
not limited to, receiving applications for adoption, evaluating the prospective
adoptive parents and preparing the adoption home study report.

(l) Child-caring agency refers to an agency duly licensed and accredited by the
Department that provides 24-hour residential care services for abandoned,
orphaned, neglected or voluntarily committed children.

(m) Department refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

(n) "Deed of Voluntary Commitment refers to the written and notarized
instrument relinquishing parental authority and committing the child to the care
and custody of the Department executed by the childs biological parents or in
their absence, mental incapacity or death, by the childs legal guardian, to be
witnessed by an authorized representative of the Department after counseling
and other services have been made available to encourage the biological
parents to keep the child.

(o) Child Study Report refers to a study made by the court social worker of the
childs legal status, placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical,
ethno-cultural background and that of his biological family needed in determining
the most appropriate placement for him.

(p) Home Study Report refers to a study made by the court social worker of the
motivation and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to provide a home
that meets the needs of a child.

(q) Supervised trial custody refers to the period of time during which a social
worker oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopters and
adoptee in stabilizing their filial relationship.

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SEC. 4. Who may adopt. The following may adopt:
(1) 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; who is 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 children in keeping with the means of the
family. 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 adoptees parent;

(r) Licensed Social Worker refers to one who possesses a degree in bachelor
of science in social work as a minimum educational requirement and who has
passed the government licensure examination for social workers as required by
Republic Act No. 4373.
(s) Simulation of birth is the tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in
the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his
biological mother, thus causing such child to lose his true identity and status.
(t) Biological Parents refer to the childs mother and father by nature.
(u) Pre-Adoption Services refer to psycho-social services provided by
professionally-trained social workers of the Department, the social services units
of local governments, private and government health facilities, Family Courts,
licensed and accredited child-caring and child-placement agencies and other
individuals or entities involved in adoption as authorized by the Department.

(v) Residence means a persons actual stay in the Philippines for three (3)
continuous years immediately prior to the filing of a petition for adoption and
which is maintained until the adoption decree is entered. Temporary absences
for professional, business, health, or emergency reasons not exceeding sixty
(60) days in one (1) year does not break the continuity requirement.

(w) Alien refers to any person, not a Filipino citizen, who enters and remains in
the Philippines and is in possession of a valid passport or travel documents and
visa.
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There are three categories of persons who are allowed to adopt in the Philippines:

1. Any Filipino Citizen;
2. Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above-stated for Filipino
nationals;
3. The guardian with respect to the ward.


(2) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above-stated for
Filipino nationals: Provided, That his country has diplomatic relations
with the Republic of the Philippines, 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
decree is entered, 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 that his government allows the
adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child. Provided, further, That
the requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification
to adopt in his 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 child of his Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with
his spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or
affinity of the Filipino spouse.
Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of one spouse by the
other spouse; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child: Provided,
however, That the other spouse has signified his 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 child
of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

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REQUISITES FOR A FILIPINO CITIZEN ADOPTER

A Filipino citizen who desires to adopt must meet the following requisites:

1. Of legal age;
2. In possession of full capacity and legal rights;
3. Of good moral character;
4. Has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
5. Emotionally and psychologically capable of caring of children;
6. At least 16 years older than the adoptee; and
7. In a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of
the family.


WAIVER OF AGE DIFFERENCE

As a requirement, the adopter must be atleast 16 years older than the adoptee (item
no. 6 in the requisites). The requirement of 16 years age difference between the adopter
and the adoptee may be waived if the adopter is:

1. The biological parent of the adoptee;
2. The spouse of the adoptees parent.


REQUISITES FOR AN ALIEN ADOPTER

An alien may also pursue domestic adoption under this rule, provided:

1. He meets the qualifications required to the Filipino adopter;
2. That his country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines;
3. That he has been living in the Philippines for at least 3 continuous years prior to
the filing of the application for adoption;
4. Maintains residence until the adoption decree is entered;
5. Certified to have legal capacity to adopt by his country; and
6. That his government t allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted
child.


WAIVER OF RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT

As provided in Section 4, 2
nd
paragraph, the requirement on residency and
certification of aliens qualification to adopt mey be waived for the following:

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1. The adopter a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the
fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity;

2. one who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse; or

3. one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse
a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino
spouse.


WHEN MAY HUSBAND AND WIFE ADOPT

Under the Family Code:
Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt except in the following cases:

(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own legitimate his own
illegitimate child; or
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.

Under the present rule and in RA 8852
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:
Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of one spouse by the
otherspouse;or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child: Provided,
however, That the other spouse has signified his 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 child of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the
spouses.

Article 185 of the Family Code requires a joint adoption by the husband and the
wife, a condition that must be read along together with Article 184. The historical
evolution of this provision is clear. Presidential Decree No. 603
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provides that the
husband and the wife may jointly adopt. Executive Order No. 91 issued on December
17, 1986 amended said provision of PD No. 603. It demands that both husband and wife
shall jointly adopt if one of them is an alien. It was so crafted to protect Filipino children
who are put up for adoption. The Family Code reiterated this rule by requiring that
husband and wife must jointly adopt except in the cases above-mentioned.

8
Domestic Adoption Act of 1998
9
Child and Youth Welfare Code
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JOINT ADOPTION BY HUSBAND AND WIFE IS MANDATORY

The mandatory requirement is in consonance with the concept of joint parental
authority over the child, which is the ideal situation. As the child to be adopted is
elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to require the spouses to adopt
jointly. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses.
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IS JOINT ADOPTION BY A WIFE WHO IS A FORMER FILIPINO CITIZEN AND BY
HUSBAND WHO IS NATURAL- BORN CITIZEN OF ANOTHER COUNTRY ALOWED?

There are several jurisprudence which have addressed this particular situation. In
the case of Republic of the Philippines vs. Toledano
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, the Supreme Court ruled that the
adoption must be filed jointly by husband and wife, unless they fall under the exceptions.
Also, when adopting jointly, each one of them must be qualified to adopt on his own
right.

Although the provisions in Family Code on adoption was superseded by RA
8552, RA 8043 and this rule on the procedure, mandatory joint adoption by both
husband and wife under Article 185 of the Family Code, has been carried over to RA
8552, specifically, Section 7, and this Rule on Adoption, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC,
specifically Section 4.


TOLEDANO CASE

On February 21, 1990, in a verified petition filed before the Regional Trial Court
of Iba, Zambales, private respondents spouses Clouse sought to adopt the minor,
Solomon Joseph Alcala, the younger brother of private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse. In
an Order issued on March 12, 1990, the petition was set for hearing on April 18, 1990.

The said Order was published in a newspaper of general circulation in the
province of Zambales and City of Olongapo for three (3) consecutive weeks.

The principal evidence disclose that private respondent Alvin A. Clouse is a
natural born citizen of the United States of America. He married Evelyn, a Filipino on
June 4, 1981 at Olongapo City. On August 19, 1988, Evelyn became a naturalized
citizen of the United States of America in Guam. They are physically, mentally, morally,
and financially capable of adopting Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor.

Since 1981 to 1984, then from November 2, 1989 up to the present, Solomon
Joseph Alcala was and has been under the care and custody of private respondents.

10
Republic of the Philippines vs. Hon. Rodolfo Toledano, G.R. No. 94147, June 8, 1994
11
Ibid.
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Solomon gave his consent to the adoption. His mother, Nery Alcala, a widow, likewise
consented to the adoption due to poverty and inability to support and educate her son.

Mrs. Nila Corazon Pronda, the social worker assigned to conduct the Home and
Child Study, favorably recommended the granting of the petition for adoption.

Finding that private respondents have all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications provided by law and that the adoption will redound to the best interest
and welfare of the minor, respondent judge rendered a decision on June 20, 1990,
disposing as follows:

WHEREFORE, the Court grants the petition for adoption filed by Spouses Alvin
A. Clouse and Evelyn A. Clouse and decrees that the said minor be considered as their
child by adoption. To this effect, the Court gives the minor the rights and duties as the
legitimate child of the petitioners. Henceforth, he shall be known as SOLOMON ALCALA
CLOUSE.

The Court dissolves parental authority bestowed upon his natural parents and
vests parental authority to the herein petitioners and makes him their legal heir. Pursuant
to Article 36 of P.D. 603 as amended, the decree of adoption shall be effective as of the
date when the petition was filed. In accordance with Article 53 of the same decree, let
this decree of adoption be recorded in the corresponding government agency,
particularly the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Merida, Leyte where the minor was
born. The said office of the Local Civil Registrar is hereby directed to issue an amended
certificate of live birth to the minor adopted by the petitioners.
Let copies of this decision be furnished (sic) the petitioners, DSWD, Zambales Branch,
Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Merida, Leyte.

The Office of the Solicitor General appealed to the Supreme Court on a pure
question of law, that is, under Article 185 of the Family Code, the Clouse couple was not
qualified to adopt.


The ruling of the Supreme Court

Under Articles 184 and 185 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 209, otherwise known
as The Family Code of the Philippines, private respondents spouses Clouse are clearly
barred from adopting Solomon Joseph Alcala.

Article 184, paragraph (3) of Executive Order No. 209 expressly enumerates the
persons who are not qualified to adopt, viz.:

(3) An alien, except:
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(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by consanguinity;
(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino spouse; or
(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her
spouse a relative by consanguinity of the latter.

Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in
accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption as may be provided by law.

There can be no question that private respondent Alvin A. Clouse is not qualified
to adopt Solomon Joseph Alcala under any of the exceptional cases in the aforequoted
provision.

In the first place, he is not a former Filipino citizen but a natural born citizen of the
United States of America.

In the second place, Solomon Joseph Alcala is neither his relative by
consanguinity nor the legitimate child of his spouse.

In the third place, when private respondents spouses Clouse jointly filed the
petition to adopt Solomon Joseph Alcala on February 21, 1990, private respondent
Evelyn A. Clouse was no longer a Filipino citizen. She lost her Filipino citizenship when
she was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in 1988.

Private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse, on the other hand, may appear to qualify
pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of Article 184 of E.O. 209. She was a former Filipino citizen.
She sought to adopt her younger brother. Unfortunately, the petition for adoption cannot
be granted in her favor alone without violating Article 185 which mandates a joint
adoption by the husband and wife. It reads:

Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.

Article 185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and wife, a condition that
must be read along together with Article 184.
12





12
Procedures in RA 8552 domestic adoption and RA 8043 inter-country adoption;
misinterpretation of RA 9523 by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio, November 11, 2007
16

THE VERGARA CASE
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On June 25, 1990, the spouses Samuel R. Dye, Jr. and Rosalina Due Dye filed a
petition to adopt Maricel R. Due and Alvin R. Due, ages 13 and 12 years old,
respectively, younger siblings of Rosalina. Samuel R. Dye, Jr. a member of the United
States Air Force, is an American citizen who resided at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
His wife Rosalina is a former Filipino who became a naturalized American. They have
two children. Both Maricel and Alvin Due, as well as their natural parents, gave their
consent to the adoption.

After trial, the lower court rendered its decision on September 10, 1990 granting
the petition and declaring Alvin and Maricel to be the children of the spouses Dye by
adoption.

Issue

Whether or not respondent-spouses Samuel and Rosalina Dye who are aliens
can adopt Maricel R. Due and Alvin R. Due, ages 13 and 12 years old, respectively,
younger siblings of Rosalina under the Philippine law on adoption.

The ruling of the Supreme Court

As a general rule, aliens cannot adopt Filipino citizens as this is proscribed under
Article 184 of the Family Code which states:
Art. 184. The following persons may not adopt:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) An alien, except:
(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by consanguinity;
(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino spouse; or
(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her
spouse a relative by consanguinity of the latter.

Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in
accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption as may be provided by law.
Samuel Robert Dye, Jr. who is an American and, therefore, an alien is disqualified from
adopting the minors Maricel and Alvin Due because he does not fall under any of the
three aforequoted exceptions laid down by the law. He is not a former Filipino citizen
who seeks to adopt a relative by consanguinity. Nor does he seek to adopt his wife's
legitimate child. Although he seeks to adopt with his wife her relatives by consanguinity,
he is not married to a Filipino citizen.


13
Republic of the Philippines vs. Hon. Concepcion S. Alarcon Vergara, in her capacity as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court and Spouses Samuel Robert Dye, Jr. and Rosalina
D. Dye, G.R. No. 95551, March 20, 1997
17

For Rosalina was already a naturalized American at the time the petition was
filed, thus excluding him from the coverage of the exception. The law here does not
provide for an alien who is married to a former Filipino citizen seeking to adopt jointly
with his or her spouse a relative by consanguinity, as an exception to the general rule
that aliens may not adopt.

On her own, Rosalina Dye cannot adopt her brother and sister for the law
mandates joint adoption by husband and wife, subject to exceptions. Article 29 of
Presidential Decree No. 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code) retained the Civil Code
provision
4
that husband and wife may jointly adopt. The Family Code amended this rule
by scrapping the optional character of joint adoption and making it now mandatory.

Article 185 of the Family Code provides:

Art. 185. Husband and wife must adopt, except in the following cases:

(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child;
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.

None of the above exceptions applies to Samuel and Rosalina Dye, for they did not
petition to adopt the latter's child but her brother and sister.

EACH ONE OF THESPOUSES MUST BE QUALIFIED TO ADOPT ON HIS OWN
RIGHT WHEN ADOPTING JOINTLY

Also from the case stated above, citing the case of Republic v. Court of
Appeals
14
, The Court recognizes the ineligibility of an alien husband with a former
Filipino wife seeking to adopt the latter's nephews and niece. The wife was qualified to
adopt under Article 184, paragraph 3 (a), she being a former Filipino who seeks to adopt
a relative by consanguinity, she could not jointly adopt with her husband under Article
185 because he was an alien ineligible to adopt here in the Philippines.












14
Republic v. CA, G.R. No. 92326, January 24, 1992
SEC. 5. Who may be adopted. The following may be adopted:
(1) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been voluntarily
committed to the Department under Articles 154, 155 and 156 of P.D. No. 603 or
judicially declared available for adoption;

(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;

18















WHO MAY BE ADOPTED?

Section 5 of A. M. 02-6-02-SC specifically enumerates those that may be
adopted.

Under Section 5 (1), those that may be adopted are minor children who have been
voluntarily committed to the Department under Articles 154, 155 and 156 of P.D. No. 603
or judicially declared available for adoption.

A child is considered voluntarily committed when:
a) the parent or guardian of a dependent, abandoned or neglected child voluntarily
commit him to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child
placement agency
15
;

b) the child is surrendered in writing by his parents or guardian to the care and
custody of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement
agency. In case of the death or legal incapacity of either parent or abandonment
of the child for a period of at least one year, the other parent alone shall have the
authority to make the commitment. The Department of Social Welfare, or any
proper and duly licensed child placement agency or individual shall have the
authority to receive, train, educate, care for or arrange appropriate placement of
such child
16
;

c) a child shall have been committed in accordance with the preceding article and
such child shall have been accepted by the Department of Social Welfare or any
duly licensed child placement agency or individual, the rights of his natural

15
Art. 154, P. D. 603.
16
Art. 155, ibid.
(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

(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.

19

parents, guardian, or other custodian to exercise parental authority over him shall
cease
17
.


MAY A PERSON OF LEGAL AGE BE ADOPTED?

Yes. Under Sec. 5 (4), even a person of legal age may be adopted; provided,
that person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopters as their own
child since minority.

Therefore, if the child has been living with the second parents and has been
treated as child of said parents since minority, even if he reach the age of majority, they
could still apply for adoption of such person.






WHERE TO FILE PETITION FOR ADOPTION?

Petition for adoption must be filed with the Family Court of the province or city
where the prospective adoptive parents reside. Not in the place where the adoptee
resides.



















17
Art. 156, ibid.
Sec. 6. Venue. The petition for adoption shall be filed with the Family Court of
the province or city where the prospective adoptive parents reside.

Sec. 7. Contents of the Petition. The petition shall be verified and specifically
state at the heading of the initiatory pleading whether the petition contains an
application for change of name, rectification of simulated birth, voluntary or
involuntary commitment of children, or declaration of child as abandoned,
dependent or neglected.
1) If the adopter is a Filipino citizen, the petition shall allege the following:
(a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) That the petitioner is of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal
rights; is of good moral character; has not been convicted of any crime involving
moral turpitude; is emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children;
is at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, unless the adopter is the
biological parent of the adoptee or is the spouse of the adoptees parent; and is
in a position to support and care for his children in keeping with the means of the
family and has undergone pre-adoption services as required by Section 4 of
Republic Act No. 8552.
20













































2) If the adopter is an alien, the petition shall allege the following:
(a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) Sub-paragraph 1(b) above;

(c) (c) That his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the
Philippines;

(d) 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 his government allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child
and reside there permanently as an adopted child; and

(e) That he has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous
years prior to the filing of the petition and he maintains such residence until the
adoption decree is entered.
The requirements of certification of the aliens qualification to adopt in his country
and of residency may be waived if the alien:
(i) is a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth
degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse; or

(iii) is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse a
relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.
3) If the adopter is the legal guardian of the adoptee, the petition shall allege that
guardianship had been terminated and the guardian had cleared his financial
accountabilities.

4) If the adopter is married, the spouse shall be a co-petitioner for joint adoption
except if:
(a) one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other, or

(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.
5) If the adoptee is a foundling, the petition shall allege the entries which should
appear in his birth certificate, such as name of child, date of birth, place of birth, if
known; sex, name and citizenship of adoptive mother and father, and the date
and place of their marriage.

21


















HOW TO PREPARE A PETITION FOR ADOPTION?
The petition for adoption 1) must be verified; and 2) must contain the following:
a) certificate of non-forum shopping
18
; and

b) state at the at the heading of the initiatory pleading whether the petition
contains an application for:

i) change of name,
ii) rectification of simulated birth,
iii) voluntary or involuntary commitment of children, or
iv) declaration of child as abandoned, dependent or neglected.

WHAT ARE THE CONTENTS OF A PETITION?
FOR AN ADOPTER WHO IS A FILIPINO CITIZEN

The petition must state and allege the following:

(a) The jurisdictional facts (such as the petition, proof of publication in newspaper
of general circulation, notice to the Office of the Solicitor General, etc).

(b) The petitioners qualifications such as:

18
Sec. 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
6) If the petition prays for a change of name, it shall also state the cause or
reason for the change of name.
In all petitions, it shall be alleged:
(a) The first name, surname or names, age and residence of the adoptee as
shown by his record of birth, baptismal or foundling certificate and school
records.

(b) That the adoptee is not disqualified by law to be adopted.

(c) The probable value and character of the estate of the adoptee.

(d) The first name, surname or names by which the adoptee is to be known and
registered in the Civil Registry.
A certification of non-forum shopping shall be included pursuant to Section 5,
Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

22

i) petitioner is of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal
rights;

ii) petitioner is of good moral character;

iii)petitioner has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
is emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children;

iv) petitioner is at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, unless
the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee or is the spouse of the
adoptees parent; and is in a position to support and care for his children
in keeping with the means of the family; and

(c) The petitioner has undergone pre-adoption services as required in Section 4 of
Republic Act No. 8552.

As provided in Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8552, the DSWD shall provide the
services of licensed social workers to the following:

(a) Biological Parent(s)

Counseling shall be provided to the parent(s) before and after the birth of
his/her child. No binding commitment to an adoption plan shall be
permitted before the birth of his/her child. A period of six (6) months shall
be allowed for the biological parent(s) to reconsider any decision to
relinquish his/her child for adoption before the decision becomes
irrevocable. Counseling and rehabilitation services shall also be offered to
the biological parent(s) after he/she has relinquished his/her child for
adoption. Steps shall be taken by the Department to ensure that no
hurried decisions are made and all alternatives for the child's future and
the implications of each alternative have been provided;

(b) Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)

Counseling sessions, adoption fora and seminars, among others, shall
be provided to prospective adoptive parent(s) to resolve possible adoption
issues and to prepare him/her for effective parenting; and

(c) Prospective Adoptee
Counseling sessions shall be provided to ensure that he/she
understands the nature and effects of adoption and is able to express
his/her views on adoption in accordance with his/her age and level of
maturity.

23

FOR AN ADOPTER WHO IS AN ALIEN
The petition must state and allege the following:

(a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) The qualifications set forth to a Filipino adopter;

(c) The petitioner has availed the pre-adoption services requirement;

(d) That his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines;

(e) 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 his government allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted child
and reside there permanently as an adopted child; and

(f) That he has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years
prior to the filing of the petition and he maintains such residence until the adoption
decree is entered, unless he falls under some exceptions.


WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS?

(a) that he is a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the 4
th

degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(b) that he seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his Filipino spouse (take note: it
did not say anything about illegitimate child); or

(c) that he is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his spouse
a relative within the 4
th
degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse.


FOR AN ADOPTER WHO IS THE LEGAL GUARDIAN OF THE ADOPTEE

The petition shall allege that:

(a) The guardianship had been terminated and the guardian had cleared his
financial accountabilities.




24

FOR AN ADOPTER WHO IS MARRIED

The spouse shall be a co-petitioner for joint adoption unless he falls under the
exceptions which he must allege the exception.

The exceptions again are:

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

(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.

Joint adoption of the husband and wife is a mandatory requirement except with the
above-mentioned exceptions.
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.
The mandatory requirement is in consonance with the concept of joint parental
authority over the child, which is the ideal situation. As the child to be adopted is
elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to require the spouses to adopt
jointly. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses.

WHAT IF AN UNWED MOTHER GETS MARRIED SUBSEQUENTLY TO THE
BIOLOGICAL FATHER OF HER CHILD, IS ADOPTION PROPER?

No. The legal remedy would not be adoption but legitimation under Articles 177
to 182 of the Family Code (that is if there were no legal obstacles when the child was
conceived or born)


WHAT IF AN UNWED MOTHER GETS MARRIED TO A MAN NOT THE BIOLOGICAL
FATHER OF HER CHILD, AND WHO WANTS TO ADOPT THE LATTER?

In this case, the husband and wife must adopt jointly. In this situation, the result
would be: (1) the relationship between the mother and the child will become legitimate,
and (2) the man will acquire parental authority over the child.





25

IF THE ADOPTEE IS A FOUNDLING

The petition must state and allege:

(a) The entries which should appear in his birth certificate, such as:

(i) name of child,
(ii) date of birth,
(iii) place of birth, if known;
(iv) sex, name and citizenship of adoptive mother and father, and
(v) the date and place of their marriage.

If the child is a foundling, abandoned, dependent or neglected child, you have to
allege facts that the child is such.


IF THE PETITION PRAYS FOR A CHANGE OF NAME

The Petition shall also state the cause or reason for the change of name. The
caption of your petition shall contain the registered name of the child and the aliases and
the new name that you want for the child must also be alleged in the petition.

What shall be included in the body of the petition if it involves a change of name?

(a) The first name, surname or names, age and residence of the adoptee as
shown by his record of birth, baptismal or foundling certificate and school records.

(b) That the adoptee is not disqualified by law to be adopted.

(c) The probable value and character of the estate of the adoptee.

(d) The first name, surname or names by which the adoptee is to be known and
registered in the Civil Registry.

When the petition includes a prayer for change of name, notice to the Office of the
Solicitor General is mandatory. In all other cases, the notice to the Office of the Solicitor
General is within the discretion of the court
19
.

MAY AN ADOPTEE AUTOMATICALLY USE THE SURNAME OF THE ADOPTER?

Yes. In the case of Republic vs. Hernandez G.R. No. 117209 (February
9, 1996) ruled that under Art 189 of the FC, clearly, the law allows the adoptee, as a

19
Sec. 12 of A. M. 02-6-02-SC.
26

matter of right and obligation, to bear the surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the
decree of adoption. It is the change of the adoptees surname to follow that of the
adopter, which is the natural and necessary consequence of a grant of adoption and
must specifically be contained in the order of the court, in fact, even if not prayed for by
petitioner.
So, by decree of adoption the legal effect is that even if you did not prayed for the
change of the surname of the adoptee is followed as a matter of course. The adoptee
now shall bear the surname of his adopter. This is automatic.


HOW ABOUT IF THE ADOPTER WANTS TO CHANGE THE FIRST OR CHRISTIAN
NAME OF THE ADOPTEE, IS THAT AUTOMATICALLY ALLOWED?

No, that is not automatically allowed as decided by the Supreme Court in the
above-mentioned case. The SC said that however, the given or proper name, also
known as the first or Christian name, of the adoptee must remain as it was originally
registered in the civil register. The creation of an adoptive relationship does not confer
upon the adopter a license to change the adoptees registered Christian or first name.
The automatic change thereof, premised solely upon the adoption thus granted, is
beyond the purview of a decree of adoption. Neither is it a mere incident in nor an
adjunct of an adoption proceeding, such that a prayer, therefore, furtively inserted in a
petition for adoption, as in this case, cannot properly be granted.

The name of the adoptee as recorded in the civil register should be used in the
adoption proceedings in order to vest the court with jurisdiction to hear and determine
the same, and shall continue to be so used until the court orders otherwise. Changing
the given or proper name of a person as recorded in the civil register is a substantial
change in ones official or legal name and cannot be authorized without a judicial order.
The purpose of the statutory procedure authorizing a change of name is simply to have,
wherever possible, a record of the change, and in keeping with the object of the statute,
a court to which the application is made should normally make its decree recording such
change).

The official name of a person whose birth is registered in the civil register is the
name appearing therein, If a change in ones name is desired, this can only be done by
filing and strictly complying with the substantive and procedural requirements for a
special proceeding for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, wherein
the sufficiency of the reasons or grounds therefore can be threshed out and accordingly
determined.

So, if you want to change the whole name of the child, you have to file another
petition for the change of name under the old rule. And that is why now, the petition for
27

adoption can now include a petition for change of name for the child to do away multiple
suits.

MAY AN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD, UPON ADOPTION BY HER NATURAL FATHER,
USE THE SURNAME OF HER NATURAL MOTHER AS HER MIDDLE NAME?
Yes, as decided by the Supreme Court in the case of In the matter of the
adoption of Stephanie Astorga Garcia (G.R. No. 148311, March 31, 2005).















WHAT IS SIMULATION OF BIRTH?

Simulation of birth occurs when a childless couple, for example, comes into
possession of a baby or child, given to them by a midwife, an unwed mother or a
relative, and this couple then applies for a birth certificate, making it appear that the baby
or child is their biological offspring.

Simulation of birth is different from adoption because the latter is a legal process
while the former is an illegal practice, and it is a criminal offense.

However, rectification of simulated birth is already not applicable. It should be
filed within five (5) years from the effectivity of the law, and it expired last February 25,
2003. Now, you cannot anymore file this. The privilege had already lapsed.






Sec. 8. Rectification of Simulated Birth. In case the petition also seeks
rectification of a simulated of birth, it shall allege that:
(a) Petitioner is applying for rectification of a simulated birth;

(b) The simulation of birth was made prior to the date of effectivity of Republic
Act No. 8552 and the application for rectification of the birth registration and the
petition for adoption were filed within five years from said date;

(c) The petitioner made the simulation of birth for the best interests of the
adoptee; and

(d) The adoptee has been consistently considered and treated by petitioner as
his own child.

Sec. 9. Adoption of a foundling, an abandoned, dependent or neglected child.
In case the adoptee is a foundling, an abandoned, dependent or neglected child,
the petition shall allege:
(a) The facts showing that the child is a foundling, abandoned, dependent or
neglected;

(b) The names of the parents, if known, and their residence. If the child has no
known or living parents, then the name and residence of the guardian, if any;

28









If the adoptee is a foundling, the petition shall allege the entries which should
appear in his birth certificate, such as name of the child, date of birth, place of birth, if
known, sex, name and citizenship of adoptive mother and father, and the date and place
of their marriage.

If the child is a foundling, abandoned, dependent or neglected child, the
petitioner should also allege facts that the child to be adopted is such.











If the petition prays for a change of name, then the caption of the petition shall
also contain the registered name of the child and the aliases and the new name that the
petitioner wants for the child which must also be alleged in the petition.

As held in the case of REPUBLIC VS. HERNANDEZ
20
, under Art 189 of the FC,
clearly, the law allows the adoptee, as a matter of right and obligation, to bear the
surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption. It is the change of the
adoptees surname to follow that of the
adopter which is the natural and necessary consequence of a grant of adoption and
must specifically be contained in the order of the court, in fact, even if not prayed for by
petitioner.

With respect to the first or given name, the adoptee must retain it as it was
originally registered in the Civil Register. The creation of an adoptive relationship does
not confer upon the adopter a license to change the adoptees registered Christian or
first name. The automatic change thereof, premised solely upon the adoption thus

20
G. R. NO. 117209 (February 9, 1996)
Sec. 10. Change of name. In case the petition also prays for change of name,
the title or caption must contain:
(a) The registered name of the child;

(b) Aliases or other names by which the child has been known; and

(c) The full name by which the child is to be known.

(c) The name of the duly licensed child-placement agency or individual under
whose care the child is in custody; and

(d) That the Department, child-placement or child-caring agency is authorized to
give its consent.

29

granted, is beyond the purview of a decree of adoption. Neither is it a mere incident in
nor an adjunct of an adoption proceeding, such that a prayer therefore furtively inserted
in a petition for adoption, as in this case, cannot properly be granted
21
.

So if the petitioner desires to change the whole name of the child, he has to file
another petition for the change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court. But with
the advent of the new rules, the petition for adoption can now include a petition for a
change of name for the child to do away with multiple filing of suits.

With respect to adoption with prayer for a correction of entry (Rule 108) as to the
first name of the adoptee, the case in point is Republic vs. Court of Appeals, Jaime B.
Caranto, and Zenaida P. Caranto
22
.
Rule 108, 2 plainly states:

2. Entries subject to cancellation or correction. - Upon good and valid grounds,
the following entries in the civil register may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births;
(b) marriages; (c) deaths; (d) legal separation; (e) judgments of annulments of
marriage; (f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g)
legitimations; (h) adoptions; (i) acknowledgments of natural children; (j)
naturalization; (k) election, loss or recovery of citizenship; (l) civil interdiction;
(m) judicial determination of filiation; (n) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and
(o) changes of name.

This case falls under letter "(o)," referring to "changes of name." Indeed, it has
been the uniform ruling of this Court that Art. 412 of the Civil Code - to implement which
Rule 108 was inserted in the rules of Court in 1964 - cover "those harmless and
innocuous changes, such as correction of a name that is clearly misspelled."

The petitioner could have successfully corrected the first name of the adoptee
from Midael to Michael vis--vis adoption. It involves an obvious clerical error in the
name of the child sought to be adopted. In this case the correction involves merely the
substitution of the letters "ch" for the letter "d," so that what appears as "Midael" as given
name would read "Michael." Even the Solicitor General admits that the error is a plainly
clerical one. Changing the name of the child from "Midael C. Mazon" to "Michael C
Mazon" cannot possibly cause any confusion, because both names "can be read and
pronounced with the same rhyme (tugma) and tone (tono, tunog, himig)."

The purpose of the publication requirement is to give notice so that those who
have any objection to the adoption can make their objection known. However, the notice
required under Rule 108 were not complied with which led to the denial of the prayer for
correction of the first name of the adoptee.

21
Republic vs. Hernandez
22
G.R. No. 103695. March 15, 1996
30

While there was notice given by publication in this case, it was notice of the
petition for adoption made in compliance with Rule 99. In that notice only the prayer for
adoption of the minor was stated. Nothing was mentioned that in addition the correction
of his name in the civil registry was also being sought. The local civil registrar was thus
deprived of notice and, consequently, of the opportunity to be heard.

The necessary consequence of the failure to implead the civil registrar as an
indispensable party and to give notice by publication of the petition for correction of entry
was to render the proceeding of the trial court, so far as the correction of entry was
concerned, null and void for lack of jurisdiction both as to party and as to the subject
matter.






























Sec. 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.
31

As to the consent of the parties to the adoption specifically the biological parent,
the case in point is the case of Landingin vs. Republic
23
.

FACTS:

On February 4, 2002, Diwata Ramos Landingin, a citizen of the United States of
America (USA), of Filipino parentage and a resident of Guam, USA, filed a petition for
the adoption of minors Elaine Dizon Ramos who was born on August 31, 1986; Elma
Dizon Ramos, who was born on September 7, 1987; and Eugene Dizon Ramos who
was born on August 5, 1989. The minors are the natural children of Manuel Ramos,
petitioner's brother, and Amelia Ramos.

Landingin, as petitioner, alleged in her petition that when Manuel died on May 19,
1990, the children were left to their paternal grandmother, Maria Taruc Ramos; their
biological mother, Amelia, went to Italy, re-married there and now has two children by
her second marriage and no longer communicated with her children by Manuel Ramos
nor with her in-laws from the time she left up to the institution of the adoption; the minors
are being financially supported by the petitioner and her children, and relatives abroad;
as Maria passed away on November 23, 2000, petitioner desires to adopt the children;
the minors have given their written consent to the adoption; she is qualified to adopt as
shown by the fact that she is a 57-year-old widow, has children of her own who are
already married, gainfully employed and have their respective families; she lives alone in
her own home in Guam, USA, where she acquired citizenship, and works as a
restaurant server. She came back to the Philippines to spend time with the minors; her
children gave their written consent to the adoption of the minors.

On March 5, 2002, the court ordered the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) to conduct a case study .On May 24, 2002, Elizabeth Pagbilao,
Social Welfare Officer II of the DSWD, Field Office III, Tarlac, submitted a Child Study
Report finding minors Elaine, Elma & Eugene all surnamed Ramos, eligible for adoption.
However, petitioner failed to present Pagbilao as witness and offer in evidence the
voluntary consent of Amelia Ramos to the adoption; petitioner, likewise, failed to present
any documentary evidence to prove that Amelia assents to the adoption.

On November 23, 2002, The Regional Trial Court, finding merit in the petition for
adoption, rendered a decision granting said petition. The OSG appealed the decision to
the Court of Appeals on December 2, 2002 contesting that the petition for adoption
should not be granted because of lack of consent of the proposed adoptees biological
mother. With such appeal, On April 29, 2004, the CA rendered a decision reversing the
ruling of the RTC. It held that petitioner failed to adduce in evidence the voluntary
consent of Amelia Ramos, the children's natural mother.


23
G.R. No. 164948: June 27, 2006
32

ISSUE:

Whether the petitioner is entitled to adopt the minors without the written consent
of their biological mother, Amelia Ramos?

RULING:

The petition is denied for lack of merit.

RATIONALE:

Section 9 of Republic Act No. 8552, otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption
Act of 1998, provides:

Sec. 9. Whose Consent is Necessary to the Adoption. - After being properly counseled
and informed of his/her right to give or withhold his/her approval of the adoption, the
written consent of the following to the adoption is hereby required:

(a) The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;

(b) The biological parent(s) of the child, if known, or the legal guardian, or the proper
government instrumentality which has legal custody of the child;

(c) The legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the
adopter(s) and adoptee, if any;

(d) The illegitimate sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter, if
living with said adopter and the latter's souse, if any;

(e) The spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be adopted.

The general requirement of consent and notice to the natural parents is intended
to protect the natural parental relationship from unwarranted interference by interlopers,
and to insure the opportunity to safeguard the best interests of the child in the manner of
the proposed adoption.

Clearly, the written consent of the biological parents is indispensable for the
validity of a decree of adoption. Indeed, the natural right of a parent to his child requires
that his consent must be obtained before his parental rights and duties may be
terminated and re-established in adoptive parents. In this case, petitioner failed to submit
the written consent of Amelia Ramos to the adoption. We note that in her Report,
Pagbilao declared that she was able to interview Amelia Ramos who arrived in the
Philippines with her son, John Mario in May 2002. If said Amelia Ramos was in the
Philippines and Pagbilao was able to interview her, it is incredible that the latter would
33

not require Amelia Ramos to execute a Written Consent to the adoption of her minor
children. Neither did the petitioner bother to present Amelia Ramos as witness in support
of the petition.

When she filed her petition with the trial court, Rep. Act No. 8552 was already in
effect. Section 9 thereof provides that if the written consent of the biological parents
cannot be obtained, the written consent of the legal guardian of the minors will suffice. If,
as claimed by petitioner, that the biological mother of the minors had indeed abandoned
them, she should, thus have adduced the written consent of their legal guardian but
there was none presented.

THUS, as a general rule, the proposed adopter cannot adopt without the written consent
of the biological parent. As an exception, however, the adopter can forego with the
written consent of the biological parent if sufficiently proven that the latter has
abandoned the child sought to be adopted.





























Sec. 12. Order of Hearing. If the petition and attachments are sufficient in form
and substance, the court shall issue an order which shall contain the following:
(1) the registered name of the adoptee in the birth certificate and the names by
which the adoptee has been known which shall be stated in the caption;

(2) the purpose of the petition;

(3) the complete name which the adoptee will use if the petition is granted;

(4) the date and place of hearing which shall be set within six (6) months from
the date of the issuance of the order and shall direct that a copy thereof be
published before the date of hearing at least once a week for three successive
weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province or city where the
court is situated; Provided, that in case of application for change of name, the
date set for hearing shall not be within four (4) months after the last publication of
the notice nor within thirty (30) days prior to an election.

The newspaper shall be selected by raffle under the supervision of the Executive
Judge.

(5) a directive to the social worker of the court, the social service office of the
local government unit or any child-placing or child-caring agency, or the
Department to prepare and submit child and home study reports before the
hearing if such reports had not been attached to the petition due to unavailability
at the time of the filing of the latter; and
34













There is a need of publication especially so if the petition for adoption also prays
for a change of name.
























A Child Study Report pertains to the child and the adoptee and his biological
parents. It refers to a study made by the court social worker of the childs legal status,
placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-cultural background
and that of his biological family needed in determining the most appropriate placement
for him. In preparing the child study report on the adoptee, the concerned social worker
shall verify with the Civil Registry the real identity and registered name of the adoptee. If
(6) a directive to the social worker of the court to conduct counseling sessions
with the biological parents on the matter of adoption of the adoptee and submit
her report before the date of hearing.
At the discretion of the court, copies of the order of hearing shall also be
furnished the Office of the Solicitor General through the provincial or city
prosecutor, the Department and the biological parents of the adoptee, if known.

If a change in the name of the adoptee is prayed for in the petition, notice to the
Solicitor General shall be mandatory.

Sec. 13. Child and Home Study Reports. In preparing the child study report on
the adoptee, the concerned social worker shall verify with the Civil Registry the
real identity and registered name of the adoptee. If the birth of the adoptee was
not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the responsibility of the social
worker to register the adoptee and secure a certificate of foundling or late
registration, as the case may be.

The social worker shall establish that the child is legally available for adoption
and the documents in support thereof are valid and authentic, that the adopter
has sincere intentions and that the adoption shall inure to the best interests of
the child.
In case the adopter is an alien, the home study report must show the legal
capacity to adopt and that his government allows the adoptee to enter his
country as his adopted child in the absence of the certification required under
Section 7(b) of Republic Act No. 8552.

If after the conduct of the case studies, the social worker finds that there are
grounds to deny the petition, he shall make the proper recommendation to the
court, furnishing a copy thereof to the petitioner.
35

the birth of the adoptee was not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the
responsibility of the social worker to register the adoptee and secure a certificate of
foundling or late registration, as the case may be.















The order of hearing being referred to in the first paragraph refers to the order of
hearing contained in section 12.

The second paragraph of Section 14 clearly shows the way how our rules and
laws tend to favor the maintenance of the family unit, working on the presumption that
remaining in such family units and under the parental care of his natural parents are in
the best interest of the child.

This rule also considers the fact that often times, parents who are subject to
strain or anxiety may make give up their children for adoption only to regret such a
decision later on. The rules, by requiring the court to check whether or not the natural
parent has received proper counsel regarding the effects of giving up the child, tries to
minimize the occurrence of poorly thought out decisions to put up children for adoption.













Sec. 14. Hearing. Upon satisfactory proof that the order of hearing has been
published and jurisdictional requirements have been complied with, the court
shall proceed to hear the petition. The petitioner and the adoptee must
personally appear and the former must testify before the presiding judge of the
court on the date set for hearing.

The court shall verify from the social worker and determine whether the biological
parent has been properly counseled against making hasty decisions caused by
strain or anxiety to give up the child; ensure that all measures to strengthen the
family have been exhausted; and ascertain if any prolonged stay of the child in
his own home will be inimical to his welfare and interest.

Sec. 14. Hearing. Upon satisfactory proof that the order of hearing has been
published and jurisdictional requirements have been complied with, the court
shall proceed to hear the petition. The petitioner and the adoptee must
personally appear and the former must testify before the presiding judge of the
court on the date set for hearing.

The court shall verify from the social worker and determine whether the biological
parent has been properly counseled against making hasty decisions caused by
strain or anxiety to give up the child; ensure that all measures to strengthen the
family have been exhausted; and ascertain if any prolonged stay of the child in
his own home will be inimical to his welfare and interest.
36

The order of hearing being referred to in the first paragraph refers to the order of
hearing contained in section 12.

The second paragraph of Section 14 clearly shows the way how our rules and
laws tend to favor the maintenance of the family unit, working on the presumption that
remaining in such family units and under the parental care of his natural parents are in
the best interest of the child.

This rule also considers the fact that often times, parents who are subject to
strain or anxiety may make give up their children for adoption only to regret such a
decision later on. The rules, by requiring the court to check whether or not the natural
parent has received proper counsel regarding the effects of giving up the child, tries to
minimize the occurrence of poorly thought out decisions to put up children for adoption.































Sec. 15. Supervised Trial Custody. Before issuance of the decree of adoption,
the court shall give the adopter trial custody of the adoptee for a period of at least
six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust psychologically
and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship. The trial
custody shall be monitored by the social worker of the court, the Department, or
the social service of the local government unit, or the child-placement or child-
caring agency which submitted and prepared the case studies. During said
period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the adopter.

The court may, motu proprio or upon motion of any party, reduce the period or
exempt the parties if it finds that the same shall be for the best interests of the
adoptee, stating the reasons therefor.

An alien adopter however must complete the 6-month trial custody except the
following:

a) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th)
degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

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 latters relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or
affinity.

37











Section 15 is akin to one of those money back trial periods for products sold thru
TV infomercials, except the thing that's being tried on is not a magic chef, or a tap light,
but rather, a child and potential adoptee.

The purpose of this rule is to find out if the child and the adopter are
compatible, on a psychological and emotional basis, and whether or not they can bond.
A social worker, social worker of the court, the Department, or the social service of the
local government unit, or the child-placement or child-caring agency which submitted
and prepared the case studies will observe the adopter and adoptee during the trial
period.


HOW LONG IS THE TRIAL PERIOD?

Generally, 6 months for both foreign and local adopters. The court has the
discretion to shorten the period for local adopters. As for foreign adopters, they must
generally follow the 6 month rule, the only exceptions to this being cases such as those
enumerated under Section 15 third paragraph.


WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF THE TRIAL PERIOD?

To determine whether the adopter and adoptee are a good match and ultimately
whether the adoption would redound to the best interests of the adoptee (Section 16)










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 termination.
Sec. 16. Decree of Adoption. If the supervised trial custody is satisfactory to
the parties and the court is convinced from the trial custody report and the
evidence adduced that the adoption shall redound to the best interests of the
adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be issued which shall take effect as of the
date the original petition was filed even if the petitioners die before its issuance.

38







































Section 16 outlines the procedural aspect of adoption that takes place after the
trial period. It is at this point in time when the court issues the decree of adoption.

The decree of adoption, as we can see from the rule, retroacts to the day of the
original petition, whether or not the petitioners have died prior to its issuance. This is so
in order to promote the best interest of the child-adoptee.
The decree shall:

A. State the name by which the child is to be known and registered;

B. Order:

1) the Clerk of Court to issue to the adopter a certificate of finality upon expiration
of the 15-day reglementary period within which to appeal;

2) the adopter to submit a certified true copy of the decree of adoption and the
certificate of finality to the Civil Registrar where the child was originally registered
within thirty (30) days from receipt of the certificate of finality. In case of change
of name, the decree shall be submitted to the Civil Registrar where the court
issuing the same is situated.
3) the Civil Registrar of the place where the adoptee was registered:
a. to annotate on the adoptees original certificate of birth the decree of adoption
within thirty (30) days from receipt of the certificate of finality;

b. to issue a certificate of birth which shall not bear any notation that it is a new
or amended certificate and which shall show, among others, the following:
registry number, date of registration, name of child, sex, date of birth, place of
birth, name and citizenship of adoptive mother and father, and the date and
place of their marriage, when applicable;

c. to seal the original certificate of birth in the civil registry records which can be
opened only upon order of the court which issued the decree of adoption; and

d. to submit to the court issuing the decree of adoption proof of compliance with
all the foregoing within thirty days from receipt of the decree.
If the adoptee is a foundling, the court shall order the Civil Registrar where the
foundling was registered, to annotate the decree of adoption on the foundling
certificate and a new birth certificate shall be ordered prepared by the Civil
Registrar in accordance with the decree.

39


A new certificate of birth will be issued, and this new certificate of birth will not
bear any indications that it is new or amended. The old birth certificate will be sealed
with the civil registry records and may only be accessed upon order by the court which
issued the decree of adoption.

A slight modification to the rules is made for adoptees who are foundlings.






















Our rules jealously guard the secrecy of the proceedings in adoption cases, as
well as many other matters regarding adoption.

It is submitted that this stance is adopted by our rules in order to protect the
harmony of the new parental bond formed between the adopter and the adoptee, in
instances where the adoptee was adopted at an age where the adoptee would not
become aware of his adopted status.








Sec. 17. Book of Adoptions. The Clerk of Court shall keep a book of adoptions
showing the date of issuance of the decree in each case, compliance by the Civil
Registrar with Section 16(B)(3) and all incidents arising after the issuance of the
decree.

Sec. 18. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. All hearings in
adoption cases, after compliance with the jurisdictional requirements shall be
confidential and shall not be open to the public. All records, books and papers
relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or any
other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept
strictly confidential.

If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third person is
necessary for security reasons or for purposes connected with or arising out of
the adoption and will be for the best interests of the adoptee, the court may, upon
proper motion, order the necessary information to be released, restricting the
purposes for which it may be used.

40

FLOWCHART OF THE BASIC DOMESTIC ADOPTION PROCESS

[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.
[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] Supervised Trial
Custody. Before
issuance of the decree of
adoption, the court shall
give the adopter trial
custody of the adoptee for
a period of at least six (6)
months within which the
parties are expected to
adjust psychologically and
emotionally to each other
and establish a bonding
relationship. The trial
custody shall be monitored
by the social worker of the
court, the Department, or
the social service of the
local government unit, or
the child-placement or
child-caring agency which
submitted and prepared
the case studies. During
said period, temporary
parental authority shall be
vested in the adopter.
[7] If the court decision is
favorable and there is no
appeal within 15 days 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
41

























In a relevant case, the spouses who adopted a nephew filed a petition for
revocation of the adoption on the ground that the adoptee refused to change the family
name to that of the adopting parents and that the adoptee neglected them. The Supreme
Court disallowed the petition it having been filed after the Domestic Adoption Law has
taken effect under which rescission of adoption is not allowed.
24







Venue for filing the petition for adoption is Family Court of the province or city
where the prospective adoptive parents reside. Kung asan nkatira ang adopter. In
rescission, it is the Family Court where the adoptee resides. Kung asan ang adoptee.





24
Lahom v. Sibulo, G.R. No. 143989, July 14, 2003, 406 SCRA 135
Sec. 19. Rescission of Adoption of the Adoptee. The petition shall be verified
and filed by the adoptee who is over eighteen (18) years of age, or with the
assistance of the Department, if he is a minor, or if he is over eighteen (18) years
of age but is incapacitated, by his guardian or counsel.
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.
Sec. 20. Venue. The petition shall be filed with the Family Court of the city or
province where the adoptee resides.
42


































Section 23 of the Rule provides that if the court finds that the allegations of the
petition are true, it shall render judgment ordering the rescission of adoption and
parental authority of the biological parent of the adoptee, if known, or the legal custody
of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is restored if the adoptee is still a
minor or incapacitated and further declares that the reciprocal rights and obligations of
the adopter and the adoptee to each are extinguished.

The effect of rescission on succession rights is that the court shall, under Section
23 of the Rule, further declare that the succession rights revert to its status prior to
adoption, as of the date of judgment of judicial rescission. Vested rights acquired prior
Sec. 21. Time within which to file petition. The adoptee, if incapacitated, must
file the petition for rescission or revocation of adoption within five (5) years after
he reaches the age of majority, or if he was incompetent at the time of the
adoption, within five (5) years after recovery from such incompetency.
Sec. 22. Order to Answer. The court shall issue an order requiring the adverse
party to answer the petition within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof.
The order and copy of the petition shall be served on the adverse party in such
manner as the court may direct.
Sec. 23. Judgment. If the court finds that the allegations of the petition are true,
it shall render judgment ordering the rescission of adoption, with or without costs,
as justice requires.

The court shall order that the parental authority of the biological parent of the
adoptee, if known, or the legal custody of the Department shall be restored if the
adoptee is still a minor or incapacitated and declare that the reciprocal rights and
obligations of the adopter and the adoptee to each other shall be extinguished.
The court shall further declare that successional rights shall revert to its status
prior to adoption, as of the date of judgment of judicial rescission. Vested rights
acquired prior to judicial rescission shall be respected.

It shall also order the adoptee to use the name stated in his original birth or
foundling certificate.

The court shall further order the Civil Registrar where the adoption decree was
registered to cancel the new birth certificate of the adoptee and reinstate his
original birth or foundling certificate.
43

to judicial rescission are to be respected. It shall also order the adoptee to use the name
stated in the original birth or foundling certificate.




















Sections 6 and 7 of Rule 99 however, have not been repealed:

Section 6. Proceedings as to the child whose parents are separated. Appeal.

When husband and wife are divorce or living separately and apart from each other, and
the question as to the care, custody, and control of a child or children of their marriage is
brought before a Court of First Instance by petition or as an incident to any other
proceeding, the court, upon hearing the testimony as may be pertinent, shall award the
care, custody, and control of each such child as will be for its best interest, permitting the
child to choose which parent it prefers to live with if it be over ten years of age, unless
the parent so chosen be unfit to take charge of the child by the reason of moral
depravity, habitual drunkenness, incapacity, or poverty. If, upon such hearing, it appears
that both parents are improper persons to have the care, custody, and control of the
child, the court may either designate the paternal or maternal grandparent of the child, or
his oldest brother or sister, or some reputable and discreet person to take charge of
such child, or commit it to any suitable asylum, children's home, or benevolent society.

The court may in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code order either or
both parents to support or help support said child, irrespective of who may be its
custodian, and may make any order that is just and reasonable permitting the parent
who is deprived of its care and custody to visit the child or have temporary custody
thereof.
Sec. 24. Service of Judgment. A certified true copy of the judgment together
with a certificate of finality issued by the Branch Clerk of the Court which
rendered the decision in accordance with the preceding Section shall be served
by the petitioner upon the Civil Registrar concerned within thirty (30) days from
receipt of the certificate of finality. The Civil Registrar shall forthwith enter the
rescission decree in the register and submit proof of compliance to the court
issuing the decree and the Clerk of Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of
the decree.

The Clerk of Court shall enter the compliance in accordance with Section 17
hereof.
SEC. 25. Repeal. - This supersedes Rule 99 on Adoption and Rule 100 of the
Rules of Court.

44


Either parent may appeal from an order made in accordance with the provisions
of this section. No child under seven years of age shall be separated from its mother,
unless the court finds there are compelling reasons thereof.


Section 7. Proceedings as to vagrant or abused child.

When the parents of any minor child are dead, or by reason of long absence or legal or
physical disability have abandoned it, or cannot support it through vagrancy, negligence,
or misconduct, or neglect or refuse to support it, or treat it with excessive harshness or
give it corrupting orders, counsels, or examples, or cause or allow it to engage in
begging, or to commit offenses against the law, the proper Court of First Instance, upon
petition filed by some reputable resident of the province setting forth the facts, may issue
an order requiring such parents to show cause, or, if the parents are dead or cannot be
found, requiring the fiscal of the province to show cause, at a time and place fixed in the
order, why the child should not be taken from its parents, if living; and if upon the hearing
it appears that the allegations of the petition are true, and that it is order taking it from its
parents, if living; and committing it to any suitable orphan asylum, children's home, or
benevolent society or person to be ultimately placed, by adoption or otherwise, in a
home found for it by such asylum, children's home, society, or person.


II. INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION ( RULE ON ADOPTION,A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC )




















Sec. 26. Applicability. The following sections apply to inter-country adoption of
Filipino children by foreign nationals and Filipino citizens permanently residing
abroad.

SEC. 27. Objectives. The State shall:
a) a) consider inter-country adoption as an alternative means of child care, if the
child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot, in any suitable
manner, be cared for in the Philippines;

b) ensure that the child subject of inter-country adoption enjoys the same
protection accorded to children in domestic adoption; and

c) take all measures to ensure that the placement arising therefrom does not
result in improper financial gain for those involved.

45













































Sec. 28. Where to File Petition. A verified petition to adopt a Filipino child may
be filed by a foreign national or Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad with
the Family Court having jurisdiction over the place where the child resides or
may be found.
It may be filed directly with the Inter-Country Adoption Board.
Sec. 29. Who may be adopted. Only a child legally available for domestic
adoption may be the subject of inter-country adoption.
Sec. 30. Contents of Petition. The petitioner must allege:
a) his age and the age of the child to be adopted, showing that he is at least
twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the
child to be adopted at the time of application, unless the petitioner is the parent
by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent, in which case
the age difference does not apply;

b) if married, the name of the spouse who must be joined as co-petitioner except
when the adoptee is a legitimate child of his spouse;

c) that he has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of
parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate
counseling from an accredited counselor in his country;

d) that he has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

e) that he is eligible to adopt under his national law;

f) that he can provide the proper care and support and instill the necessary moral
values and example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

g) that he agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child, as embodied under
Philippine laws and the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide
by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of Republic Act
No. 8043;

h) that he comes from a country with which the Philippines has diplomatic
relations and whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited
agency and that adoption of a Filipino child is allowed under his national laws;
and

i) that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications
provided in this Rule, in Republic Act No. 8043 and in all other applicable
Philippine laws.

46













































Sec. 31. Annexes. - The petition for adoption shall contain the following annexes
written and officially translated in English:
a) Birth certificate of petitioner;

b) Marriage contract, if married, and, if applicable, the divorce decree, or
judgment dissolving the marriage;

c) Sworn statement of consent of petitioners biological or adopted children
above ten (10) years of age;

d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation of the petitioner certified by a
duly licensed physician and psychologist;

e) Income tax returns or any authentic document showing the current financial
capability of the petitioner;

f) Police clearance of petitioner issued within six (6) months before the filing of
the petitioner;

g) Character reference from the local church/minister, the petitioners employer
and a member of the immediate community who have known the petitioner for at
least five (5) years;

h) Full body postcard-size pictures of the petitioner and his immediate family
taken at least six (6) months before the filing of the petition.

Sec. 32. Duty of Court. The court, after finding that the petition is sufficient in
form and substance and a proper case for inter-country adoption, shall
immediately transmit the petition to the Inter-Country Adoption Board for
appropriate action.
SEC. 33. Effectivity. - This Rule shall take effect on August 22, 2002 following its
publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
47

I. PRELIMINARIES

HISTORY

Republic Act 8043, also known as the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995"
25

governs inter-country adoptions. On June 7, 1995, the law was passed creating the
Central Authority of the Philippines to discharge the duties imposed by the 1993
Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country
Adoption. The law took into consideration the minimum standards on international
adoptions set out in the convention. Five months later or on December 26, 1995, the
implementing rules and regulations to Republic Act 8043 was passed later revised on
January 8, 2004 to further conform to convention principles on authorization of foreign
accredited bodies.
26



WHAT IS AN INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION?

Inter-country adoption refers to the socio-legal process of adopting a Filipino
child by a foreigner or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad where the petition is
filed, the supervised trial custody is undertaken, and the decree of adoption is issued
outside the Philippines.
27



WHAT PROCEDURAL RULES GOVERN INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTIONS?

Sections 26 to 32 of AM-02-6-02-SC, August 22, 2002 cover inter-country
adoptions.


WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE RULES ON INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION?

The State shall:

a) Consider inter-country adoption as an alternative means of child care, if the
child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot, in any suitable
manner, be cared for in the Philippines;

b) Ensure that the child subject of inter-country adoption enjoys the same
protection accorded to children in domestic adoption; and


25
Section 1, R.A. 8043
26
Distinctive Characteristics of the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Process by Bernadette B.
Abejo
27
Section 3 (a), R.A. 8043
48

c) Take all measures to ensure that the placement arising therefrom does not
result in improper financial gain for those involved.
28



II. THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD

WHAT ADMINISTRATIVE BODY IS TASKED TO BE THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY IN
MATTERS RELATIVE TO INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTIONS?

The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) is the central authority in matters
relating to inter-country adoption. It shall act as the policy-making body for purposes of
carrying out the provisions of this Act, in consultation and coordination with the
Department, the different child-care and placement agencies, adoptive agencies, as well
as non-governmental organizations engaged in child-care and placement activities.
29



WHAT ARE THE ICABS RESPONSIBILITIES?

The ICAB is tasked to
30
:

1. Protect the Filipino child from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and/or sale or
any other practice in connection with adoption which is harmful, detrimental,
or prejudicial to the child;

2. Collect, maintain, and preserve confidential information about the child and
the adoptive parents;

3. Monitor, follow up, and facilitate completion of adoption of the child through
authorized and accredited agency;

4. Prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and
deter improper practices contrary to this Act;

5. Promote the development of adoption services including post-legal adoption;

6. License and accredit child-caring/placement agencies and collaborate with
them in the placement of Filipino children;

7. Accredit and authorize foreign adoption agency in the placement of Filipino
children in their own country; and

28
Section 27, A.M. 02-6-02
29
Section 4, R.A. 8043
30
Section 4 (a) to (g) of R.A. 8043
49

8. Cancel the license to operate and blacklist the child-caring and placement
agency or adoptive agency involved from the accreditation list of the Board
upon a finding of violation of any provision under this Act.

Additionally, the ICAB assesses the completeness of the childs documents
taking into consideration the different requirements of the receiving countries. If
complete, the child is included in a roster of children available for matching.
31



WHAT ARE THE ICABS POWERS?

1. To prescribe rules and regulations as it may deem reasonably necessary to
carry out the provisions of this Act, after consultation and upon favorable
recommendation of the different agencies concerned with the child-caring,
placement, and adoption;

2. To set the guidelines for the convening of an Inter-country Adoption
Placement Committee which shall be under the direct supervision of the
Board;

3. To set the guidelines for the manner by which selection/matching of
prospective adoptive parents and adoptive child can be made;

4. To determine a reasonable schedule of fees and charges to be exacted in
connection with the application for adoption;

5. To determine the form and contents of the application for inter-country
adoption;

6. To institute systems and procedures to prevent improper financial gain in
connection with adoption and deter improper practices which are contrary to
this Act;

7. To promote the development of adoption services, including post-legal
adoption services;

8. To accredit and authorize foreign private adoption agencies which have
demonstrated professionalism, competence and have consistently pursued
non-profit objectives to engage in the placement of Filipino children in their
own country: Provided, That such foreign private agencies are duly
authorized and accredited by their own government to conduct inter-country
adoption: Provided, however, That the total number of authorized and

31
Distinctive Characteristics of the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Process by Bernadette B.
Abejo
50

accredited foreign private adoption agencies shall not exceed one hundred
(100) a year;

9. To take appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality of the records of the
child, the natural parents and the adoptive parents at all times;

10. To prepare, review or modify, and thereafter, recommend to the Department
of Foreign Affairs, Memoranda of Agreement respecting inter-country
adoption consistent with the implementation of this Act and its stated goals,
entered into, between and among foreign governments, international
organizations and recognized international non-governmental organizations;
11. To assist other concerned agencies and the courts in the implementation of
this Act, particularly as regards coordination with foreign persons, agencies
and other entities involved in the process of adoption and the physical
transfer of the child; and

To perform such other functions on matters relating to inter-country adoption as
may be determined by the President.
32



III. THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION PROCESS

MAY INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTIONS BE AVAILED OF ARBITRARILY?

No. It shall only be allowed when all the possibilities for domestic adoption of the
child have been exhausted and that inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the
child.

Thus, Inter-Country Adoptions may only be availed of as a last resort. To this
end, the ICAB shall ensure that all possibilities for adoption of the child under the Family
Code have been exhausted and that inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the
child. The ICAB (Inter-Country Adoption Board) shall set up the guidelines to ensure that
steps will be taken to place the child in the Philippines before the child is placed for inter-
country adoption. Provided, however, That the maximum number that may be allowed
for foreign adoption shall not exceed six hundred (600) a year for the first five (5)
years.
33


Moreover, no child shall be matched to a foreign adoptive family unless it is
satisfactorily shown that the child cannot be adopted locally. The clearance, as issued by
the ICAB, with the copy of the minutes of the meetings, shall form part of the records of
the child to be adopted. When the ICAB is ready to transmit the Placement Authority to
the authorized and accredited inter-country adoption agency and all the travel

32
Section 6 (a) to (m) of R.A. 8043
33
Section 7, R.A. 8043
51

documents of the child are ready, the adoptive parents, or any one of them, shall
personally fetch the child in the Philippines.
34



WHAT IS THE BEST INTEREST STANDARD?

It refers to the totality of the circumstances and conditions as are most congenial
to the survival, protection, and feelings of security of the minor and most encouraging to
his physical, psychological and emotional development. It also means the least
detrimental available alternative for safeguarding the growth and development of the
minor.
35



HOW IS THE MATCHING PROCESS ADMINISTERED
36
?

The multi-disciplinary matching process is a distinctive feature of the Philippine
inter-country adoption system. The Inter-country Adoption Board as provided in Section
5 of RA 8043 requires that the composition of the board must be as follows: one (1)
psychiatrist or psychologist; Two (2) lawyers who have the minimum qualifications of a
Regional Trial Court judge; one (1) registered Social Worker; and two (2) representatives
from non-governmental organizations engaged in child-caring and placing activities.
During the initial matching phase, the Inter-country Adoption Board secretariat pre-
selects five (5) to ten (10) families in its approved roster for selection and identification of
the childs social worker who will select two (2) families and set a priority for the two.
The families are presented by the Social Worker to the Inter-country Placement
Committee.

The multi disciplinary character of the inter-country adoption process is mirrored in
the Inter-country Placement Committee. The Inter-country placement committee is
panel of professionals composed of a medical doctor (pediatrician), social worker,
lawyer, non-governmental organization representative and a psychologist who initially
assesses the selection of families by the social worker and has the opportunity to query
the social worker on the characteristics and personality of the child. The inter-country
placement committee, guided by basic guidelines on matching- such as family approval
dates, age gap of prospective parents and the child, religious considerations if the child
is an older child, health considerations among the many other factors in matching, make
recommendations to the Inter-country Adoption Board on the matching of the child with
the prospective adoptive parents.



34
Section 11, R.A. 8043
35
Section 14, R.A. 8043
36
Distinctive Characteristics of the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Process by Bernadette B.
Abejo
52



IV. PROCEDURE

WHERE CAN THE PETITION FOR ADOPTION BE FILED?

1. A verified petition to adopt a Filipino child may be filed by a foreign national or
Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad with the Family Court having
jurisdiction over the place where the child resides or may be found; or

2. It may be filed directly with the Inter-Country Adoption Board.
37



WHO MAY BE ADOPTED?

Only a child legally available for domestic adoption may be the subject of inter-
country adoption.
38
A legally-free child is a person who is below fifteen (15) years of age
unless sooner emancipated by law and has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to
the Department, in accordance with the Child and Youth Welfare Code.

In order that such child may be considered for placement, the following
documents
39
must be submitted to the ICAB:

1. Child study;

2. Birth certificate or foundling certificate;

3. Deed of voluntary commitment/decree of abandonment/death certificate of
parents;

4. Medical evaluation or history;

5. Psychological evaluation, as necessary; and

6. A recent photo of the child.


WHO MAY ADOPT UNDER THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION LAW
40
?


37
Section 28, A.M. 02-6-02
38
Section 29, A.M. 02-6-02
39
Section 8, R.A. 8043
40
Section 9, R.A. 8043
53

An alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an application for
inter-country adoption of a Filipino child if he/she:

1. Is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years
older than the child to be adopted, at the time of application unless the
adopter is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of
such parent;

2. If married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;

3. Has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental
authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate
counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;

4. Has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

5. Is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;

6. 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;
7. Agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied 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;

8. Comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations and
whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency
and that adoption is allowed under his/her national laws; and

9. Possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided
herein and in other applicable Philippine laws.


WHAT ARE THE CONTENTS
41
OF THE PETITION?

The petitioner must allege:

a) His age and the age of the child to be adopted, showing that he is at least
twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the
child to be adopted at the time of application, unless the petitioner is the parent
by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent, in which case
the age difference does not apply;

41
Section 30, A.M. 02-6-02
54


b) If married, the name of the spouse who must be joined as co-petitioner except
when the adoptee is a legitimate child of his spouse;

c) That he has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of
parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate
counseling from an accredited counselor in his country;

d) That he has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

e) That he is eligible to adopt under his national law;

f) That he can provide the proper care and support and instill the necessary
moral values and example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

g) That he agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child, as embodied under
Philippine laws and the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide
by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of Republic Act
No. 8043;

h) That he comes from a country with which the Philippines has diplomatic
relations and whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited
agency and that adoption of a Filipino child is allowed under his national laws;
and

i) That he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications
provided in this Rule, in Republic Act No. 8043 and in all other applicable
Philippine laws.


WHAT ARE THE ANNEXES
42
?

The petition for adoption shall contain the following annexes written and officially
translated in English:

a) Birth certificate of petitioner;

b) Marriage contract, if married, and, if applicable, the divorce decree, or
judgment dissolving the marriage;

c) Sworn statement of consent of petitioners biological or adopted children
above ten (10) years of age;

42
Section 31, A.M. 02-6-02
55


d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation of the petitioner certified by a
duly licensed physician and psychologist;

e) Income tax returns or any authentic document showing the current financial
capability of the petitioner;

f) Police clearance of petitioner issued within six (6) months before the filing of
the petitioner;

g) Character reference from the local church/minister, the petitioners employer
and a member of the immediate community who have known the petitioner for at
least five (5) years;

h) Full body postcard-size pictures of the petitioner and his immediate family
taken at least six (6) months before the filing of the petition.


WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE COURT?

The court, after finding that the petition is sufficient in form and substance and a
proper case for inter-country adoption, shall immediately transmit the petition to the
Inter-Country Adoption Board for appropriate action.
43



WHAT ARE THE COSTS AND FEES TO BE SHOULDERED BY THE APPLICANTS
(I.E. ADOPTERS) RELATIVE TO THE ADOPTION PROCESS?

1. Pre-adoptive placement costs
44
which shall consist of:

(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; and

2. Fees, charges, and assessments collected by the Board in the exercise of its
functions shall be used solely to process applications for inter-country adoption
and to support the activities of the Board.
45



43
Section 32, A.M. 02-6-02
44
Section 12, R.A. 8043
45
Section 13, R.A. 8043
56


IS THE ADOPTION PROCESS COMPLETE UPON MERE COMPLIANCE WITH THE
FORMALITIES ABOVE?

No. A trial custody takes place for a period of six (6) months from the date of
placement.

The governmental agency or the authorized and accredited agency in the country
of the adoptive parents which filed the application for inter-country adoption shall be
responsible for the trial custody and the care of the child. It shall also provide family
counseling and other related services. The trial custody shall be for a period of six (6)
months from the time of placement. Only after the lapse of the period of trial custody
shall a decree of adoption be issued in the said country a copy of which shall be
sent to the Board to form part of the records of the child.

During the trial custody, the adopting parent(s) shall submit to the governmental
agency or the authorized and accredited agency, which shall in turn transmit a copy to
the Board, a progress report of the child's adjustment. The progress report shall be taken
into consideration in deciding whether or not to issue the decree of adoption.

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 accredited inter-country adoption agency as well as the repatriation to
the Philippines of a Filipino child whose adoption has not been approved.
46



WHAT REPORTS, IF ANY, ARE REQUIRED DURING THIS TRIAL CUSTODY
PERIOD?

The ICAB requires the submission of Post Placement Reports which refer to
three (3) reports submitted over a six (6) month assessment period.
Unlike most sending countries where the adoption is finalized before the child leaves the
country, the Inter-country Adoption Board issues a Placement Authority and requires
the submission of the post placement reports to determine whether the issuance of an
Affidavit of Consent to Adoption is appropriate.

Only upon the families receipt of the Affidavit of Consent to the adoption will
the adoption of the child be allowed to be finalized in the courts of the receiving country.

Close monitoring of the adjustment of the child to the adoptive family for the first
six (6) months of the placement is crucial to determine the success of the placement.
The procedure is likewise helpful in cases of disruptive placements as these are

46 Section 14, R.A. 8043
57

flagged early in the placement. The process allows Inter-country Adoption Board to
repatriate the child if necessary and rematch the child with ease to another family or re-
unite the child with kin in cases of relative adoptions.
47



WHAT POST ADOPTION SERVICES ARE PROVIDED BY THE ICAB?

Given the increasing requests for Post Adoption Services such as Motherland
tour, search and reunion and request for information, the Inter-country Adoption Boards
capacity to deliver the service is being strengthened.

As a policy, the request for search and reunion is only undertaken if the child is of
legal age (as defined by the receiving country) and has reached the required emotional
maturity to undertake the search. Intensive preparation of the adoptee by his or her
foreign accredited agency and preparation of the birthparents by the Inter-country
Adoption Board is crucial for a positive result of the reunion. Exception to the stated
policy is given where the need for the reunion is essential to the emotional well being of
the child and only upon request of the minors adoptive parents.
48



WHAT OTHER MEASURES ARE TO BE TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO
ENSURE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE ADOPTED CHILD?
49


The Department of Foreign Affairs, upon representation of the ICAB, shall cause
the preparation of Executive Agreements with countries of the foreign adoption agencies
to ensure the legitimate concurrence of said countries in upholding the safeguards
provided by this Act.


WHAT CHALLENGES ARE FACED BY THE ICAB, THE SENDING AND THE
RECEIVING COUNTRIES?

The Philippines has over a thousand pending applications for Inter-country
Adoptions, the children available for international adoptions have not significantly
increased since it has ratified the 1993 convention. Converse to the figure of availability
of children, the number of applications for international adoptions has continued to
increase. It is not the sole responsibility of a sending country to manage adoption
applications.


47
Distinctive Characteristics of the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Process by Bernadette B.
Abejo
48
Id.
49
Section 15, R.A. 8043
58

As discussed in the recent Special Commission of the Hague Convention of
1993, receiving countries must acknowledge their concurrent responsibility to ensure
that countries of origin must not be pressured to produce children for the growing
demand for adoptions. The primary duty of the country of origin is to find local solutions
for the children and only if no solutions exist open the opportunity to find a permanent
family. The receiving countries must temper the number and kind of applications it
sends to a receiving country to cater to the actual number and profile of children
available for adoption.

It is an established fact that children are susceptible to abuse and neglect. As a
global community, it is our responsibility to ensure that children should be with their own
families when possible and have access to the opportunity for a permanent family if
none exists.

The inclusion of substantive safeguards and procedures in the convention may
deter negative elements from abusing the rights of children for adoption. The nature of
the convention as a cooperative agreement between nations does not guarantee nor
prevent in full the prevalence of abuse by negative elements who perceives adoption
as a business.

The challenge is to press further cooperation among the states whether or not
signatory to the convention to work together to prevent finalization of adoptions in
jurisdictions outside of the country of origin or refuse granting entry permits for children
into the receiving country if without the concurrence of the proper competent authorities
of the childrens countries of origin.
50



V. MODIFIED PROCEDURE
51
FOR RELATIVE ADOPTION CASES UNDER RA
8043
52


Relative Adoption as applies to inter-country adoption refers to the adoption
of Filipino child/children by relatives residing abroad within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity.

Former Filipinos permanently residing abroad and/or foreigners intending to
undertake either local adoption (the filing and the finalization of the adoption is done in
the Philippines and have the intention of bringing the adoptive child to their country of
residence) or through the inter-country adoption route MUST first secure the approval of
the Central Authority on Inter-country Adoption in the country of residence before filing
any adoption petition. Adoption applicants from the USA must first secure their suitability

50
Distinctive Characteristics of the Philippine Inter-country Adoption Process by Bernadette B.
Abejo
51
http://famli.blogspot.com/2007/11/procedures-in-adoption-under-ra-8552.html
52
As approved by the ICAB on August 30, 2007
59

and eligibility to adopt (I800A) from the USA Central Authority on Inter-Country Adoption.
Canada based adoption applicants obtain such approval from the Central Authority on
Inter-country Adoption of the Province or Territory of residence.

1. The Questionnaire for Relative Adoptive Applicants (ICAB Form No.2) which
can be downloaded from the ICAB website shall be submitted by the prospective
adoptive parents (PAPs) to the Central Authorities (CAs)/ Foreign Adoption Agencies
(FAAs). The CAs/FAAs shall endorse to ICAB the completed Questionnaire for Relative
Adoptive Applicants (QRAA) with the agency's assessment and recommendation on the
prospective adoptive parents.

2. If the CA/FAA favorably recommends the PAPs, the ICAB social worker will
then request the CA/FAA to proceed with the preparation of the PAPs dossier. On the
other hand, based on the significant data on the child as indicated in the QRAA, the
assigned ICAB Social Worker will request the DSWD - Field Office (FO) to conduct the
Child Study Report with supporting documents. Periodic follow-ups will be made with the
DSWD-FO. (The time frame from request to ICABs receipt of the report will be 3-6
months. In situations where the FO could not prepare the Child Study Report within the
expected time frame in view of heavy adoption caseload, the ICAB social worker will
assist in the conduct of the CSR).

3. Once the ICAB receives from the DSWD-FO the childs dossier and the
complete adoption application dossier of the PAPs from the CA or FAA, the ICAB social
worker will prepare an executive summary on the case with his/her recommendation on
the childs adoptive placement for the disposition of the Board.


VI. MISINTERPRETATION AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF RA 9523
53


Republic Act 9523 otherwise known as An Act Requiring Certification of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to Declare A Child Legally
Available For Adoption as a Prerequisite For Adoption Proceedings amended certain
portions of RA 8552, RA 8043, and Presidential Decree No. 603 Child and Youth
Welfare Code.

Contrary to erroneous reports in the media and the Internet, RA 9523 did not turn
the whole adoption process from a judicial proceeding under the Family Courts to an
administrative proceeding under the DSWD. RA 9253 applies only to surrendered,
abandoned, neglected, and dependent children who are subject to adoption.

Under RA 9523, the time period before a child is considered abandoned has
been reduced to a maximum of three months from the original minimum of six months.

53
http://famli.blogspot.com/2007/11/procedures-in-adoption-under-ra-8552.html
60

RA 9523 made the declaration of abandonment of child administrative in nature which
now requires just a certification signed by the DSWD secretary instead of a judicial
order. Because of the new regulations, a child could be declared legally available for
adoption in less than two months. Previously, it took as long as three years in court
proceedings for such a declaration.

However, as Section 4 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9523
clearly states, certain adoption proceedings in court do not require a Certification
Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption. These are:

1. Adoption of an illegitimate child by any of his/her biological parent;

2. Adoption of a child by his/her step-parent; and

3. Adoption of a child by a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or
affinity

VII. The Flow
54

1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
The first step in adopting a child from The Philippines is to select an adoption service
provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and
attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and The Philippines.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible
to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Once the U.S. Government determines that you are eligible and suitable to adopt,
you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in The
Philippines. The Philippines adoption authority will review your application to determine
whether you are also eligible to adopt under Philippino law.
3. Be Matched with a Child
The Philippines adoption authority matches the prospective adoptive parents with a
child. The Central Authority prepares a report that determines that: the child is
adoptable, the envisaged placement is in the best interest of the child, the birth parent or

54
http://adopt.com/philippines/index.html
61

legal custodian has freely consented in writing to the adoption, and no payment has
been made to obtain the consent necessary for the adoption to be completed.
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
After you accept a referral to a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department
of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for
provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine
whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States.
After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to a
Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the childs
information and evaluate the child for possible visa inelegibilities. If the Consular Office
determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will
notify the Philippines adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country
adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain
custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.
5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in The Philippines
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in The Philippines
generally includes the following:
Role of The Court: The Regional Trial Courts are responsible for domestic
adoptions in The Philippines. This is where prospective adoptive parents file
adoption petitions.
Adoption Application: To start the Philippine adoption process, prospective
adoptive parents or their accredited FAA must contact the Philippine Inter-
country Adoption Board (ICAB).

o Application: The prospective adoptive parents file an application with the
ICAB through a United States adoption agency.
o Endorsement of Child for Inter-Country Adoption: The Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should endorse to the ICAB a
child who has been previously committed to the Philippine
Government. See Relinquishment of the Child for a description of
committed.
o Matching: The Inter-Country Adoption Placement Committee matches
the child with a person or couple interested in adopting and refers its
proposal to ICAB for approval. If the match is approved, the concerned
adoption agency in the United States shall be sent a notice of matching
proposal.
62

o The prospective adoptive parents shall notify the adoption agency in the
United States of his/her decision within 15 days of receipt of the matching
proposal. Note: The Philippine Inter-Country Adoption Act prohibits
contact between the prospective adoptive parents and childs parents
/guardians or custodians.
o Placement Authority: The ICAB shall issue the Placement Authority
within five working days upon receipt of the prospective adoptive parents
acceptance of the matching proposal.
o Application for Immigrant Visa: The child appears at the Embassy for
his/her immigrant visa interview.
o Child travels to the United States: The adoptive parents must escort the
child from The Philippines to the United States.
o Supervision of Trial Custody: Upon assuming custody of the child, the
adoptive parents enter a six-month trial period where the accredited
adoption agency in the United States monitors the childs welfare.
o Petition for Adoption: After completion of the trial custody period, the
adoptive parent should file a petition for adoption before the court in the
United States.
o Final Adoption Decree: The final U.S. adoption decree should be
submitted to ICAB within a month after its issuance.
Time Frame: Adoption processing depends upon many variables, including the
availability of children to be matched with prospective adoptive parents, the
number of prospective adoptive parents on the waiting list, and the caseload of
social service agencies and the courts.
Adoption Fees: Fees can vary widely depending upon the adoption agency
used.
Documents Required: The following documents, which must be written and
officially translated into English, shall accompany the prospective adoptive
parents application for adoption:

o Family and Home Study Reports on the family and home of the
prospective adoptive parents;
o Birth Certificates of prospective adoptive parents;
o Marriage certificate or Decree of Absolute divorce, if applicable;
o Written consent of the prospective adoptive parents biological or adopted
children who are ten years of age or over, witnessed by the social worker
after proper counseling;
o Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and
psychological evaluation by a psychologist
o Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial
capability;
63

o Clearance issued by the police of other proper Government agency of the
place of residence;
o Character reference from the local church minister/priest, employer, or a
non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the
prospective adoptive parents for at least five (5) years;
o Certification from the U.S. Department of Justice or other appropriate
Government agency that the prospective adoptive parents are qualified to
adopt under their national law and that the child to be adopted is allowed
to enter the country for trial custody and reside permanently once
adopted; and
o Recent postcard-size pictures of the prospective adoptive parents and all
immediate family.
6. Bringing Your Child Home
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child),
there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to
apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United
States:
Birth Certificate
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later
apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
Philippines Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport
from Philippines.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to
apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption
(or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review
and approval of the childs I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This
immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the
Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physicians medical report on the child if it
was not provided during the provisional approval stage.








64


65

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN DOMESTIC ADOPTION FROM INTER-COUNTRY
ADOPTION

DOMESTIC INTER-COUNTRY
Jurisdiction Family Court where adopter resides
Inter-Country Adoption Board
(Petition may also be filed with
Family Court where adoptee
resides; FC to endorse petition to
ICAB)

Who May
adopt
1) 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; who is
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 children in
keeping with the means of the family.
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 adoptees parent;

2) Any alien possessing the same
qualifications as above-stated for
Filipino nationals: Provided, That his
country has diplomatic relations with
the Republic of the Philippines, 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 decree is entered, 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
that his government allows the
adoptee to enter his country as his
A foreigner must meet the following
requirements in order to be
qualified to adopt in the Philippines
under the Inter-Country Adoption
Act:

a) GENERAL RULE: at least
twenty-seven (27) years of age and
at least sixteen (16) years older
than the child to be adopted, at the
time of application;

EXCEPTION: If the adopter is the
parent by nature of the child to be
adopted or the spouse of such
parent, he/she is not required to
meet the above age requirement;

b) If married, his/her spouse must
jointly file for the adoption;

c) With capacity to act and assume
all rights and responsibilities of
parental authority under his national
laws, and has undergone the
appropriate counseling from an
accredited counselor in his/her
country;

d) Not convicted of a crime
involving moral turpitude;

e) Eligible to adopt under his/her
national law;
66

adopted child. Provided, further, That
the requirements on residency and
certification of the aliens qualification
to adopt in his 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;

(ii) One who seeks to adopt the
legitimate child of his Filipino spouse;

(iii) One who is married to a Filipino
citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with
his spouse a relative within the fourth
(4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity
of the Filipino spouse.

(3) The guardian with respect to the
ward after the termination of the
guardianship and clearance of his
financial accountabilities.
Husband and wife shall jointly adopt,
except in the following cases:

(i) Iif one spouse seeks to adopt the
legitimate child of one spouse by the
other spouse; or

(ii) If one spouse seeks to adopt his
own illegitimate child: Provided,
however, That the other spouse has
signified his 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
child of the other, joint parental
authority shall be exercised by the
spouses.


f) 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;

g) Agrees to uphold the basic rights
of the child as embodied under
Philippine family 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;

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 is allowed under
his/her national laws; and

i) Possesses all the qualifications
and none of the disqualifications
provided herein and in other
applicable Philippine laws.

67

Supervised
Trial Custody
Within the Philippines (6 month period
discretionary upon the court to shorten
period or exempt parties from trial
custody)

Within the country of the adopter
(Mandatory; all expenses borne by
adopter)
Petition for
adoption
May include :

1. Prayer for change of name

2. Rectification of simulated birth

3. Declaration that child is abandoned,
dependent or neglected child or
foundling

N/A
Who may be
adopted
1. Any child legally declared available
for adoption

2. Legitimate or illegitimate child of a
spouse

3. Person of legal age

Child legally available for adoption
Supporting
Documents

1. Income Tax Returns
2. Police Clearance
3. Character Reference
4. Family Picture
5. Birth Certificate of adopter
Publication
3 successive weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation in the province or
city where the court is situated
N/A

Where to file
application

Family Court which has jurisdiction

May be made through foreign
placement agency which will then
submit application to the ICAB

68

COMPARATIVE MATRIX ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE FAMILY CODE, R.A. 8043
(INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION ACT) AND R.A. 8552 (DOMESTIC ADOPTION ACT)
FAMILY CODE
INTER-COUNTRY
ADOPTION
(R.A. 8043)
DOMESTIC
ADOPTION
(R.A. 8552)

Who may
adopt

A person of legal age and
in possession of full civil
capacity and legal rights,
provided:

1. He is in a position to
support and care for his
children, legitimate or
illegitimate, in keeping with
the means of his family;

2. At least 16 years older
than the person to be
adopted, unless the
adopter is:

a. The parent by nature of
the adopted or

b. The spouse of the
legitimate parent of the
person to be adopted.

3. Has not been convicted
of a crime involving moral
turpitude

An alien or a Filipino citizen
permanently residing abroad
may file an application for
inter-country adoption of a
Filipino child if he/she:
1. Is at least twenty-seven
(27) years of age and at least
sixteen (16) years older than
the child to be adopted, at the
time of application unless the
adopter is the parent by
nature of the child to be
adopted or the spouse of
such parent;
2. If married, his/her spouse
must jointly file for the
adoption;
3. Has the capacity to act and
assume all rights and
responsibilities of parental
authority under his national
laws, and has undergone the
appropriate counseling from
an accredited counselor in
his/her country;
4. Has not been convicted of
a crime involving moral
turpitude;
5. Is eligible to adopt under
his/her national law;
6. Is in a position to provide
the proper care and support
and to give the necessary
moral values and example to

(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 adoptee's parent;



69

all his children, including the
child to be adopted;
7. Agrees to uphold the basic
rights of the child as
embodied 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;
8. Comes from a country with
whom the Philippines has
diplomatic relations and
whose government maintains
a similarly authorized and
accredited agency and that
adoption is allowed under
his/her national laws; and
9. Possesses all the
qualifications and none of the
disqualifications provided
herein and in other applicable
Philippine laws.

Are aliens
qualified
to adopt?
NOT qualified UNLESS:

1. A former Filipino citizen
who seeks to adopt a
relative by consanguinity
who seeks to adopt a
relative by consanguinity;

2. One seeking to adopt
the legitimate child of
his/her Filipino spouse; and
3. If one is married to a
Filipino citizen and seeks to
adopt jointly with his
spouse a relative by
consanguinity of the latter
QUALIFIED
QUALIFIED. Any alien
possessing the same
qualifications as above
stated for Filipino
nationals may adopt,
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
70

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 alien's
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 (4th)
degree of consanguinity
or affinity of the Filipino
spouse; or
.
(c) The guardian with
respect to the ward after
the termination of the
guardianship and
clearance of his/her
71

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. virtual law
library
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.

Are
guardians
allowed to
adopt their
wards?
Allowed but only after the
approval of the final
accounts rendered upon
the termination of their
guardianship relation

Silent
Only after the termination
of the guardianship and
clearance of his
accountabilities
Who may
be
adopted?
1. Minors may be adopted
except:

a. Child by nature of the
adopter or his/her spouse;
or

b. Prior to the adoption,
said person had been
Only a legally free child.
A legally free child is one
below 15 years old unless
sooner emancipated by law
and who has been voluntarily
or involuntarily committed to
the Department, in
accordance with the Child
(a) Any person below
eighteen (18) years of
age who has been
administratively or
judicially declared
available for adoption;

(b) The legitimate
son/daughter of one
72

consistently treated by the
adopter as his own child
during minority;

2. An alien with whose
government the Philippines
has diplomatic relations;

3. An adopted child whose
adoption had been
previously revoked or
rescinded
and Youth Welfare Code. spouse by the other
spouse;

(c) An illegitimate
son/daughter by a
qualified adopter to
improve his/her status to
that of legitimacy;

(d) A person of legal age
if, prior to the adoption,
said person has been
consistently considered
and treated by the
adopter(s) as his/her own
child since minority;

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

(f) A child whose
biological or adoptive
parent(s) has died:
Provided, That no
proceedings shall be
initiated within six (6)
months from the time of
death of said parent(s).
Rules with
respect to
adoption
by
husband
and wife
Must adopt jointly, except:

1. When the spouse seeks
to adopt his own
illegitimate child;

2. When one spouse seeks
to adopt the legitimate child
of the other

In case the husband and
wife jointly adopt or one
spouse accepts the
legitimate child of the other,
joint parental authority shall
be exercised by the
spouses.
Must jointly file for adoption
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

73

(iii) if the spouses are
legally separated from
each other. law library
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.


Who shall
give
consent in
writing
1. The person to be
adopted if ten (10) years or
over;

2. Parents by nature of the
child or legal guardian or
proper government entity;

3. Legitimate and adopted
children, 10 years or older,
of adopter;

4. Illegitimate children, 10
years or older, of adopter if
living with said parent and
the latters spouse, if any;

5. Spouse, if any, of the
adopter or adopted.
For the biological or adopted
children above 10 years of
age, the written consent must
be in the form of a sworn
statement.
(a) The adoptee, if ten
(10) years of age or over;

(b) The biological
parent(s) of the child, if
known, or the legal
guardian, or the proper
government
instrumentality which has
legal custody of the child;

(c) The legitimate and
adopted sons/daughters,
ten (10) years of age or
over, of the adopter(s)
and adoptee, if any;

(d) The illegitimate
sons/daughters, ten (10)
years of age or over, of
the adopter if living with
said adopter and the
latter's spouse, if any;
and
(e) The spouse, if any, of
the person adopting or to
be adopted.


Where to
file
application
Family Courts
Either with the Philippine
Regional Trial Court (Family
Court) having jurisdiction
over the child, or with the
Board, through an
Family Courts
74

intermediate agency, whether
governmental or an
authorized and accredited
agency, in the country of the
prospective adoptive parents,
which application shall be in
accordance with the
requirements as set forth in
the implementing rules and
regulations to be
promulgated by the Board.

Effects of
adoption
1.For civil purposes, the
adopted shall be deemed
to be a legitimate child of
the adopters and both shall
acquire the reciprocal
rights and obligations
arising from the
relationship of parent and
child, including the right of
the adopted to use the
surname of the adopters;

2. The parental authority of
the parents by nature over
the adopted shall terminate
and be vested in the
adopters, except that if the
adopter is the spouse of
the parent by nature of the
adopted, parental authority
over the adopted shall be
exercised jointly by both
spouses; and

3. The adopted shall
remain an intestate heir of
his parents and other blood
relatives.

4. If the adopter dies prior
to the decision of the
adoption, the petition is
dismissed.
Silent
1. Except in cases where
the biological parent is
the spouse of the
adopter, all legal ties
between the biological
parent(s) and the
adoptee shall be severed
and the same shall then
be vested on the
adopter(s).
2. The adoptee shall be
considered the legitimate
son/daughter of the
adopter(s) for all intents
and purposes and as
such is entitled to all the
rights and obligations
provided by law to
legitimate sons/daughters
born to them without
discrimination of any
kind. To this end, the
adoptee is entitled to
love, guidance, and
support in keeping with
the means of the family.
3. In legal and intestate
succession, the
adopter(s) and the
adoptee shall have
reciprocal rights of
succession without
75

distinction from legitimate
filiation. However, if the
adoptee and his/her
biological parent(s) had
left a will, the law on
testamentary succession
shall govern.
4. If the adopter dies prior
to the decision of the
adoption, the adoption
shall be issued.

Rescission
of the
decree of
adoption
The adopted or the adopter
may rescind the adoption
Silent
Only the adoptee may
ask for rescission.
Adoption, being in the
best interest 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 New Civil Code.
Grounds
for
Rescission

Adoptee:
If the adopted is a minor or
otherwise incapacitated,
the adoption may be
judicially rescinded upon
petition of any person
authorized by the court or
proper government
instrumental acting on his
behalf, on the same
grounds prescribed for loss
or suspension of parental
authority. If the adopted is
at least eighteen years of
age, he may petition for
judicial rescission of the
adoption on the same
grounds prescribed for
disinheriting an ascendant.
Silent
Upon petition of the
adoptee, with the
assistance of the
Department if a minor or
if over eighteen (18)
years of age but is
incapacitated, as
guardian/counsel, the
adoption may be
rescinded on any of the
following grounds
committed by the
adopter(s): (a) repeated
physical and verbal
maltreatment by the
adopter(s) despite having
undergone counseling;
(b) attempt on the life of
the adoptee; (c) sexual
assault or violence; or (d)
abandonment and failure
to comply with parental
76

Adopter:
(1) If the adopted has
committed any act
constituting ground for
disinheriting a descendant;
or
(2) When the adopted has
abandoned the home of the
adopters during minority for
at least one year, or, by
some other acts, has
definitely repudiated the
adoption.

obligations.
Effects of
Rescission
If the adopted minor has
not reached the age of
majority at the time of the
judicial rescission of the
adoption, the court in the
same proceeding shall
reinstate the parental
authority of the parents by
nature, unless the latter are
disqualified or
incapacitated, in which
case the court shall appoint
a guardian over the person
and property of the minor.
If the adopted person is
physically or mentally
handicapped, the court
shall appoint in the same
proceeding a guardian over
his person or property or
both.
Judicial rescission of the
adoption shall extinguish all
reciprocal rights and
obligations between the
adopters and the adopted
arising from the
relationship of parent and
child. The adopted shall
Silent
If the petition is granted,
the parental authority of
the adoptee's biological
parent(s), if known, or the
legal custody of the
Department shall be
restored if the adoptee is
still a minor or
incapacitated. The
reciprocal rights and
obligations of the
adopter(s) and the
adoptee to each other
shall be extinguished.
The court shall order the
Civil Registrar to cancel
the amended certificate
of birth of the adoptee
and restore his/her
original birth certificate.
Succession rights shall
revert to its status prior to
adoption, but only as of
the date of judgment of
judicial rescission. Vested
rights acquired prior to
judicial rescission shall
77

likewise lose the right to
use the surnames of the
adopters and shall resume
his surname prior to the
adoption.
The court shall accordingly
order the amendment of
the records in the proper
registries.


be respected.
All the foregoing effects
of rescission of adoption
shall be without prejudice
to the penalties
imposable under the
Penal Code if the criminal
acts are properly proven.
Others
No child shall be matched to
a foreign adoptive family
unless it is satisfactorily
shown that the child cannot
be adopted locally.
The adoptive parents, or any
of them, shall personally
fetch the child in the
Philippines.
The governmental agency or
the authorized and accredited
agency in the country of the
adoptive parents which filed
the application for inter-
country adoption shall be
responsible for the trial
custody and care of the child.
The trial custody shall be for
a period of 6 months from the
time of the placement. Only
after the lapse of the period
of the trial custody shall
decree of adoption be issued
in the said country
Supervised trial custody
for at least 6 months.
The court may motu
proprio or upon motion of
any party, reduce the trial
period if it finds the same
to be in the best interest
of the adoptee. For alien
adopters, he must
complete the 6-month
trial custody except those
exempted from
presenting residency
requirement as well as
certification of aliens
qualification.
Decree of adoption shall
be effective as of the
date of the original
petition was filed. This
shall also apply in case
the petitioner dies before
the issuance of the
decree of adoption to
protect the interest of the
adoptee.
No binding commitment
to an adoption plan shall
be permitted before the
birth of the child.
78

An amended certificate of
birth shall be iisued by
the civil registry. The
original certificate of birth
shall be stamped
cancelled. The new
birth certificate shall not
bear any notation that it
is an amended issue.


79

JURISPRUDENCE ON ADOPTION

As to Change of Name: Surname and Christian Name

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HON. JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial
Court, Branch 158, Pasig City and SPOUSES VAN MUNSON y NAVARRO and
REGINA MUNSON y ANDRADE, respondents.

G.R. NO. 117209 (FEBRUARY 9, 1996)

Facts:
The RTC granted the petition for adoption of Kevin Earl Bartolome Moran and
simultaneously granted the prayer therein for the change of the first name of said
adoptee to Aaron Joseph, to complement the surname Munson y Andrade which he
acquired consequent to his adoption.

Petitioner opposed the inclusion of the relief for change of name in the same
petition for adoption objecting to the joinder of the petition for adoption and the petitions
for the change of name in a single proceeding, arguing that these petition should be
conducted and pursued as two separate proceedings.

Petitioner argues that a petition for adoption and a petition for change of name
are two special proceedings, which, in substance and purpose, are different from and
are not related to each other, being respectively governed by distinct sets of law and
rules. Petitioner further contends that what the law allows is the change of the surname
of the adoptee, as a matter of right, to conform with that of the adopter and as a natural
consequence of the adoption thus granted. If what is sought is the change of the
registered given or proper name, and since this would involve a substantial change of
ones legal name, a petition for change of name under Rule 103 should accordingly be
instituted, with the substantive and adjective requisites, therefore, being conformably
satisfied.

Private respondents, on the contrary, admittedly filed the petition for adoption
with a prayer for change of name predicated upon Section 5, Rule 2 which allows
permissive joinder of causes of action in order to avoid multiplicity of suits and in line
with the policy of discouraging protracted and vexatious litigations. It is argued that there
is no prohibition in the Rules against the joinder of adoption and change of name being
pleaded as two separate but related causes of action in a single petition.

Issue:
WON respondent judge erred in granting prayer for the change of the given or
proper name if the adoptee in a petition for adoption.
80

Held:
No. Par (1), Art. 189 of the Family Code provides one of the legal effect of
adoption:

(1) For civil purposes, the adopted shall be deemed to be a legitimate child of the
adopters and both shall acquire the reciprocal rights and obligations arising from
the relationship of parent and child, including the right of the adopted to use the
surname of the adopters;

The law allows the adoptee, as a matter of right and obligation, to bear the
surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption. It is the change of the
adoptees surname to follow that of the adopter, which is the natural and necessary
consequence of a grant of adoption and must specifically be contained in the order of
the court, in fact, even if not prayed for by petitioner.

However, the given or proper name, also known as the first or Christian name, of
the adoptee must remain as it was originally registered in the civil register. The creation
of an adoptive relationship does not confer upon the adopter a license to change the
adoptees registered Christian or first name. The automatic change thereof, premised
solely upon the adoption thus granted, is beyond the purview of a decree of adoption.
Neither is it a mere incident in nor an adjunct of an adoption proceeding, such that a
prayer, therefore, furtively inserted in a petition for adoption, as in this case, cannot
properly be granted.

The official name of a person whose birth is registered in the civil register is the
name appearing therein. If a change in ones name is desired, this can only be done by
filing and strictly complying with the substantive and procedural requirements for a
special proceeding for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, wherein
the sufficiency of the reasons or grounds, therefore, can be threshed out and accordingly
determined.

A petition for change of name being a proceeding in rem, strict compliance with
all the requirements, therefore, is indispensable in order to vest the court with jurisdiction
for its adjudication. It is an independent and discrete special proceeding, in and by itself,
governed by its own set of rules. A fortiori, it cannot be granted by means of any other
proceeding. To consider it as a mere incident or an offshoot of another special
proceeding would be to denigrate its role and significance as the appropriate remedy
available under our remedial law system.


81

As to the Use of Mothers Surname as Middle Name

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE NATHY ASTORGA GARCIA
HONORATO B. CATINDIG, petitioner.

G.R. No. 148311 (March 31, 2005)

FACTS:
Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition to adopt his minor
illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He alleged therein, among others, that
Stephanie was born on June 26, 1994; that her mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that
Stephanie has been using her mother's middle name and surname; and that he is now a
widower and qualified to be her adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanie's middle
name Astorga be changed to 'Garcia, her mother's surname, and that her surname
'Garcia be changed to 'Catindig, his surname.

The trial court rendered the assailed Decision granting the adoption, and the
name of the minor was changed to STEPHANIE NATHY CATINDIG.
Petitioner filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration praying that Stephanie
should be allowed to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her middle
name.

The trial court denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration holding that there is
no law or jurisprudence allowing an adopted child to use the surname of his biological
mother as his middle name.

Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not an illegitimate child may use the surname of her mother as her
middle name when her natural father subsequently adopted her.

RULING:
As correctly submitted by both parties, there is no law regulating the use of a
middle name. Even Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No.
9255, otherwise known as 'An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Of
Their Father, is silent as to what middle name a child may use.

The middle name or the mother's surname is only considered in Article 375(1),
quoted above, in case there is identity of names and surnames between ascendants and
descendants, in which case, the middle name or the mother's surname shall be added.
Notably, the law is likewise silent as to what middle name an adoptee may use. Article
365 of the Civil Code merely provides that 'an adopted child shall bear the surname of
82

the adopter. Also, Article 189 of the Family Code, enumerating the legal effects of
adoption, is likewise silent on the matter.

As correctly pointed out by the OSG, the members of the Civil Code and Family
Law Committees that drafted the Family Code recognized the Filipino custom of adding
the surname of the childs mother as his middle name. In the Minutes of the Joint
Meeting of the Civil Code and Family Law Committees, the members approved the
suggestion that the initial or surname of the mother should immediately precede the
surname of the father.

One of the effects of adoption is that the adopted is deemed to be a legitimate
child of the adopter for all intents and purposes pursuant to Article 189 of the Family
Code and Section 17 Article V of RA 8552.

Being a legitimate child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that Stephanie is
entitled to all the rights provided by law to a legitimate child without discrimination of any
kind, including the right to bear the surname of her father and her mother. as discussed
above. This is consistent with the intention of the members of the Civil Code and Family
Law Committees as earlier discussed. In fact, it is a Filipino custom that the initial or
surname of the mother should immediately precede the surname of the father.

Additionally, as aptly stated by both parties, Stephanie's continued use of her
mother's surname (Garcia) as her middle name will maintain her maternal lineage. It is to
be noted that Article 189(3) of the Family Code and Section 18, Article V of RA 8552
(law on adoption) provide that the adoptee remains an intestate heir of his/her biological
parent. Hence, Stephanie can well assert or claim her hereditary rights from her natural
mother in the future.

Moreover, records show that Stephanie and her mother are living together in the
house built by petitioner for them at 390 Tumana, San Jose, Baliuag, Bulacan. Petitioner
provides for all their needs. Stephanie is closely attached to both her mother and father.
She calls them 'Mama and Papa. Indeed, they are one normal happy family. Hence, to
allow Stephanie to use her mother's surname as her middle name will not only sustain
her continued loving relationship with her mother but will also eliminate the stigma of her
illegitimacy.

83

ISABELITA S. LAHOM, petitioner,
vs.
JOSE MELVIN SIBULO (previously referred to as "DR. MELVIN S. LAHOM"),
respondent.

G.R. No. 143989 (July 14, 2003)

FACTS:
Dr. Diosdado Lahom and Isabelita Lahom had decided to adopt Isabelitas
nephew, Jose Melvin Sibulo. On May 5, 1972, the petition was granted through an
order. Civil Registrar of Naga City changed the name of the adopted to Jose
MelvinLahom . Twenty seven (27) years later, Mrs. Lahom petitioned at the RTC for the
rescission of the decree of adoption. In the petition, she averred:

a. Respondent refused to change his surname to Lahom, to the frustration of the
spouses especially of the husband until the latter died.

Respondents records with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC)
showed his name as Sibulo originally issued 1978 until present. He uses that name in all
his dealings and activities in connection with the practice of his profession.

Respondent remained indifferent and would visit the widowed mother only once a
year. Respondent remained callous despite her need for care given the check-ups she
has been undergoing for the past three to four years due to a leg ailment.

Petitioner has suffered wounded feelings knowing after all, respondent was just
after his alleged rights over properties of the spouses as clearly shown by his recent
filing for partition against petitioner.

Prior to institution of case, March 22, 1998, RA 8552(Domestic Adoption Act)
went into effect. This deleted from the law the right of adopters to rescind a decree of
adoption.

Section 19, RA8552 now reads:

Sec. 19. Grounds for rescission ofadoption.-

xxx Adoption, being in the best interest of the child, shall not be subject to
rescission by the adopter(s). However, the adopter(s) may disinherit the adoptee
for causes provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code.

Jose Melvin filed for dismissal of the petitionsaying petitioner has no cause of
action inview of the aforequoted provision of RA8552.

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Petitioner said the proscription in RA 8552should not retroactively apply, i.e., to
cases where the ground for rescission of the adoption vested under the regime of the old
law.

In April, 2000, the RTC dismissed the petition.
Petitioner goes to Supreme Court for Certiorari.

ISSUE:
May the subject adoption (decreed May 5, 1972) still be rescinded by an adopter
after the effectivity of RA8552?

RULING:
No.

Art. 348. The adopter may petition the court for revocation of the adoption in any
of these cases:

(1) If the adopted person has attempted against the life of the adopter;

(2) When the adopted minor has abandoned the home of the adopter for
more than three years;

(3) When by other acts, the adopted person has definitely repudiated the
adoption.

Art. 192. The adopters may petition the court for the judicial rescission of the
adoption in any of the following cases:

(1) If the adopted has committed any act constituting aground for
disinheriting a descendant; or

(2) When the adopted has abandoned the home of the adopters during the
minority for at least one year, or,by some other acts, has definitely repudiated the
adoption.

Sec. 5. Time within which to file petition. - A minor or other incapacitated person
must file the petition for rescission or revocation of adoption within five years
following his majority, or if he was incompetent at the time of the adoption, within
the five (5)years following the recovery from such incompetency. The adopter
must also file the petition to set aside the adoption within five (5) years from the
time the cause of or causes giving rise to the rescission or revocation of the
same took place.

85

It was months after the effectivity of R.A. No. 8552 that herein petitioner filed an
action to revoke the decree of adoption granted in 1975. By then, the new law had
already abrogated and repealed the right of an adopter under the Civil Code and the
Family Code to rescind a decree of adoption. Consistently with its earlier
pronouncements, the Court should now hold that the action for rescission of the adoption
decree, having been initiated by petitioner after R.A. No. 8552 had come into force, no
longer could be pursued.

Interestingly, even before the passage of the statute, an action to set aside the
adoption is subject to the fiveyear bar rule under Rule 100 of the Rules of Court and
that the adopter would lose the right to revoke the adoption decree after the lapse of that
period. The exercise of the right within a prescriptive period is a condition that could not
fulfill the requirements of a vested right entitled to protection. It must also be
acknowledged that a person has no vested right in statutory privileges. While adoption
has often been referred to in the context of a right, the privilege to adopt is itself not
naturally innate or fundamental but rather a right merely created by statute. It is a
privilege that is governed by the states determination on what it may deem to be for the
best interest and welfare of the child. Matters relating to adoption, including the
withdrawal of the right of an adopter to nullify the adoption decree, are subject to
regulation by the State. Concomitantly, a right of action given by statute may be taken
away at anytime before it has been exercised.

While R.A. No. 8552 has unqualifiedly withdrawn from an adopter a
consequential right to rescind the adoption decree even in cases where the adoption
might clearly turn out to be undesirable, it remains, nevertheless, the bounden duty of
the Court to apply the law. Dura lex sed lex would be the hackneyed truism that those
caught in the law have to live with. It is still noteworthy, however, that an adopter, while
barred from severing the legal ties of adoption, can always for valid reasons cause the
forfeiture of certain benefits otherwise accruing to an undeserving child. For instance,
upon the grounds recognized by law, an adopter may deny to an adopted child his
legitime and, by a will and testament, may freely exclude him from having a share in the
disposable portion of his estate.