• Adoption 101 for foreigners

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    Is a foreigner qualified to adopt under Philippine laws?
    Mr. Smith

    Dear Mr. Smith,
    Adoption is a legal process that creates between two persons a relationship similar to that resulting from legitimate paternity and filiation (Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines: Volume One [1990 edition], page 554). Republic Act (RA) 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 provides for the qualifications, eligibility, rules and regulations to be observed in adoption.

    Any Filipino citizen in possession of the following qualifications may adopt: 1) must be of legal age; 2) in possession of full civil 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 for children; 6) at least sixteen (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. 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.

    Any foreigner possessing the same qualifications as his Filipino counterpart is also qualified to adopt. In addition to the foregoing, the following shall also have to be satisfied: 1) his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines; 2) he has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered; 3) that he has been certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he has the legal capacity to adopt in his country; and 4) his government allows the adoptee to enter his country as his adopted son/daughter. But the requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived if the foreigner is: 1) 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 son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or 3) 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 (Section 7, RA 8552).

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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    1 Comment

    1. Dear Pao,

      I am a single mother at age 24, and since then the biological father of my son never supported my son and never communicated with me for support as well.

      I have been working overseas for several years and only last year July 2013 I got married to an Australian national.

      My son is now 9 years old and we wish to change his last name into my married name. Unfortunately on his birth certificate his biological father had recognised him.

      I really need help how can we proceed with the adoption process and I also need an advise if there is any good and not too expensive lawyers that you could recommend?

      Hoping for your response.

      Best Regards,