Is a foreigner, who is permanently residing in the Philippines, qualified to adopt?
Adoption is a legal process which creates between two persons a relationship similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation (Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines: Volume One (1990 edition), page 554). Once the adoption is granted, the adoptee shall be considered as the legitimate child of the adopter for all intents and purposes and as such, he shall be entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children born to the adopter without discrimination of any kind (Section 17, Republic Act (RA) No. 8552).
Any person, whether a Filipino or not, may adopt provided he met all the qualifications required by law. To qualify for adoption, the adopter shall be 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. If the adopter is a foreigner, the following qualifications shall be complied with in addition to the aforementioned requirements: 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) 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 that his government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter. However, the requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his country may be waived in the following instances: 1) if he is a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; 2) he seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or 3) he 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 No. 8552).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.