The adoption process in the Philippines could speed up with the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9523 at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) main office Monday morning.
DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral, National Statistics Office (NSO) Administrator Carmelita Ericta, Association of Children Caring Agencies of the Philippines (ACCAP) President Atty. Gwendolyn Gana, and Inter-Country Adoption Board Director Atty. Bernadette Abejo signed the said regulations for “An Act Requiring the Certification of DSWD to Declare a ‘Child Legally Available for Adoption’ as a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings.”
Under the law, 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.
Because of the new regulations, a child could be declared legally available for adoption in less than two months. Before, it took as long as three years in court proceedings for such declaration.
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.
Cabral stressed that the shortened time frame for the declaration of abandonment and legal availability of the child to be adopted does not mean that there are short cuts for prospective parents in submitting adoption requirements.
The prospective parents should submit proof that he or she is of legal age.
The second is that the parents should be at least 16 years older than the child he or she wants to adopt.
Third is that the prospective parents should undergo financial, emotional and psycho-social capability assessments.
The prospective adopted child should not be sought out by the biological parent.
“Mapapadali ang process of adoption in the sense na mapapadali ang proseso for declaring the child legally available for adoption. But kailangan pa ring dumaan sa ibang proseso. At ito ay mapapadali hindi lamang kay Angelina Jolie, kundi para sa lahat,” Cabral told ABS-CBN News.
When asked whether Jolie or any foreign celebrity expressed their willingness to adopt a Filipino, Cabral said laughing, “Dito sa panahon ko sa DSWD, wala pa akong alam.”