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Domestic Adoption Act (RA 8552)

Domestic Adoption Act (RA 8552)

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Published by tagabantay

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Published by: tagabantay on Nov 30, 2009
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06/17/2013

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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8552
 
 AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES AND POLICIES ON THEDOMESTIC ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
 
 ARTICLE I
 
GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
SECTION 1.
Short Title.
 — This Act shall be known asthe
"Domestic Adoption Act of 1998."
 
SECTION 2.
Declaration of Policies
. — (a) It ishereby declared the policy of the State to ensurethat every child remains under the care and custodyof his/her parent(s) and be provided with love, care,understanding and security towards the full andharmonious development of his/her personality. Onlywhen such efforts prove insufficient and noappropriate placement or adoption within the child'sextended family is available shall adoption by anunrelated person be considered.
 
(b) In all matters relating to the care, custody andadoption of a child, his/her interest shall be the paramount consideration in accordance with the tenetsset forth in the United Nations (UN) Convention onthe Rights of the Child; UN Declaration on Social andLegal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children with Special Reference to FosterPlacement and Adoption, Nationally andInternationally; and the Hague Convention on theProtection of Children and Cooperation in Respect ofIntercountry Adoption. Toward this end, the Stateshall provide alternative protection and assistancethrough foster care or adoption for every child whois neglected, orphaned, or abandoned.
 
(c) It shall also be a State policy to:
 
(i) Safeguard the biological parent(s) from  making hurried decisions to relinquish his/her parental authority over his/her child;
 
 
(ii) Prevent the child from unnecessaryseparation from his/her biological parent(s);
 
(iii) Protect adoptive parent(s) from attemptsto disturb his/her parental authority andcustody over his/her adopted child.
 
 Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental authority shall be administratively orjudicially declared so as to establish thestatus of the child as "legally available foradoption" and his/her custody transferred to theDepartment of Social Welfare and Development orto any duly licensed and accredited child- placing or child-caring agency, which entityshall be authorized to take steps for the permanent placement of the child;
 
(iv) Conduct public information and educationalcampaigns to promote a positive environment foradoption;
 
(v) Ensure that sufficient capacity existswithin government and private sector agencies tohandle adoption inquiries, process domesticadoption applications, and offer adoption-related services including, but not limited to, parent preparation and post-adoption educationand counseling; and
 
(vi) Encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the child's identity and culture inhis/her native land, and only when this is notavailable shall intercountry adoption beconsidered as a last resort.
 
SECTION 3.
Definition of Terms.
— For purposes ofthis Act, the following terms shall be defined as:
 
(a)
"Child"
is a person below eighteen (18)years of age.
 
(b)
"A child legally available for adoption"
refers to a child who has been voluntarily or
 
involuntarily committed to the Department or toa duly licensed and accredited child-placing orchild-caring agency, freed of the parentalauthority of his/her biological parent(s) orguardian or adopter(s) in case of rescission ofadoption.
 
(c)
"Voluntarily committed child"
is one whose parent(s) knowingly and willingly relinquishes parental authority to the Department.
 
(d)
"Involuntarily committed child"
is one whose parent(s), known or unknown, has been permanently and judicially deprived of parentalauthority due to abandonment; substantial,continuous, or repeated neglect; abuse; orincompetence to discharge parentalresponsibilities.
 
(e)
"Abandoned child"
refers to one who has no proper parental care or guardianship or whose parent(s) has deserted him/her for a period ofat least six (6) continuous months and has beenjudicially declared as such.
 
(f)
"Supervised trial custody"
is a period oftime within which a social worker oversees theadjustment and emotional readiness of bothadopter(s) and adoptee in stabilizing theirfilial relationship.
 
(g)
"Department"
refers to the Department ofSocial Welfare and Development.
 
(h)
"Child-placing agency"
is a duly licensedand accredited agency by the Department to provide comprehensive child welfare servicesincluding, but not limited to, receivingapplications for adoption, evaluating the prospective adoptive parents, and preparing theadoption home study.
 

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