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CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS Art. 356. Every child: (1) Is entitled to parental care; (2) Shall receive at least elementary education; (3) Shall be given moral and civic training by the parents or guardian; (4) Has a right to live in an atmosphere conducive to his physical, moral and intellectual development. Art. 357. Every child shall: (1) Obey and honor his parents or guardian; (2) Respect his grandparents, old relatives, and persons holding substitute parental authority; (3) Exert his utmost for his education and training; (4) Cooperate with the family in all matters that make for the good of the same. Art. 358. Every parent and every person holding substitute parental authority shall see to it that the rights of the child are respected and his duties complied with, and shall particularly, by precept and example, imbue the child with highmindedness, love of country, veneration for the national heroes, fidelity to democracy as a way of life, and attachment to the ideal of permanent world peace. Art. 359. The government promotes the full growth of the faculties of every child. For this purpose, the government will establish, whenever possible: (1) Schools in every barrio, municipality and city where optional religious instruction shall be taught as part of the curriculum at the option of the parent or guardian; (2) Puericulture and similar centers; (3) Councils for the Protection of Children; and (4) Juvenile courts. Art. 360. The Council for the Protection of Children shall look after the welfare of children in the municipality. It shall, among other functions: (1) Foster the education of every child in the municipality; (2) Encourage the cultivation of the duties of parents; (3) Protect and assist abandoned or mistreated children, and orphans; (4) Take steps to prevent juvenile delinquency; (5) Adopt measures for the health of children; (6) Promote the opening and maintenance of playgrounds; (7) Coordinate the activities of organizations devoted to the welfare of children, and secure their cooperation. Art. 361. Juvenile courts will be established, as far as practicable, in every chartered city or large municipality. Art. 362. Whenever a child is found delinquent by any court, the father, mother, or guardian may in a proper case be judicially admonished. Art. 363. In all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children the latter's welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be separated from her child under seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling reasons for such measure. Title XIII. - USE OF SURNAMES (n)

Art. 364. Legitimate and legitimated children shall principally use the surname of the father. Art. 365. An adopted child shall bear the surname of the adopter. Art. 375. In case of identity of names and surnames between ascendants and descendants, the word "Junior" can be used only by a son. Grandsons and other direct male descendants shall either: (1) Add a middle name or the mother's surname, or (2) Add the Roman Numerals II, III, and so on. Art. 376. No person can change his name or surname without judicial authority. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8552 - AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES AND POLICIES ON THE DOMESTIC ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES ARTICLE I-GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Domestic Adoption Act of 1998." SECTION 2. Declaration of Policies. — (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State to ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of his/her parent(s) and be provided with love, care, understanding and security towards the full and harmonious development of his/her personality. Only when such efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or adoption within the child's extended family is available shall adoption by an unrelated person be considered. (b) In all matters relating to the care, custody and adoption of a child, his/her interest shall be the paramount consideration in accordance with the tenets set forth in 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 Intercountry Adoption. Toward this end, the State shall provide alternative protection and assistance through foster care or adoption for every child who is neglected, orphaned, or abandoned. (c) It shall also be a State policy to: (i) (ii) (iii) Safeguard the biological parent(s) from making hurried decisions to relinquish his/her parental authority over his/her child; Prevent the child from unnecessary separation from his/her biological parent(s); Protect adoptive parent(s) from attempts to disturb his/her parental authority and custody over his/her 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/her custody transferred to the

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(iv) (v)

(vi)

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; Conduct public information and educational campaigns to promote a positive environment for adoption; Ensure that sufficient capacity exists within government and private sector agencies 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; and Encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the child's identity and culture in his/her native land, and only when this is not available shall intercountry adoption be considered as a last resort.

(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. (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. SECTION 5. Location of Unknown Parent(s). — It shall be the duty of the Department or the child-placing or child-caring agency which has custody of the child to exert all efforts to locate his/her unknown biological parent(s). If such efforts fail, the child shall be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared abandoned. SECTION 6. Support Services. — The Department shall develop a pre-adoption program which shall include, among others, the above mentioned services.

SECTION 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this 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 to a duly licensed and accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, freed of the parental authority of his/her biological parent(s) or guardian or adopter(s) in case of rescission of adoption. (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 parental authority due to abandonment; substantial, continuous, or repeated neglect; abuse; or incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities. (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 of at least six (6) continuous months and has been judicially declared as such. (f) "Supervised trial custody" is a period of time within which a social worker oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopter(s) and adoptee in stabilizing their filial relationship. (g) "Department" refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (h) "Child-placing agency" is a duly licensed and accredited agency 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. (i) "Child-caring agency" is a duly licensed and accredited agency by the Department that provides twenty four (24)-hour residential care services for abandoned, orphaned, neglected, or voluntarily committed children. (j) "Simulation of birth" is the tampering of the civil registry making it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his/her biological mother, causing such child to lose his/her true identity and status. ARTICLE II - PRE-ADOPTION SERVICES SECTION 4. Counseling Service. — The Department shall provide the services of licensed social workers to the following:

ARTICLE III - ELIGIBILITY SECTION 7. Who May Adopt. — The following may adopt: (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; (b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: 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 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

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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:

SECTION 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;

(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

(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.

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her 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. 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. SECTION 8. Who May Be Adopted. — The following may be adopted: (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 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).

ARTICLE IV - PROCEDURE SECTION 10. Hurried Decisions. — In all proceedings for adoption, the court shall require proof that the biological parent(s) has been properly counseled to prevent him/her from making hurried decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the child, and to sustain that all measures to strengthen the family have been exhausted and that any prolonged stay of the child in his/her own home will be inimical to his/her welfare and interest. SECTION 11. Case Study. — No petition for adoption shall be set for hearing unless a licensed social worker of the Department, the social service office of the local government unit, or any child-placing or child-caring agency has made a case study of the adoptee, his/her biological parent(s), as well as the adopter(s), and has submitted the report and recommendations on the matter to the court hearing such petition. At the time of preparation of the adoptee's case study, the concerned social worker shall confirm 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 concerned social worker to ensure that the adoptee is registered. The case study on the adoptee shall establish that he/she is legally available for adoption and that the documents to support this fact are valid and authentic. Further, the case study of the adopter(s) shall ascertain his/her genuine intentions and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. The Department shall intervene on behalf of the adoptee if it finds, after the conduct of the case studies, that the petition should be denied. The case studies and other relevant documents and records pertaining to the adoptee and the adoption shall be preserved by the Department. SECTION 12. Supervised Trial Custody. — No petition for adoption shall be finally granted until the adopter(s) has been given by the court a supervised trial custody period for at least six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship.

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During said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the adopter(s). 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, stating the reasons for the reduction of the period. However, for alien adopter(s), he/she must complete the six (6)-month trial custody except for those enumerated in Sec. 7 (b) (i) (ii) (iii). If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the prospective adopter(s) through a pre-adoption placement authority issued by the Department, the prospective adopter(s) shall enjoy all the benefits to which biological parent(s) is entitled from the date the adoptee is placed with the prospective adopter(s). SECTION 13. Decree of Adoption. — If, after the publication of the order of hearing has been complied with, and no opposition has been interposed to the petition, and after consideration of the case studies, the qualifications of the adopter(s), trial custody report and the evidence submitted, the court is convinced that the petitioners are qualified to adopt, and that the adoption would redound to the best interest of the adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be entered which shall be effective as of the date the original petition was filed. This provision shall also apply in case the petitioner(s) dies before the issuance of the decree of adoption to protect the interest of the adoptee. The decree shall state the name by which the child is to be known. SECTION 14. Civil Registry Record. — An amended certificate of birth shall be issued by the Civil Registry, as required by the Rules of Court, attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the child of the adopter(s) by being registered with his/her surname. The original certificate of birth shall be stamped "cancelled" with the annotation of the issuance of an amended birth certificate in its place and shall be sealed in the civil registry records. The new birth certificate to be issued to the adoptee shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue. SECTION 15. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. — All hearings in adoption cases 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 purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interest of the adoptee, the court may merit the necessary information to be released, restricting the purposes for which it may be used.

love, guidance, and support in keeping with the means of the family. SECTION 18. Succession. — In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without 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.

ARTICLE VI - RESCISSION OF ADOPTION SECTION 19. Grounds for Rescission of Adoption. — 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 obligations. 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. SECTION 20. Effects of Rescission. — 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 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.

ARTICLE VII - VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES SECTION 21. Violations and Penalties. — (a) The penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), but not more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) at the discretion of the court shall be imposed on any person who shall commit any of the following acts: (i) obtaining consent for an adoption through coercion, undue influence, fraud, improper material inducement, or other similar acts; (ii) non-compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided by the law for

ARTICLE V - EFFECTS OF ADOPTION SECTION 16. Parental Authority. — 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). SECTION 17. Legitimacy. — 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

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adoption; or (iii) subjecting or exposing the child to be adopted to danger, abuse, or exploitation. (b) Any person who shall cause the fictitious registration of the birth of a child under the name(s) of a person(s) who is not his/her biological parent(s) shall be guilty of simulation of birth, and shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium period and a fine not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00). Any physician or nurse or hospital personnel who, in violation of his/her oath of office, shall cooperate in the execution of the abovementioned crime shall suffer the penalties herein prescribed and also the penalty of permanent disqualification. Any person who shall violate established regulations relating to the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents, and communications of adoption applications, cases, and processes shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00), at the discretion of the court. A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated offense under this Article shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein enumerated. Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a syndicate or where it involves two (2) or more children shall be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article. Penalties as are herein provided, shall be in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations. When the offender is an alien, he/she shall be deported immediately after service of sentence and perpetually excluded from entry to the country. Any government official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire with private individuals shall, in addition to the above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said government official, employee, or functionary concerned shall automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the case. SECTION 22. Rectification of Simulated Births. — A person who has, prior to the effectivity of this Act, simulated the birth of a child shall not be punished for such act: Provided, That the simulation of birth was made for the best interest of the child and that he/she has been consistently considered and treated by that person as his/her own son/daughter: Provided, further, That the application for correction of the birth registration and petition for adoption shall be filed within five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act and completed thereafter: Provided, finally, That such person complies with the procedure as specified in Article IV of this Act and other

requirements as determined by the Department.

ARTICLE VIII - FINAL PROVISIONS SECTION 23. Adoption Resource and Referral Office. — There shall be established an Adoption Resources and Referral Office under the Department with the following functions: (a) monitor the existence, number, and flow of children legally available for adoption and prospective adopter(s) so as to facilitate their matching; (b) maintain a nationwide information and educational campaign on domestic adoption; (c) keep records of adoption proceedings; (d) generate resources to help childcaring and child-placing agencies and foster homes maintain viability; and (e) do policy research in collaboration with the Intercountry Adoption Board and other concerned agencies. The office shall be manned by adoption experts from the public and private sectors. SECTION 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — Within six (6) months from the promulgation of this Act, the Department, with the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Office of Civil Registry General, the Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, and two (2) private individuals representing child-placing and child-caring agencies shall formulate the necessary guidelines to make the provisions of this Act operative. SECTION 25. Appropriations. — Such sum as may be necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter. SECTION 26. Repealing Clause. — Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule, or regulation contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified, or amended accordingly. SECTION 27. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and subsisting. SECTION 28. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in any newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette. Approved: February 25, 1998 RULES AND REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE DOMESTIC ADOPTION ACT OF 1998 Pursuant to the authority of the Department of Social Welfare and Development under Article VIII, Section 24 of Republic Act 8552, otherwise known as "The Domestic Adoption Act of 1998", the following Rules and Regulations are hereby promulgated to govern the adoption of Filipino children within the Philippines. ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. Affirmation of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of his/her biological parents

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and be provided with love, care, understanding and security toward the full development of his/her personality. When care of the biological parents is unavailable or inappropriate and no suitable alternative parental care or adoption within the child’s extended family is available, adoption by an unrelated person shall be considered. However, no direct placement of a child to a non-related shall be countenanced. Adoption is the most complete means whereby permanent family life can be restored to a child deprived of his/her biological family. The child’s best welfare and interest shall be the paramount consideration in all questions relating to his/her care and custody. SECTION 2. Applicability. – These Rules shall apply to the adoption in the Philippines of a Filipino child by a Filipino or alien qualified to adopt under Article III, Section 7 of RA 8552. Adoption of a child by any member of his/her extended family shall likewise be governed by these Rules. ARTICLE 1I - DEFINITION OF TERMS SECTION 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall mean:

child’s biological parent(s) to keep the child. A minor, after proper counseling by a licensed social worker, may also execute the deed of voluntary commitment.

j. k. l.

"Child Study Report" shall refer to a study of a child’s legal status, placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-cultural background, and that of his/her biological family as basis in determining the most desirable placement for him/her. "Home Study Report" shall refer to a study of the motivation and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to provide a home that meets the needs of a child. "Matching" shall refer to the judicious selection from the regional or interregional levels of a family for a child based on the child’s needs and in his/her best interest as well as the capability and commitment of the adoptive parents to provide such needs and promote a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship. "Supervised trial custody" shall refer to the period during which a social worker oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopting parents and adopted child in stabilizing their filial relationship "Licensed Social Worker" shall refer to one who possesses a bachelor of science in social work degree as a minimum education requirement and must have passed the government licensure examination for social workers as required by Republic Act 4373. "Child-placing agency" shall refer to a private non-profitable or charitable institution or government agency licensed and accredited by the Department to provide comprehensive child welfare services including but not limited to, receiving applications for adoption/foster care, evaluating the prospective adoptive/foster parents preparing the home study and all other processes as provided for in Article V of the Rules. "Child-caring agency" shall refer to a private non-profitable or charitable institution or government agency licensed and accredited by the Department that provides twenty-four (24) hour residential care services for abandoned, orphaned, neglected or voluntarily committed children "Simulation of birth" shall refer to the tampering of the civil registry making it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a couple or a person who is not his/her biological mother and/or his/her biological father, causing such child to lose his/her true identity and status. "Extended Family" shall refer to a relative of a child both at the paternal and maternal side within the fourth degree of consanguinity. "Biological Parents" shall refer to the child’s mother and father by nature or the mother alone if the child is unacknowledged illegitimate child. "Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)" shall refer to person mentioned under Section 7 of the Act who have filed an application for adoption. "Prospective Adoptee" shall refer to one who is legally available for adoption as defined in Section 3 (d) of this Rule or one who falls under the enumeration in Section 8 of the Act. "Pre-Adoption Services" shall refer to psycho-social services provided by professionally trained social workers of the Department, the social services units of local government, private and government health facilities, Family Courts, licensed and accredited child-caring and child-placing agency and such

m. n. o.

a. b. c. d.

"Act" shall refer to Republic Act No. 8552 otherwise known as the "Domestic Adoption Act of 1998." "Department" shall refer to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. "Child" shall refer to a person below eighteen (18) years of age. "A child legally available for adoption" shall refer 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/her biological parent(s) or guardian or adopter(s) in case of rescission of adoption. "Voluntarily committed child" shall refer to one whose parent(s) knowingly and willingly relinquishes parental authority to the Department. "Involuntarily committed child" shall refer to one whose parent(s), known or unknown, has been permanently and judicially deprived of parental authority due to abandonment; substantial, continuous or rejected neglect; abuse; or incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities. "Abandoned child" shall refer to one who has no proper parental care or legal guardianship or whose parent(s) has deserted him/her for a period of at least six (6) continuous months and has been judicially declared as such. "Foundling" shall refer to a deserted or abandoned infant or a child found, with parents, guardian, or relatives being unknown, or a child committed in an orphanage or charitable or similar institution with unknown facts of birth and parentage and registered in the Civil Register as a "foundling". "Deed of Voluntary Commitment" shall refer to the written and notarized instrument relinquishing parental authority and committing the child to the care and custody of the Department executed by the child’s biological parent(s) or by the child’s legal guardian in their absence, mental incapacity or death, to be signed in the presence of an authorized representative of the Department after counseling and other services have been made available to encourage the

p. q. r. s. t. u. v.

e. f. g. h. i.

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other individuals or entities involved in adoption as may be authorized by the Department.

2.

w. x.

"Post-Adoption Services" shall refer to psychosocial services and support services provided by professionally trained social workers from offices abovementioned after the issuance of the Decree of Adoption. "Residence" shall refer to a person’s actual and legal stay in the Philippines for three (3) continuous years immediately prior to the filing of application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered; Provided that temporary absences for professional, business or emergency reasons not exceeding sixty (60) days in one (1) year shall not be considered as breaking the continuity requirement; Provided further that the Department may extend this period in meritorious cases. "Alien" shall refer to any person, not a Filipino citizen, who enters and remains in the Philippines and in possession of a valid passport or travel documents and visa. 2.

Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) 1. Biological Parents shall be counseled regarding their options:

a. b. c. d.

to disseminate basic information about adoption including the adoption process and procedures and the effects of adoption. to inform them of the general background of children in need of adoptive homes including children with special needs; to develop among prospective adoptive parents a respect for the child’s biological origin and an awareness of the importance of telling the child that he/she is adopted. To provide a support group for adoptive parents which shall give them a venue for sharing their adoption experiences.

y.

ARTICLE 111 - PRE-ADOPTION SERVICES SECTION 4. Pre-Adoption Services. – Pre-Adoption Services including counseling shall be provided by professionally trained social workers of the Department, the social services units of local government, private and government health facilities, Family Courts, licensed and accredited child-caring and child-placing agency and such other individuals or entities involved in adoption as may be authorized by the Department to the following: 1. Biological Parent(s) 1. Biological Parents shall be counseled regarding their options:

A certificate shall be issued by the Department to the prospective adoptive parents attesting that they have undergone pre-adoption services. The certificate shall be made a pre-requisite of the homestudy. Prospective Adoptee A prospective adoptee shall be provided with counseling and other support services appropriate to his/her age and maturity, and in a manner and language that the child comprehends, especially to enable him/her to understand why he/she has been relinquished for adoption. In the case of a prospective adoptee whose consent to his/her own adoption is necessary, the social worker/counselor shall consider the child’s wishes and opinions, ensure that his/her consent is voluntary and duly inform him/her of the effects of such consent.

3.

1.

2.

relinquish the child for adoption 2. Counseling shall be provided in a language and manner understandable to the biological parent(s)/legal guardian on the implications of relinquishing his/her parental authority over the child focusing on:

a. b. c. a. b. c. d. e.

to keep the child and avail of services and assistance; avail of temporary child care arrangements such as foster care; or

SECTION 5. Location of Unknown Parent(s). – It shall be the duty of the Department or the child-caring or child-placing agency which has custody of the child to exert all efforts to locate his/her unknown biological parents. The following shall be sufficient proof that such efforts to locate the biological parents, guardians or relatives have been made: a. Certification from radio and/or TV stations that the case was aired on three (3) different occasions; and b. Publication in newspapers of general or local circulation whichever is appropriate to the circumstances. If the biological parent(s) is located, he/she will be assessed to determine their willingness to keep the child and their parenting capability. If reunification is desired it shall be effected after the parent(s) and child undergo counseling. If efforts to locate child’s parent/s fail, the child shall be registered as a foundling and within three (3) months from the time he/she is found, be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared abandoned. If the child’s parents are located but reunification is not desired, the parent(s) shall execute a deed of voluntary commitment to the department. SECTION 6. Support Services. – the Department and other authorized agencies shall organize and assist groups for adoptive parents, biological parents

the loss of parental rights over the child and as a rule, not having further contact with the child; the importance of providing relevant information on the child, their own medical history and family background; the possibility that the child may be placed for adoption within the Philippines or in a foreign country; the possibility that in the future, there may be communication with the child at their or the child’s initiative.

the right to reconsider his/her decision to relinquish his/her child within six (6) months from signing the Deed of Voluntary Commitment (DVC) subject to assessment by the Department. 3. Continuing services shall be provided after relinquishment to cope with feelings of loss, etc. and other services for his/her reintegration to the community. 4. The biological parent(s) who decided to keep the child shall be provided with adequate services and assistance to fulfill parental responsibilities.

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and adoptees, provide parent and family life education sessions and referral for specialized services. ARTICLE IV - ELIGIBILITY SECTION 7. Who May Adopt. – any Filipino citizen or alien residing in the Philippines who has the qualification and none of the disqualifications under the Act may be eligible to adopt if he/she: a. is of legal age. b. is at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee; Provided, however that the minimum age gap between the adopter and the adoptee may not be required if the adopter is the biological parent or sibling of the adoptee or the spouse of the adoptee’s parent; c. has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and duties incident to the exercise of parental authority; d. is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; e. is in a position to support, educate and care for his/her legitimate and illegitimate children and the child to be adopted in keeping with the means of the family; f. has undergone pre-adoption services as required in Section 4 of the Act. In addition to these qualifications, an alien may adopt if he/she: a. is a citizen of a state which has diplomatic relations with the Philippines; b. has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate agency that: i. he/she is qualified to adopt in his/her country; and his/her government will allow the adoptee to enter the adopter’s country and reside there permanently as an adopted child; c. has submitted the necessary clearances and such other certifications as may be required by the Department. SECTION 8. Who May Be Adopted – the following may be adopted: a. any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption in accordance with the procedures as indicated in Articles 142 to 155 of the P.D. 603: The Child and Youth Welfare Code; b. the legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse. c. the 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 previously been 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) SECTION 9. Persons Whose Consent Is Necessary To The Adoption. – In addition to the Consent to Adopt by the Department under Section 22 of these Rules, the written consent of the following persons to the adoption shall be given in the required legal form and attached to every petition for adoption: a. the prospective adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over.

b. c. d.

the prospective adoptee’s biological parents of the child or legal guardian; the prospective adopter’s legitimate and adopted sons/daughters who are ten (10 years of age or over and, if any illegitimate sons/daughters living with them; the prospective adopter’s spouse in appropriate cases; and prospective adopted in appropriate cases.

The foregoing consent shall be given freely after they have been properly counseled as required under Section 4 by a social worker who shall attest in the same document that the required counseling and information have been given. ARTICLE V - PROCEDURE SECTION 10. Hurried Decision. – In all proceedings for adoption, a comprehensive study report prepared by a licensed social worker shall be submitted to the court as proof that the biological parent(s) has been properly counseled and provided other support services: 1. to exhaust all measures to strengthen family ties and keep the child; 2. to ensure that their decision to relinquish their child for adoption is not caused by stress, anxiety or pressure; and 3. to ascertain that such decision does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it. SECTION 11. Attendance In Adoption Fora and Seminar. – In accordance with Section 4.2 of these Rules, prospective adoptive parents shall attend adoption fora and seminars prior to filing their application to adopt. SECTION 12. Fees and Charges. – Pursuant to Section 23 (d) of the Act, childcaring and child-placement agencies may charge reasonable fees as determined by the Department to cover expenses in providing adoption services. The applicant(s) shall be apprised of the fees at the start of the adoption process. SECTION 13. Application for Adoption. – A person eligible to adopt under Article III, Section 7 of the Act who desires to adopt a child in the Philippines whether a relative or not has attended adoption fora and seminar, shall file his/her application for adoption with the Department directly or with a social service office of a local government unit, or with any licensed accredited child placing agency. Spouses shall file their application jointly. SECTION 14. Preparation of Home Study Report. – A home study report of the applicant shall be prepared by a licensed and accredited social worker of the Department, or social service office of the local government unit or licensed and accredited child-placing agency where pre application is filed who shall conduct home visits to the applicants to determine capacity to adopt and possession of qualification. The Home study report shall clearly indicate whether the applicant is being recommended for child placement or not. The applicant’s Home study Report shall be accompanied by the following documents/certifications: 1. Authenticated birth certificate 2. Marriage Contract or Divorce, Annulment, Declaration of Nullity, or Legal Separation documents; 3. Written consent to the adoption by the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, and illegitimate sons/daughters if living with the applicant, who are at least ten (10) years old;

ii.

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4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

11. 12.

13.

Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychological evaluation by a psychologist; NBI/Police Clearance Latest income tax return or any other documents showing financial capability, e.g. Certificate of Employment, Bank Certificate or Statement of Assets and Liabilities; Three (3) character references, namely from the local church/minister, the employer, and a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least three (3) years; 3x5 sized pictures of the applicant(s) and his/her immediate family taken within the last three (3) months; Certificate of attendance to pre-adoption fora or seminars. In addition, foreign nationals shall submit the following: Certification that the applicant(s) have legal capacity to adopt in his/her country and that his/her country has a policy, or is a signatory of an international agreement, which allows a child adopted in the Philippines by its national to enter his/her country and permanently reside therein as his/her legitimate child which may be issued by his/her country’s diplomatic or consular office or central authority n intercountry adoption or any government agency which has jurisdiction over child and family matters; or in the absence of any of the foregoing, the Philippine Intercountry Adoption Board may also certify that the Philippines and the applicants’ country have an existing agreement or arrangement on intercountry adoption whereby a child who has been adopted in the Philippines or has a pre-adoption placement approved by the Board is allowed to enter and remain as permanent resident in the applicant’s country as his/her legitimate child. Certificate of Residence in the Philippines issued by the Bureau of Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs, as appropriate; Two (2) character references from a non-relatives who knew the applicant(s) in the country of which he/she is a citizen or was a resident prior to residing in the Philippines, except for those who have resided in the Philippines for more than fifteen (15) years; Police Clearance from all places of residence in the past two years immediately prior to residing in the Philippines.

accredited social worker of the Department, or of a child caring agency recommends that the child’s best interest will be served by adoption. The Department shall issue the Certificate of Availability for Adoption not later than fifteen (15) days after expiration of the six (6) month period after execution of Deed of Voluntary Commitment by the child’s parents or legal guardian required under PD No. 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code or after receipt of entry of judgement in case of involuntary commitment. Copy of the Certificate of Availability for Adoption and Child Study Report shall be sent to the Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) for purpose of placement of the child for adoption. SECTION 17. Supporting Documents Of Child Study Report. – The child study report shall be prepared only by a licensed and accredited social worker of the Department or child caring agency not involved in child placement. Such child study report shall include assessment and recommendations of the social worker as to the alternative child custody and care appropriate for the child. The following documents shall accompany the child report: 1. Authenticated birth or foundling certificate, when appropriate; 2. Written Consent to adoption by the biological parent(s) or the legal guardian and the written consent of the child if at least ten (10) years old, signed in the presence of the social worker of the Department or child caring agency after proper counseling as prescribed in Section III of these Rules; 3. Death Certificate of biological parents, Decree of abandonment or Deed of Voluntary Commitment, as appropriate; 4. Medical evaluation of the child and his/her parent(s), if available; 5. Psychological Evaluation when appropriate; 6. Picture of the child SECTION 18. Submission Of Case Records Of Prospective Adoptees and Prospective Adoptive Parents. – Case Records of prospective adoptees and prospective adoptive parents shall be submitted to the concerned Adoption Resource and Referral Office (ARRO) which was established according to Section 23 of the Act for matching. SECTION 19. Matching. – The matching of the child to an approved adoptive parent(s) shall be carried out during the regular matching conference by the Matching Committee otherwise called the Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) in the regional level where the social workers of the child and family are present. Subject to approval of the Department, the CWSG shall fix its own internal rules and procedures in accordance with the rules of Court; Provided, however, that records of children and approved adoptive parent/s not matched within thirty (30) days in the regional level shall be forwarded to the Department’s Central Office for interregional matching; Provided further that children with special needs shall be immediately forwarded if not matched in the first meeting, except under special circumstances. The matching proposal made by the CWSG shall be approved by the Department. SECTION 20. Interregional Matching. – Records of prospective adoptees and approved adoptive parent/s not matched in the regional level shall be forwarded to the Department’s Central Office for interregional matching by the Interregional Adoptive Placement Committee whose internal rules and procedures shall be established by the Department.

In the case of an applicant who is residing abroad, but is otherwise qualifies to adopt in the Philippines under the provisions of the Act, the Homestudy report shall be prepared by an accredited foreign adoption agency. However, a certification from the Intercountry Adoption Board shall be required to ensure that said agency is accredited. SECTION 15. Disapproval of Adoption Application. – the applicants shall be informed as soon as possible about the approval or disapproval of the adoption application. In case of disapproval, the social worker shall help them understand the reasons for their disapproval and shall assist or refer them for appropriate services in areas where they need to be helped. Except when found by the social worker that such application can no longer be considered, there shall be no prejudice to future application of said applicants. SECTION 16. Certificate Of Availability Of Child For Adoption. – No child shall be placed for adoption unless a clearance has been obtained from the Department that said child is available for adoption. The Department shall not issue such certification unless the child Study Report prepared by a duly licensed and

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SECTION 21. Pre-Placement. – The respective social worker who prepared the reports shall also prepare the adoptive family and the child, physically and psychologically before actual placement. SECTION 22. Placement. – The physical transfer of a child from a child caring agency or foster home to the prospective adoptive parents who shall be responsible for his/her care and custody shall be made after the necessary form are accomplished and the Pre-Adoption Placement Authority (PAPA) has been issued after approval of the Regional Director for placement within the region or by the Department Secretary or his/her duly authorized representative in cases of interregional placements. SECTION 23. Supervised Trial Custody. – The placement of the child shall take effect upon issuance of the Pre-Adoption Placement Authority by the Department after which the supervised trial custody shall commence. During the supervised trial custody, the social worker shall conduct monthly home visits to monitor adjustment of the prospective adopter(s) and child to each other and submit progress report to the Department. A copy of these reports shall be given to the child caring agency where the child came from. The court may upon its own motion or on motion of the petitioner, reduce or dispense with the trial period if it finds that it is to the best interest of the child. In such case, the court shall state its reasons for reducing said period. SECTION 24. Disruption of Pre-Adoptive Placement. – If the placement/relationship is found unsatisfactory by the child or the adopter(s), or both, or if the social worker finds that the continued placement of the child is not in the child’s best interest, said relationship/placement shall be suspended by the Department which shall recommend to the Adoption Resource and Referral Office to consider another possible placement. Should there be no available prospective adoptive family, the Department shall arrange for the child’s temporary care. No termination of placement shall be made unless it is shown that the social worker has exhausted all efforts to remove the cause of the unsatisfactory relationship/placement within a reasonable period of time. SECTION 25. New Placement. – In the event of the disruption of the preadoptive placement, the Department shall arrange without delay a new placement of the child, or, if inappropriate, other alternative long term care. The consent of the child to the measures taken under this section shall be obtained having regard to his/her age and level of maturity in particular. SECTION 26. Consent to Adoption. – If the adjustment of the child/adopter(s) is satisfactory, the social worker shall forward to the Department the final supervisory report which shall include the recommendation for the issuance of the written consent to adoption to be executed by the Department. SECTION 27. Filing Of Petition For Adoption. – the prospective adoptive parent(s) shall initiate judicial proceeding by filing the petition to adopt not later than 30 days from date of receipt of the Department’s written consent to adoption. SECTION 28. Issuance of Decree of Adoption and Entry of Judgement. – If, after considering the recommendation and reports of the social worker and other evidence, the Court is satisfied that the adopter(s) are qualified to adopt, then an adoption decree and an Entry of Judgement shall be issued stating the name by

which the child is to be known. A copy of the decree of adoption shall be forwarded to the Department. The effectivity of the decree shall be as of the date of the original petition was filed. SECTION 29. Travel Authority of Adopted Child. – No adoptee shall be issued a travel authority unless a decree of adoption has already became final and executory. In this respect, the amended birth certificate shall be presented. If for any valid reason the same cannot be presented, the application for travel authority shall be accompanied by the duplicate original or certified true copy of the decree of adoption and entry of judgement issued by the court which promulgated the decision and a certification from the Office of the Solicitor General at the decision is final and executory and that no appeal there from has been filed by the said office. SECTION 30. Recording Of The Court Decision. – A court decision on adoption as well as the finality of decision shall be submitted by the clerk of court or in his default, by the adopting parent(s), to the Local Civil Registry Office of the City/municipality where the court issuing the same is situated, for entry in the Register of Court Decrees, not later that thirty (30) days after the court decision has become final and executory. Such Local Civil Registry Office shall submit one copy of the court decision to the Local Civil Registrar of the city or municipality where the birth of the adopted child was registered and the latter office shall have the duty to prepare the amended certificate of live birth of the adopted child. SECTION 31. Civil Registry Record. – The adopted child shall be entitled to the issuance of a new certificate of live birth. Amendment to the certificate of live birth shall be done in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Office of the Civil Registrar General and Section 14 of the Act. A copy of the new birth certificate shall be transmitted by the local civil registrar to the National Statistics Office within 30 days from registration. SECTION 32. Post Adoption Services. – Post Adoption Services which shall include counseling shall be made available by the social workers of the Department, social services unit of the local government, child placing and child caring agencies to develop the adoptee, adopter and the biological parents. ARTICLE VI - EFFECTS OF ADOPTION SECTION 33. Effects of Adoption. – Adoption shall have the following effects: 1. sever all legal ties between the biological parents and the adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter; 2. Deem the adoptee as a legitimate child of the adopter; 3. Give adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations arising from the relationship of parent and child, including but not limited to:

i. ii.

the right of the adopter to choose the name, the child’ is to be known; and the right of the adopter and adoptee to legal and compulsory heirs of each other

SECTION 34. Benefits. – the adoptive parents shall, with respect to the adopted child, enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled. Maternity and paternity benefits and other benefits given to biological parents upon the birth of a child shall be enjoyed if the adoptee is below seven (7) years of age as of the date the child is placed with the adoptive parents thru the Pre-Adoptive Placement Authority issued by the Department.

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ARTICLE VII - RESCISSION OF ADOPTION SECTION 35. Grounds for Rescission. – Adoption being in the best interest of the child, shall not be subject to rescission by the adopter(s). The adoption may be rescinded only upon the petition of the adoptee with the assistance of the Department, if a minor or if over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapacitated, on any of the following grounds committed by the adopter(s): 1. Repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter(s) despite having undergone counseling; 2. Attempt on the life of the adoptee; 3. Sexual assault or violence; or 4. Abandonment and failure to comply with parental obligations SECTION 36. Disinheritance of Adoptee. – the adopter(s) may disinherit the adoptee for cause provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code. SECTION 37. Effects of Rescission. – Rescission of Adoption shall have the following effects. 1. Restoration of parental authority of the adoptee’s biological parent(s), if known or the legal custody of the Department of the adoptee if still a minor or incapacitated. 2. The reciprocal rights and obligations of the adopter(s) and the adoptee to each other shall be extinguished. 3. Cancellation of the new birth certificate of the adoptee by the Civil Registrar as ordered by the court and restoration of the adopter’s original birth certificate. 4. Succession rights shall revert to its status prior to adoption but only as of the date of judgement of judicial rescission. 5. Vested rights acquired prior to judicial rescission shall 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. ARTICLE VIII - ADOPTION RESOURCE AND REFERRAL OFFICE SECTION 38. Functions. – The Adoption Resource and Referral Office (ARRO) shall be under the supervision of the Department’s Central Office and Regional Office Director. The functions of the ARRO shall include the following: 1. Monitor the existence, number and flow of children legally available for adoption and prospective adopter(s), so as to facilitate their matching; 2. Maintain a nationwide/regional information and educational campaign o domestic adoption; 3. Keep records of adoption proceedings; 4. Generate resources to help child-caring and child-placing agencies and maintain viability; 5. Do policy research in collaboration with the Intercountry Adoption Board and other concerned agencies; and 6. Act as the Secretariat to the Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) during Interregional/regional matching conferences. SECTION 39. Composition Of the CSWG. – The CWSG shall have five (5) members composed of a social worker of the Department, a lawyer specializing on child and youth welfare cases, a physician, a psychiatrist or psychologist, and a

representative of a non-government organization of adoptive parents or child welfare agencies who shall be selected in consultation with the recognized association or organization of adoptive parents and child caring agencies. The Department shall appoint qualified persons who shall serve in the CWSG for a term of two (2) years which may be renewed for another term. Only CWSG members who are not with the Department shall be entitled to a per diem for every meeting attended but not to exceed four (4) meetings a month. SECTION 40. Functions Of The CWSG. – The CWSG shall have the following functions: 1. Match children for adoption 2. Implement an integrated system and network of selection and matching of applicants and children; 3. Initiate, review and recommend changes in policies concerning child placement and other matters related to child welfare; 4. Perform such other functions and duties as may be prescribed by the Department. ARTICLE IX - PROCEDURE FOR RECTIFICATION OF SIMULATED BIRTH SECTION 41. Procedure for Rectification. – A person who has under his care and custody a child whose birth registration has been simulated to make it appear that the child is his/her own son or daughter shall file in the appropriate court an application for correction of the birth registration and for adoption of the child. For the purpose of availing of the benefit under Section 22 of the Act, said person shall initiate said proceedings within five (5) years from the effectivity of the Act and shall thereafter complete said proceedings wherein he/she shall prove that the simulation of birth was made for the best interest of the child, and the child has been consistently considered and treated as his/her own son/daughter. The Department shall conduct its own child and home study reports through a licensed and duly accredited social worker to determine if said conditions exist. In all cases of rectification of simulated birth and adoption of said child, the Department shall secure a deed of voluntary commitment executed by the child’s biological parent(s) or a judicial declaration of abandonment transferring legal custody of the child to the Department; Provided that if adoption by the person who has custody of the child is recommended, said person shall retain custody of the child unless the court decided otherwise. Any publication to determine the whereabouts of the child’s biological parents and relatives shall be limited to the circumstances at the time the child was found without revealing the present identity of the child and his/her current custodian. Any inquiries regarding the child shall be directed to the Department. ARTICLE X - REGISTRATION OF BIRTH SECTION 42. Registration of Birth. – All hospitals, attending physicians and midwives in attendance at the birth of a child shall register such birth of a child not later than 30 days from the date of said birth as required under the Civil Register Law. ARTICLE XI - CONFIDENTIALITY OF ADOPTION RECORDS SECTION 43. Confidentiality. – All records, documents and court proceedings relating to the adoption shall be confidential. No copy thereof shall be released without determination that it is for reasons substantially connected with or arising out of the adoption.

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In such event, records and information shall be disclosed in a way that will prevent persons who do not have a legitimate interest, from learning the fact that a person has been adopted or, if that is revealed, the identity of his/her biological parents. ARTICLE XII - REPORTING VIOLATIONS SECTION 44. Office In Charge of Handling Violations. – The CWSG, child caring/placing agency and every person who has knowledge of any violation under the Act or related laws shall immediately report the same to the nearest police station, local government unit or office of the Department who shall act thereon within twenty-four (24) hours from receipt of the report. Any delay or negligence in acting on the violations shall be dealt with criminally and administratively. Failure of adopters to initiate legalization of the adoption of children placed in their care and custody within six (6) months from the end of supervised trial custody shall be considered an act not in the best interest of the child. ARTICLE XIII - VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of the act shall be dealt with accordingly pursuant to Article VII Section 21 of the Act. ARTICLE XIV - FINAL PROVISIONS SECTION 45. Interpretation Of The Provisions Of The Rule. – Any doubt or ambiguity in the provisions of these Rules shall be interpreted in the best interest of the child. SECTION 46. Repealing Clause. – All rules and regulations, orders, resolutions, and parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Rules are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. SECTION 47. Separability Clause. – If for any reason, any section or provision of these Rules is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other sections or provisions hereof which are not affected shall continue in full force and effect. SECTION 48. Effectivity. – These Rules shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation, except those which pertain to self-executing provision of this Act. Approved in _____________________________ this _____ day of _______ in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Eight. Approved by: The Joint Social Development Committee, Cabinet Level, Cabinet Cluster C 14th Draft, October 30, 1998 REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8043 - AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES TO GOVERN INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: ARTICLE I - GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. Short Title.- This Act shall be known as the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995."

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy.- It is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide every neglected and abandoned child with opportunities for growth and development. Towards this end, efforts shall be exerted to place the child with an adoptive family in the Philippines. However, recognizing that inter-country adoption may be considered as allowing aliens, not presently allowed by law to adopt Filipino children if such children cannot be adopted by qualified Filipino citizens or aliens, the State shall take measures to ensure that inter-country adoptions are allowed when the same shall prove beneficial to the child's best interests, and shall serve and protect his/her fundamental rights. SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.- As used in this Act, the term: a) 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 field, the supervised trial custody is undertaken, and the decree of adoption is issued outside the Philippines. Child means a person below fifteen (15) years of age unless sooner emancipated by law.

b)

c) Department refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Republic of the Philippines. d) e) Secretary refers to the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Authorized and accredited agency refers to the State welfare agency or a licensed adoption agency in the country of the adopting parents which provide comprehensive social services and which is duly recognized by the Department. Legally-free child means a child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department, in accordance with the Child and Youth Welfare Code. Matching refers to the judicious pairing of the adoptive child and the applicant to promote a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship. Board refers to the Inter-country Adoption Board. ARTICLE II - THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD SEC. 4. The Inter-Country Adoption Board.- There is hereby created the InterCountry Adoption Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board, to act as the central authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption. It shall act as the policymaking 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. As such, it shall: a) 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; Collect, maintain, and preserve confidential information about the child and the adoptive parents; Monitor, follow-up, and facilitate completion of adoption of the child through authorized and accredited agency;

f)

g) h)

b) c)

Persons provisions \ 13

d) e) f) g) h)

Prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and deter improper practices contrary to this Act; Promote the development of adoption services including post-legal adoption; License and accredit child-caring/placement agencies and collaborate with them in the placement of Filipino children; Accredit and authorize foreign adoption agency in the placement of Filipino children in their own country; and 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. l) j) k)

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 accredited foreign private adoption agencies shall not exceed one hundred (100) a year; to take appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality of the records of the child, the natural parents and adoptive parents at all times; 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; to assist other concerned agencies and 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

SEC. 5. Composition of the Board. - The Board shall be composed of the Secretary of the Department as ex-officio Chairman, and six (6) other members to be appointed by the President for a nonrenewable term of six (6) years: Provided, That there shall be appointed one (1) psychiatrist or psychologist, two (2) lawyers who shall have at least the 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 placement activities. The members of the Board shall receive a per diem allowance of One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500.00) for each meeting attended by them: Provided, further, That no compensation shall be paid for more than four (4) meetings a month, SEC. 6. Powers and Functions of the Board.- The Board shall have the following powers and functions: a) 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 child-caring, placement, and adoption; to set the guidelines for the convening of an Inter-country Adoption Placement Committee which shall be under the direct supervision of the Board; to set the guidelines for the manner by which selection/matching or prospective adoptive parents and adoptive child can be made; to determine a reasonable schedule of fees and charges to be exacted in connection with the application for adoption; to determine the form and contents of the application for inter-country adoption; to formulate and develop policies, programs and services that will protect the Filipino child from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and other adoption practice that is harmful, detrimental and prejudicial to the best interest of the child; to institute systems and procedures to prevent improper financial gain in connection with adoption and deter improper practices which are contrary to this Act; to promote the development of adoption services, including post-legal adoption services; to accredit and authorize foreign private adoption agencies which have demonstrated professionalism, competence and have consistently pursued non-

m) to perform such other functions on matters relating to inter-country adoption as may be determined by the President. ARTICLE III - PROCEDURE SEC. 7. Inter-Country Adoption as the Last Resort.- The Board 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. Towards this end, the 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. SEC. 8. Who May be Adopted.- Only a legally free child may be the subject of inter-country adoption. In order that such child may be considered for placement, the following documents must be submitted to the Board: a) b) c) d) e) f) Child study; Birth certificate/founding certificate; Deed of voluntary commitment/decree of abandonment/death certificate of parents; Medical evaluation/history; Psychological evaluation, as necessary; and Recent photo of the child.

b) c) d) e) f)

g)

SEC. 9. Who May Adopt.- Any alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an application for inter-country adoption of a Filipino child if he/she; a) 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 adaptor is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent;

h) i)

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b) c)

if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption; has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counselling from an accredited counsellor in his/her country; has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; is eligible to adopt under his/her nation law; 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; 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; 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 possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable Philippine laws.

d) e) f)

locally. The clearance, as issued by the Board, with the copy of the minutes of the meetings, shall form part of the records of the child to be adopted. When the Board is ready to transmit the Placement Authority to the authorized and accredited intercountry adoption agency and all the travel documents of the child are ready, the adoptive parents, or any one of them, shall personally fetch the child in the Philippines. SEC. 12. Pre-adoptive Placement Costs.- The applicant(s) shall bear the following costs incidental to the placement of the child; 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 The cost of passport, visa, medical examination and psychological evaluation required, and other related expenses.

g)

b)

h)

SEC. 13. Fees, Charges and Assessments.- 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. SEC. 14. Supervision of Trial Custody.- 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 counselling 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. SEC. 15. Executive Agreements.- The Department of Foreign Affairs, upon representation of the Board, 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. ARTICLE IV - PENALTIES SEC. 16. Penalties.a) Any person who shall knowingly participate in the conduct or carrying out of an illegal adoption, in violation of the provisions of this Act, shall be punished with a penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), but not more than Two hundred thousand pesos

i)

SEC. 10. Where to File Application.- An application to adopt a Filipino child shall be field either with the Philippine Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the child, or with the Board, through an 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. The application shall be supported by the following documents written and officially translated in English: a) b) c) d) e) f) g) Birth certificate of applicant(s); Marriage contract, if married, and divorce decree, if applicable; Written consent of their biological or adopted children above ten (10) years of age, in the form of sworn statement; Physical, medical and psychological evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychologist; Income tax returns or any document showing the financial capability of the applicant(s); Police clearance of applicant(s); Character reference from the local church/minister, the applicant's employer and a member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least five (5) years; and Recent postcard-size pictures of the applicant(s) and his immediate family;

h)

The Rules of Court shall apply in case of adoption by judicial proceedings. SEC. 11. Family Selection/Matching.- No child shall be matched to a foreign adoptive family unless it is satisfactorily shown that the child cannot be adopted

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(P200,000), at the discretion of the court. For purposes of this Act, an adoption is illegal if it is effected in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Act or established State policies, its implementing rules and regulations, executive agreements, and other laws pertaining to adoption. Illegality may be presumed from the following acts: 1) 2) 3) 4) b) consent for an adoption was acquired through, or attended by coercion, fraud, improper material inducement; there is no authority from the Board to effect adoption; the procedures and safeguards placed under the law for adoption were not complied with; and the child to be adopted is subjected to, or exposed to danger, abuse and exploitation.

SEC. 19. Appropriations.- the amount of Five million pesos (P5,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the proceeds of the Lotto for the initial operations of the Board and subsequently the appropriations of the same shall be included in the General Appropriations Act for the year following its enactment. SEC. 20. Separability Clause.- If any provision, or part hereof, is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected, shall remain valid and subsisting. SEC. 21. Repealing Clause.- Any law, decree, executive order, administrative order or rules and regulations contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly. SEC. 22. Effectivity Clause.- This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. Approved: June 7, 1995 INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD MANILA RULES AND REGULATIONS ON INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION Pursuant to the authority of the Inter-Country Adoption Board under Section 6, paragraph (a), of Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as “The InterCountry Adoption Act 1995”, the following Rules and Regulations are hereby promulgated to govern the adoption of a Filipino child abroad: ARTICLE I - GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. POLICY OBJECTIVES. - It shall be the policy of the State to provide every neglected child with a family that will provide such child with love and care as well as opportunities for growth and development. Towards this end, efforts shall be exerted to place the child with an adoptive family in the Philippines. However, the State shall take measures to ensure that inter-country adoptions are allowed when the same shall prove beneficial to the child’s best interest and shall serve and protect his/her fundamental rights, in order to present the sale, trafficking and abduction of children. SECTION 2. APPLICABILITY. - The Rules shall apply to the adoption of a Filipino child in a foreign country by a person who may not be qualified to adopt under the Family Code. ARTICLE II - DEFINITION OF TERMS SECTION 3. DEFINITION OF TERMS. - As used in these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall mean: (a) “Child” shall refer to a Filipino child below fifteen (15) years of age who can be legally adopted; (b) “Inter-Country Adoption” shall refer to the socio-legal process of adopting a Filipino child by a foreign national or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad where the petition for adoption is filed, the supervised trial custody is undertaken and the decree of adoption is issued in the foreign country where the applicant resides thereby creating a permanent parent-child relationship between the child and the adoptive parents; (c) “Department” shall refer to the Department of Social Welfare and Development; (d) “Secretary” shall refer to the Secretary of the Department;

Any person who shall violate established regulations relating to the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents and communications of adoption applications, cases and processes shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000), but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000), at the discretion of the court.

A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under this Article shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein enumerated. Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a syndicate or where it involves two or more children shall be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article. Penalties as are herein provided shall be in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations. SEC. 17. Public Officers as Offenders.- Any government official, employee or functionary, who shall be found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire with private individuals shall, in addition to the aboveprescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said government official, employee or functionary concerned shall automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the case. ARTICLE V - FINAL PROVISIONS SEC. 18. Implementing Rules and Regulations.- The Inter-country Adoption Board, in coordination with the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Justice, after due consultation with agencies involved in child-care and placement, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act within six (6) months after its effectivity.

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(e) “Board” shall refer to the Inter-Country Adoption Board which is the Central Authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption and the policy-making body for purposes of carrying out the provisions of R.A. No. 8043; (f) “Chairperson” shall refer to the Chairperson of the Board; (g) “Committee” shall refer to the Inter-Country Adoption Placement Committee; (h) “Foreign Adoption Agency” shall refer to the State welfare agency or the licensed and accredited agency in the country of the foreign adoptive parents that provides comprehensive social services and is duly recognized by the Department; (i) “Child Caring Agency” shall refer to a welfare agency that provides a twentyfour (24) - hour resident group care service for the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of nine (9) or more mentally gifted, abandoned, neglected, disabled or disturbed children or youth offenders. The term shall include an institution whose primary purpose is education whenever nine (9) or more of its pupils or wards in the ordinary course of events do not return annually to the homes of their parents or guardians for at least two (2) months of summer vacation. (j) “Child Placing Agency” shall refer to an institution licensed by the Department to assume the care, custody, protection and maintenance of children for purposes of adoption, guardianship or foster care; (k) “Application” shall refer to the application form with a home study report for the inter-country adoption of a child including its supporting documents; (l) “Applicant” shall refer to a person or a married couple who files an application; (m) “Matching” refers to the judicious pairing of the applicant and the child to promote a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship, and; (n) “Act” shall refer to Republic Act No. 8043 otherwise known as “The InterCountry Adoption Act of 1995.” ARTICLE III - INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD SECTION 4. MEETINGS - The Board shall meet regularly or upon the call of the Chairperson. In the absence of the Chairperson, the members present who constitute a quorum may choose a presiding officer from among themselves. A majority of all the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The Board may hold meetings in executive session. SECTION 5. VOTING. - The Board shall act as a body. The vote of a majority of the members of the Board constituting a quorum shall be necessary to perform its functions. The Chairperson of the Board shall not vote in a meeting except to break a tie. ARTICLE IV - SECRETARIAT SECTION 6. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. - The Board shall have a Secretariat headed by an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the Chairperson with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Board. SECTION 7. FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. - The Executive Director shall act as the executive officer of the Secretariat and shall exercise supervision over its personnel. He/she shall also act as the Secretary of the Board. SECTION 8. QUALIFICATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. - The Executive Director shall have the qualifications of a Director IV, a master’s degree in Social Work or its equivalent in a related discipline and at least five (5) years of supervisory experience, two (2) years of which should be in the areas of child care and placement.

SECTION 9. SUPPORT STAFF. - The Secretariat shall have such operating units and personnel as the Board may find necessary for the proper performance of its functions. SECTION 10. FUNCTION OF THE SECRETARIAT. - The functions of the Secretariat shall include the following: (a) maintain and facilitate communications with the Committee and the different government offices, non-governmental agencies and the general public; (b) review and process applications, matching proposals, placements and all documents requiring action by the Board; (c) review licensing and accreditation applications of agencies for action by the Board; (d) provide secretariat, records keeping and other services to the Board and the Committee, and; (e) perform such other duties as the Board may direct. ARTICLE V - PLACEMENT COMMITTEE SECTION 11. COMPOSITION. - The matching of a child to a foreign adoptive family shall be approved by the Board upon the recommendation of a Committee which shall have five (5) members composed of a child psychiatrist or psychologist, a medical doctor or pediatrician, a lawyer, a registered social worker and a representative of a non-governmental organization engaged in child welfare activities. The Board shall appoint qualified persons who shall serve in the Committee for a term of two (2) years which may be renewed. SECTION 12. FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE. - The Committee shall have the following functions: (a) carry out an integrated system and network of selection and matching of applicants and children; (b) recommend to the Board approval of applications and matching proposals, and; (c) perform such other functions and duties as may be prescribed by the Board. SECTION 13. ALLOWANCES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS. - A Committee member shall receive an honorarium of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) for each meeting actually attended; Provided, that the total amount of honorarium that a member may receive shall not exceed Four Thousand Pesos (P4,000.00) a month. SECTION 14. RULES OF PROCEDURE. - Subject to the approval of the Board, the Committee shall fix its own internal rules and procedures including the selection of its chairperson. SECTION 15. MEETINGS. - The Committee shall meet regularly or upon the call of the Board. ARTICLE VI - LICENSING AND ACCREDITATION SECTION 16. LOCAL CHILD CARING AND CHILD PLACING AGENCIES. - Only local child caring and placing agencies licensed and accredited by the Department and with personnel and facilities to undertake a comprehensive child welfare program shall be accredited by the Board to participate in the intercountry adoption program. SECTION 17. FOREIGN ADOPTION AGENCIES. - No foreign adoption agency shall be allowed to participate in the Philippine inter-country adoption program unless it is granted by the Board an accreditation in its own name. The

Persons provisions \ 17

accreditation from the Board shall be issued upon submission of the following requirements: (a) A license and/or accreditation or authorization from its government to operate as an adoption agency to carry out inter-country adoptions; (b) Name and qualifications of the members of the board of directors, senior officers and other staff involved in inter-country adoption; (c) Detailed description of its programs and services, researches and publications; (d) Audited financial report including sources of funds, adoption fees and charges; (e) Undertaking under oath that it shall assume responsibility for the selection of qualified applicants; that it shall comply with the Philippine laws on intercountry adoption; that it shall inform the Board of any change in the foregoing information; and shall comply with post adoption requirements as specified by the Board, and; (f) Such other requirements which the Board may deem necessary in the best interest of the child. Authentication of the aforementioned documents shall be made by either the official designated by the Philippine embassy or consulate in the country where the foreign adoption agency operates or the authorized official of the embassy or consulate in the Philippines of the country where the foreign adoption agency operates. SECTION 18. LIAISON SERVICES. - Only a non-profit licensed and accredited child caring or child placing agency shall be allowed to serve as a representative of a foreign adoption agency and subject to prior approval by the Board based on specific requirements. The Board shall periodically review the liaison services and may terminate any such service when, after a thorough evaluation, the agency is proven to have violated the requirements under these Rules. The agency concerned shall be given prior notice as provided for in Section 22. SECTION 19. RENEWAL OF ACCREDITATION. - The Board shall reaccredit previously accredited foreign adoption agencies in order to ensure that all pertinent requirements for proper inter-country adoption are current and valid. The Board shall inspect the facilities of the foreign adoption agency once every four (4) years but may require periodic reports. SECTION 20. FEES. - No fees or charges of any kind shall be charged in connection with licensing and accreditation under the Act. ARTICLE VII - SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE OR ACCREDITATION SECTION 21. GROUNDS. - The Board shall suspend or revoke the license or accreditation issued to a child caring or child placing agency or foreign adoption agency on any of the following grounds: (a) Imposing or accepting directly or indirectly any consideration, money, goods or services in exchange of an allocation of a child in violation of the Rules; (b) Misrepresenting or concealing any vital information required under the Rules; (c) Offering money, goods or services to any member, official or employee or representative of the Board, to give preference in the adoption process to any applicant;

(d) Advertising or publishing the name or photograph of a child for adoption to influence any person to apply for adoption except special homefinding for hardto-place children; (e) Failure to perform any act required under the Rules that results in prejudice to the child or applicant; (f) Appointing or designating any liaison or agent without prior approval of the Board; (g) Engaging in matching arrangement or any contact to pre-identify a child in violation of the Rules, or; (h) Any other act in violation of the provisions of the Act, the Rules and other related laws. SECTION 22. WHO MAY INITIATE ACTION TO SUSPEND OR REVOKE LICENSE OR ACCREDITATION. - The Board, motu proprio upon receipt of any information regarding any violation or irregularity or upon receipt of complaint under oath or request for investigation, may conduct initial inquiries and upon being satisfied that the report, complaint or request for investigation has legal and factual basis, shall require the agency concerned to answer within fifteen (15) working days from receipt of notice, furnishing the agency concerned with a copy of the complaint or a brief statement of the report or request. SECTION 23. PROCEEDINGS FOR SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION. Upon receipt of the answer or failure to receive an answer within the required period, the Board shall conduct a hearing or investigation and decide according to the evidence. Depending upon the gravity of the violation charged or if the agency shall fail to answer, the Board suspend any dealings with the agency concerned during the pendency of the investigation. SECTION 24. ACTION OF THE BOARD. - Upon termination of the investigation, the Board shall dismiss the charge or suspend or revoke the license or accreditation of the agency concerned, if the evidence so warrants. The Board’s decision shall be sent to the agency concerned, the Department, the regulatory agency of the state or country where the agency operates and the Department of Foreign Affairs. ARTICLE VIII - INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION PROCESS SECTION 25. WHO MAY BE ADOPTED. - Any child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department as dependent, abandoned or neglected pursuant to the provisions of the Child and Youth Welfare Code may be the subject of Inter-Country Adoption; Provided that in case of a child who is voluntarily committed, the physical transfer of said child shall be made not earlier than six (6) months from the date the Deed of Voluntary Commitment was executed by the child’s biological parent/s. The prohibition against physical transfer shall not apply to adoption by a relative or children with special medical conditions. SECTION 26. WHO MAY ADOPT - Any foreign national or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad who has the qualifications and none of the disqualifications under the Act may file an application if he/she: (a) is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age; (b) is at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted at the time of the filing of the application unless the applicant is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or is the spouse of such parent by nature; (c) has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and responsibilities incident to parental authority under his/her national law;

Persons provisions \ 18

(d) has undergone appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country; (e) has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; (f) is eligible to adopt under his/her national law; (g) can provide the proper care and support and give the necessary moral values and example to the child and in the proper case, to all his/her other children; (h) comes from a country (i) with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations; (ii) whose government maintains a foreign adoption agency, and; (iii) whose laws allow adoption, and (i) files jointly with his/her spouse, if any, who shall have the same qualifications and none of the disqualifications to adopt as prescribed above. SECTION 27. FORM OF APPLICATION. - An application shall be in the form prescribed by the Board. It shall include an undertaking under oath signed by the applicant to uphold the rights of the child under Philippine laws and the applicant’s national laws, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and to abide by the provisions of the Act and all rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto. The application shall include an undertaking that should the adoption not be approved, or if for any reason the adoption does not take place, the applicant shall pay for the cost of travel back to the Philippines of the child and his/her companion, if any. SECTION 28. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS OF APPLICATION. - The following documents, written and officially translated in English shall accompany the Application: (a) Family and Home Study Reports on the family and home of the applicant; (b) Birth Certificate of the applicant; (c) Marriage Contract of the applicant or Decree of Absolute Divorce, in the proper case; (d) Written consent to the adoption by the biological or adopted children who are ten (10) years of age or over witnessed by the social worker after proper counseling.’ (e) Physical and medical evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychological evaluation by a psychologist; (f) Latest income tax return or any other documents showing the financial capability of the applicant; (g) Clearance issued by the police or other proper government agency of the place where the applicants reside; (h) Character reference from the local church minister/priest, the applicant’s employer or a non-relative member of the immediate community who have known the applicant for at least five (5) years; (i) Certification from the Department of Justice or other appropriate government agency that the applicant is 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 in the said place once adopted, and; (j) Recent postcard-size pictures of the applicant and his immediate family. SECTION 29. FEES, CHARGES AND ASSESSMENTS. - There shall be a fee of $100 upon filing of the application and $900 upon acceptance of the matching proposal for processing and operational expenses of the inter-country adoption program and other charges and assessments for child care and placement programs and services. Fees for applicants for special needs children shall be a filing fee of

$100 and a processing fee of $400. Such fees, charges and assessments shall be indicated on the application form and communicated to all foreign adoption agencies. SECTION 30. WHERE TO FILE APPLICATION. - The application shall be filed with the Board through a foreign adoption agency in the country where the applicant resides. In the case of a foreign national who has filed a petition for adoption in the Philippines under Article 184 of the Family Code but after hearing is found not to be qualified under any of the exceptions therein, the Regional Trial Court where the case is pending may determine if the petitioner is qualified to adopt under the Act and the Rules. If the petitioner has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications, the Court shall issue an order for inclusion of the petitioner, upon filing of the application and fee, in the Board’s Roster of Applicants and shall direct the petitioner to submit a Deed of Voluntary Commitment of the child executed by the child’s parents in favor of the Department. SECTION 31. ROSTER OF APPLICANTS. - The Board shall act on each application and direct the Secretariat to include those approved in the Roster of Applicants within one (1) month from receipt thereof. SECTION 32. ENDORSEMENT OF CHILD FOR INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION. - A child who has been committed to the Department and who may be available for inter-country adoption shall be endorsed to the Board by the Department. The endorsement shall contain a certification by the Department that all possibilities for adoption of the child in the Philippines have been exhausted and that inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the child. The endorsement must be made within one (1) week after transmittal of the Child Study Report and other pertinent documents from the local placement committee for inter-regional matching. SECTION 33. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. - The following documents pertaining to the child shall be attached to the endorsement: (a) Child Study Report which shall include information about the child’s identity, upbringing and ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, social environment, family history, medical history and special needs; (b) Birth or Foundling Certificate; (c) Decree of Abandonment of the child, the Death Certificate of the child’s parents or the Deed of Voluntary Commitment executed after the birth of the child and after proper counseling as to the effect of termination of parental authority to ensure that consent was not induced by monetary or other consideration; (d) Medical evaluation or history including that of the child’s biological parents, if available; (e) Psychological evaluation, as may be necessary, and; (f) Child’s own consent if he/she is ten (10) years or older, witnessed by a social worker of the child caring/placing agency and after proper counseling. SECTION 34. MATCHING. - The matching of the child to an applicant shall be carried out during a matching conference before the Committee participated in by the Executive Director or social worker of the child caring agency or the social worker of the Department in case of adoption by a relative. The Board shall set the guidelines for the manner by which the matching process shall be conducted and shall include among others the following: (a) (b) (c) Matching proposal Filing of matching proposal Presentation by the social worker

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(d) (e) (f)

Deliberations Committee action (approval, disapproval or deferment) Motion for reconsideration

SECTION 35. APPROVAL OF MATCHING. - The Committee shall endorse the matching proposal to the Board for its approval or other appropriate action. The endorsement shall state the reasons for the Committee’s recommendation on the placement. SECTION 36. BOARD ACTION ON APPROVED MATCHING. - The Board shall immediately act on the matching proposal of the Committee. If the same is approved, a notice of matching shall be sent to the concerned foreign adoption agency within five (5) days from date of approval and shall be accompanied by the following documents: (a) Child Study Report; (b) Health Certificate and medical history of the child; (c) Recent photographs of the child, and (d) Itemized pre-adoptive placement costs. The applicant shall notify the foreign adoption agency in writing of his/her decision on the matching proposal within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of said proposal unless the applicant requests for additional information about the child. The matching proposal shall be deemed rejected if the applicant, through the foreign adoption agency, fails to notify the Board of his/her decision within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the notice. SECTION 37. NO CONTACT BETWEEN APPLICANT AND CHILD’S PARENTS. - No matching arrangement except under these Rules shall be made between the applicant and the child’s parents/guardians or custodians, nor shall any contact between them concerning a particular child be done before the matching proposal of the Committee has been approved by the Board. This prohibition shall not apply in cases of adoption of a relative or in exceptional cases where the child’s best interest, as determined by the Board is at stake. SECTION 38. PLACEMENT AUTHORITY. - Upon receipt of the applicant’s acceptance of the matching proposal and confirmation of the preadoptive placement plans presented by the foreign adoption agency, the Board shall issue the Placement Authority within five (5) working days. A certified excerpt of the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee approving the matching shall be attached to the Placement Authority and shall form part of the records of the child. Copy of the Placement Authority shall be transmitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs and to the foreign adoption agency. SECTION 39. PRE-ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT COSTS. - Upon acceptance of the matching proposal, the applicant, through the foreign adoption agency, shall pay for the expenses incidental to the pre-adoptive placement of the child, including the cost of the child’s travel and medical and psychological evaluation and other related expenses. Under exceptional circumstances, the Board may defray the costs subject to reimbursement. SECTION 40. PRE-DEPARTURE PREPARATION OF THE CHILD. - After the issuance of the Placement Authority and prior to departure abroad, the child shall be given the necessary preparation and guidance by the child caring/placing agency which submitted the matching proposal or by the social worker of the Department in case of adoption by a relative, in order to minimize the trauma of

separation from the persons with whom the child may have formed attachments and to ensure that the child is physically able and emotionally ready to travel and to form new relationships. SECTION 41. FETCHING THE CHILD BY APPLICANT. - The applicant shall personally fetch the child from the Philippines not later than thirty (30) days after notice of issuance of the visa of the child for travel to the country where the applicant resides. The unjustified failure of the applicant to fetch the child within said period shall result in the automatic cancellation of the Placement Authority. SECTION 42. TRANSFER OF CUSTODY OF THE CHILD. - Trial custody shall start upon actual physical transfer of the child to the applicant who, as actual custodian, shall exercise substitute parental authority over the person of the child. In all cases, the foreign adoption agency shall supervise and monitor the exercise of custody by maintaining communication with the applicant from the time the child leaves the Philippines. SECTION 43. SUPERVISION OF PRE-ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT. - The foreign adoption agency shall be responsible for the pre-adoptive placement, care and family counseling of the child for at least six (6) months from the arrival of the child in the residence of the applicant. During the period of pre-adoptive placement, the foreign adoption agency shall furnish the Board with bi-monthly reports on the child’s health, psycho-social adjustment and relationships which the child has developed with the applicant including the applicant’s health, financial condition and legal capacity. The Board shall furnish the child’s home agency a copy of the report. SECTION 44. EMERGENCY REPORT. - During the trial custody period, the foreign adoption agency shall notify the Board of any incident that may have resulted in a serious impairment of the relationship between the child and the applicant or of any serious ailment or injury suffered by the child, as soon as possible but not later than seventy-two (72) hours after the incident or the discovery of the ailment or injury. SECTION 45. TERMINATION OF PRE-ADOPTIVE RELATIONSHIP. - If the pre-adoptive relationship is found unsatisfactory by the child or the applicant, or both, or if the foreign adoption agency finds that the continued placement of the child is not in the child’s best interest, said relationship shall be suspended by the Board and the foreign adoption agency shall arrange for the child’s temporary care. No termination of pre-adoptive relationship shall be made unless it is shown that the foreign adoption agency has exhausted all means to remove the cause of the unsatisfactory relationship which impedes or prevents the creation of a mutually satisfactory adoptive relationship. SECTION 46. NEW PLACEMENT FOR CHILD. - In the event of termination of the pre-adoptive relationship, the Board shall identify from the Roster of Applicants a qualified family to adopt the child with due consideration for suitability and proximity. In the absence of any suitable family in the Roster of Approved Applicants, the foreign adoption agency may propose a replacement family whose application shall be filed for the consideration of the Board. The consent of the child shall be obtained in relation to the measures to be taken under this Section, having regard in particular to his/her age and level of maturity. SECTION 47. REPATRIATION OF THE CHILD. - The child shall be repatriated as a last resort if found by the Board to be in his/her best interests. If

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the Board in coordination with the foreign adoption agency fails to find another placement for the child within a reasonable period of time after the termination of the pre-adoptive relationship, the Board shall arrange for the child’s repatriation. The Board shall inform the Department, the child caring/placing agency concerned and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the decision to repatriate the child. SECTION 48. CONSENT TO ADOPTION. - If a satisfactory pre-adoptive relationship is formed between the applicant and the child, the Board shall transmit the written consent to the adoption executed by the Department to the foreign adoption agency within thirty (30) days after receipt of the latter’s request. SECTION 49. FILING OF PETITION FOR ADOPTION. - The applicant shall file the petition for the adoption of the child with the proper court or tribunal in the country where the applicant resides within six (6) months after the completion of the trial custody period. SECTION 50. DECREE OF ADOPTION. - A copy of the final Decree of Adoption of the child including the Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization whenever applicable, shall be transmitted by the foreign adoption agency to the Board within one (1) month after its issuance. The copy of the Adoption Decree shall form part of the records of the Board which shall require the recording of the final judgment in the appropriate local and foreign Civil Register. SECTION 51. DISMISSAL OF PETITION FOR ADOPTION. - In case of dismissal by the foreign tribunal of the petition for adoption filed by the applicant, the procedures under Section 45, 46 and 47 shall apply. SECTION 52. POST-ADOPTION SERVICES. - The Board shall establish a program of post-adoption services in cooperation with local child caring and child placing agencies and foreign adoption agencies. ARTICLE IX - CONFIDENTIALITY SECTION 53. RECORDS. - The application, together with all the records, documents and communications relating thereto and its processes shall be confidential. No copy thereof as well as any information relating thereto shall be released without written authority from the Board or the written request of any of the following: (a) the child/adopted person, with appropriate guidance and counseling or his/her duly authorized representative, spouse, parent or parents, direct descendants or guardian or legal institution legally in charge of the adopted person, if a minor; (b) the court or proper public official whenever necessary in an administrative, judicial or other official proceeding to determine the identity of the parent or parents or of the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child/adopted person, or; (c) the nearest kin, in case of the death of the child/adopted person. SECTION 54. PRESERVATION OF INFORMATION. - The Board shall ensure that information held by them concerning the origin of the child/adopted person, in particular the identity of his/her biological parents, is preserved. SECTION 55. ILLEGAL ADOPTION. - Any person who shall knowingly participate in the conduct or carrying out of an illegal adoption shall be punished with imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) at the discretion of the court. For purposes of this Act, an adoption is illegal if it is effected in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Act or established State policies, its implementing rules and regulations, executive agreements and other laws pertaining to adoption.

SECTION 56. PRESUMPTION OF ILLEGALITY. - An adoption shall be presumed illegal if: (a) the consent for an adoption was acquired through or attended by coercion, fraud or improper material inducement; (b) there is no authority from the Board to effect adoption; (c) the procedures and safeguards placed under the Act for adoption were not complied with, or; (d) if the child to be adopted is subjected or exposed to danger, abuse and exploitation. SECTION 57. VIOLATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY. - Any person who shall violate the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents and communications relating to adoption applications, cases and processes, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years and or a fine not less than Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) but not more than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) at the discretion of the court. SECTION 58. ATTEMPT TO COMMIT OFFENSE. - A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony described above shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein enumerated. SECTION 59. CHILD TRAFFICKING. - Acts punishable under the above provisions shall be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall be punished with reclusion perpetua when committed by a syndicate or where it involves two or more children. An offense is deemed committed by a syndicate if it is carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any of the unlawful acts. Penalties herein provided shall be in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders and proclamations. SECTION 60. PUBLIC OFFICERS AS OFFENDERS. - Any government official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire with private individuals shall, in additional to the above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service laws, rules and regulations. Provided, that upon filing of an administrative or criminal case, the public officer concerned shall automatically be suspended from office until the resolution of the case. ARTICLE X - FINAL PROVISIONS SECTION 61. INTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISION OF THE RULES. - Any doubt or vagueness in the provisions of the Rules shall be interpreted for the best interests of the child. SECTION 62. REPEALING CLAUSE. - The provisions under the Rules shall supersede any other rules and regulations on the Inter-Country Adoption of Filipino Children. SECTION 63. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. - The declaration of invalidity of any provision of the Rules or part thereof shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

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SECTION 64. EFFECTIVITY CLAUSE. - The Rules shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation, except those which pertain to self-executing provisions of the Act. Approved in the City of Manila this 26th day of December in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Five. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8972 - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES TO SOLO PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines Congress assembled: Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000." Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is the policy of the State to promote the family as the foundation of the nation, strengthen its solidarity and ensure its total development. Towards this end, it shall develop a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children to be carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other related government and nongovernment agencies. Section 3. Definition of Terms. - Whenever used in this Act, the following terms shall mean as follows: (a) "Solo parent" - any individual who falls under any of the following categories: (1) A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender: Provided, That the mother keeps and raises the child; (2) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to death of spouse; (3) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood while the spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year; (4) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;

(5) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year, as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children; (6) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children; (7) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year; (8) Unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution; (9) Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children; (10) Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent. A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming benefits under this Act, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for these benefits. (b) "Children" - refer to those living with and dependent upon the solo parent for support who are unmarried, unemployed and not more than eighteen (18) years of age, or even over eighteen (18) years but are incapable of self-support because of mental and/or physical defect/disability. (c) "Parental responsibility" - with respect to their minor children shall refer to the rights and duties of the parents as defined in Article 220 of Executive Order No. 209, as amended, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines." (d) "Parental leave" - shall mean leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable him/her to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required. (e) "Flexible work schedule" - is the right granted to a solo parent employee to vary his/her arrival and departure time without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer. Section 4. Criteria for Support. - Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance: Provided, however, That any solo parent whose income is above the poverty threshold shall enjoy the benefits mentioned in Sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act.

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Section 5. Comprehensive Package of Social Development and Welfare Services. A comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families will be developed by the DSWD, DOH, DECS, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, NHA and DILG, in coordination with local government units and a nongovernmental organization with proven track record in providing services for solo parents. The DSWD shall coordinate with concerned agencies the implementation of the comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families. The package will initially include: (a) Livelihood development services which include trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of seed capital or job placement. (b) Counseling services which include individual, peer group or family counseling. This will focus on the resolution of personal relationship and role conflicts. (c) Parent effectiveness services which include the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parent on early childhood development, behavior management, health care, rights and duties of parents and children. (d) Critical incidence stress debriefing which includes preventive stress management strategy designed to assist solo parents in coping with crisis situations and cases of abuse. (e) Special projects for individuals in need of protection which include temporary shelter, counseling, legal assistance, medical care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and spiritual enrichment. Section 6. Flexible Work Schedule. - The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents: Provided, That the same shall not affect individual and company productivity: Provided, further, That any employer may request exemption from the above requirements from the DOLE on certain meritorious grounds. Section 7. Work Discrimination. - No employer shall discriminate against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status. Section 8. Parental Leave. - In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year. Section 9. Educational Benefits. - The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall provide the following benefits and privileges: (1) Scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education; and

(2) Nonformal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children. The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation of this program. Section 10. Housing Benefits. - Solo parents shall be given allocation in housing projects and shall be provided with liberal terms of payment on said government low-cost housing projects in accordance with housing law provisions prioritizing applicants below the poverty line as declared by the NEDA. Section 11. Medical Assistance. - The DOH shall develop a comprehensive health care program for solo parents and their children. The program shall be implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and medical centers and the local government units (LGUs) through their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health units (RHUs). Section 12. Additional Powers and Functions of the DSWD. — The DSWD shall perform the following additional powers and functions relative to the welfare of solo parents and their families: (a) Conduct research necessary to: (1) develop a new body of knowledge on solo parents; (2) define executive and legislative measures needed to promote and protect the interest of solo parents and their children; and (3) assess the effectiveness of programs designed for disadvantaged solo parents and their children; (b) Coordinate the activities of various governmental and nongovernmental organizations engaged in promoting and protecting the interests of solo parents and their children; and (c) Monitor the implementation of the provisions of this Act and suggest mechanisms by which such provisions are effectively implemented. Section 13. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - An interagency committee headed by the DSWD, in coordination with the DOH, DECS, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, NHA, and DILG is hereby established which shall formulate, within ninety (90) days upon the effectivity of this Act, the implementing rules and regulations in consultation with the local government units, nongovernment organizations and people's organizations. Section 14. Appropriations. - The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the budget of concerned government agencies in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.1awphil.net Section 15. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive orders, administrative orders or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

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Section 16. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect. Section 17. Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspaper of general circulation. REPUBLIC ACT No. 7610 - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR STRONGER DETERRENCE AND SPECIAL PROTECTION AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES ARTICLE III - Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse Section 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. - Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: (a) Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution which include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute; (2) Inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other similar means; (3) Taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as prostitute; (4) Threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute; or (5) Giving monetary consideration goods or other pecuniary benefit to a child with intent to engage such child in prostitution. (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse of lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; and

(c) Those who derive profit or advantage therefrom, whether as manager or owner of the establishment where the prostitution takes place, or of the sauna, disco, bar, resort, place of entertainment or establishment serving as a cover or which engages in prostitution in addition to the activity for which the license has been issued to said establishment. Section 6. Attempt To Commit Child Prostitution. - There is an attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 5, paragraph (a) hereof when any person who, not being a relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel, vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. There is also an attempt to commit child prostitution, under paragraph (b) of Section 5 hereof when any person is receiving services from a child in a sauna parlor or bath, massage clinic, health club and other similar establishments. A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under Section 5 hereof shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit the crime of child prostitution under this Act, or, in the proper case, under the Revised Penal Code. ARTICLE IV - Child Trafficking Section 7. Child Trafficking. - Any person who shall engage in trading and dealing with children including, but not limited to, the act of buying and selling of a child for money, or for any other consideration, or barter, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua. The penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. Section 8. Attempt to Commit Child Trafficking. - There is an attempt to commit child trafficking under Section 7 of this Act:1awphi1@alf (a) When a child travels alone to a foreign country without valid reason therefor and without clearance issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development or written permit or justification from the child's parents or legal guardian; (c) When a person, agency, establishment or child-caring institution recruits women or couples to bear children for the purpose of child trafficking; or (d) When a doctor, hospital or clinic official or employee, nurse, midwife, local civil registrar or any other person simulates birth for the purpose of child trafficking; or (e) When a person engages in the act of finding children among low-income families, hospitals, clinics, nurseries, day-care centers, or other child-during institutions who can be offered for the purpose of child trafficking.

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A penalty lower two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under Section 7 hereof shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit child trafficking under this Act. ARTICLE V - Obscene Publications and Indecent Shows Section 9. Obscene Publications and Indecent Shows. - Any person who shall hire, employ, use, persuade, induce or coerce a child to perform in obscene exhibitions and indecent shows, whether live or in video, or model in obscene publications or pornographic materials or to sell or distribute the said materials shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period. If the child used as a performer, subject or seller/distributor is below twelve (12) years of age, the penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period. Any ascendant, guardian, or person entrusted in any capacity with the care of a child who shall cause and/or allow such child to be employed or to participate in an obscene play, scene, act, movie or show or in any other acts covered by this section shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period. ARTICLE VI - Other Acts of Abuse Section 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child's Development. (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. (b) Any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, twelve (12) years or under or who in ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000): Provided, That this provision shall not apply to any person who is related within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local custom and tradition or acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty. (c) Any person who shall induce, deliver or offer a minor to any one prohibited by this Act to keep or have in his company a minor as provided in the preceding paragraph shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period and a fine of not less than Forty thousand pesos (P40,000); Provided, however, That should the perpetrator be an ascendant, stepparent or guardian of the minor, the penalty to be imposed shall be prision mayor in its maximum period, a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), and the loss of parental authority over the minor.

(d) Any person, owner, manager or one entrusted with the operation of any public or private place of accommodation, whether for occupancy, food, drink or otherwise, including residential places, who allows any person to take along with him to such place or places any minor herein described shall be imposed a penalty of prision mayor in its medium period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), and the loss of the license to operate such a place or establishment. (e) Any person who shall use, coerce, force or intimidate a street child or any other child to; (1) Beg or use begging as a means of living; (2) Act as conduit or middlemen in drug trafficking or pushing; or (3) Conduct any illegal activities, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium period to reclusion perpetua. For purposes of this Act, the penalty for the commission of acts punishable under Articles 248, 249, 262, paragraph 2, and 263, paragraph 1 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for the crimes of murder, homicide, other intentional mutilation, and serious physical injuries, respectively, shall be reclusion perpetua when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age. The penalty for the commission of acts punishable under Article 337, 339, 340 and 341 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for the crimes of qualified seduction, acts of lasciviousness with the consent of the offended party, corruption of minors, and white slave trade, respectively, shall be one (1) degree higher than that imposed by law when the victim is under twelve (12) years age. The victim of the acts committed under this section shall be entrusted to the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. ARTICLE XI - Remedial Procedures Section 27. Who May File a Complaint. - Complaints on cases of unlawful acts committed against the children as enumerated herein may be filed by the following: (a) Offended party; (b) Parents or guardians; (c) Ascendant or collateral relative within the third degree of consanguinity; (d) Officer, social worker or representative of a licensed child-caring institution; (e) Officer or social worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development; (f) Barangay chairman; or

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(g) At least three (3) concerned responsible citizens where the violation occurred. Section 28. Protective Custody of the Child. - The offended party shall be immediately placed under the protective custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development pursuant to Executive Order No. 56, series of 1986. In the regular performance of this function, the officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall be free from any administrative, civil or criminal liability. Custody proceedings shall be in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 603. ARTICLE XII - Common Penal Provisions Section 31. Common Penal Provisions. - (c) The penalty provided herein shall be imposed in its maximum period when the perpetrator is an ascendant, parent guardian, stepparent or collateral relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, or a manager or owner of an establishment which has no license to operate or its license has expired or has been revoked; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 603 - THE CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE CODE Article 3. Rights of the Child. - All children shall be entitled to the rights herein set forth without distinction as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, sex, social status, religion, political antecedents, and other factors. (1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right to be born well. (2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security. The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided with the nearest substitute for a home. (3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded development of his personality to the end that he may become a happy, useful and active member of society. The gifted child shall be given opportunity and encouragement to develop his special talents. The emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted child shall be treated with sympathy and understanding, and shall be entitled to treatment and competent care. The physically or mentally handicapped child shall be given the treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, proper medical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life. (5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character. (6) Every child has the right to an education commensurate with his abilities and to the development of his skills for the improvement of his capacity for service to himself and to his fellowmen. (7) Every child has the right to full opportunities for safe and wholesome recreation and activities, individual as well as social, for the wholesome use of his leisure hours. (8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development. (9) Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him an environment free from pernicious influences and conducive to the promotion of his health and the cultivation of his desirable traits and attributes. (10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State, particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with his fundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement. (11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen his faith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both in their public and private lives. (12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination to contribute his share in the building of a better world. Article 4. Responsibilities of the Child. - Every child, regardless of the circumstances of his birth, sex, religion, social status, political antecedents and other factors shall: (1) Strive to lead an upright and virtuous life in accordance with the tenets of his religion, the teachings of his elders and mentors, and the biddings of a clean conscience; (2) Love, respect and obey his parents, and cooperate with them in the strengthening of the family; (3) Extend to his brothers and sisters his love, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness, and endeavor with them to keep the family harmonious and united;

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(4) Exert his utmost to develop his potentialities for service, particularly by undergoing a formal education suited to his abilities, in order that he may become an asset to himself and to society; (5) Respect not only his elders but also the customs and traditions of our people, the memory of our heroes, the duly constituted authorities, the laws of our country, and the principles and institutions of democracy; (6) Participate actively in civic affairs and in the promotion of the general welfare, always bearing in mind that it is the youth who will eventually be called upon to discharge the responsibility of leadership in shaping the nation's future; and (7) Help in the observance of individual human rights, the strengthening of freedom everywhere, the fostering of cooperation among nations in the pursuit of their common aspirations for programs and prosperity, and the furtherance of world peace.