What is adoption?

Adoption is a legal process which creates between two persons a relationship similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation. Once the adoption is granted, the adoptee shall be considered as the legitimate child of the adopter for all intents and purposes and as such, he shall be entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children born to the adopter without discrimination of any kind (Section 17, Republic Act (RA) No. 8552).

Who can adopt?

Any person, whether a Filipino or not, may adopt provided he met all the qualifications required by law.

What are the qualifications for adoption?

To qualify for adoption, the adopter shall be of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family.

Are there instances when the 16-year difference can be waived?

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.

What is the law when the adopter is a foreigner?

If the adopter is a foreigner, the following qualifications shall be complied with in addition to the requirements mentioned above:

1) his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines;

2) he has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered;

3) he has been certified by his diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he has the legal capacity to adopt in his country and that his government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter.

Is it absolutely required that the foreigner is a resident of the Philippines before he/she can adopt?

The requirements for residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his country may be waived in the following instances: 1) if he is a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; 2) he seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or 3) he is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse (Section 7, RA No. 8552).