Thousands of abandoned children could find new families with secure yet less stringent domestic adoption process in place, according to Senator Grace Poe.
In her sponsorship speech of her measure, Senate Bill 1070 or the Domestic Administrative Adoption bill, the senator said it’s high time to do away with the judicial phase of the adoption process, which usually takes one to three years.
The administrative process of adoption under the current law takes about three to six months, but the judicial proceedings to make it final takes years.
“I firmly believe that adopting one child may not change the world, but it will certainly change the world for that child,” said Poe, herself a foundling who was adopted by Susan Roces and the late Fernando Poe Jr.
“Unfortunately, adoption in the Philippines is currently a long, costly and tedious process. This has discouraged many potential parents from pursuing adoption,” she lamented.
The bill provides for domestic administrative adoption that seeks to eliminate the judicial process. Poe said this will accelerate the entire process, minimize the cost and declog the courts.
“With this bill, it is my hope that more Filipinos will be able to adopt children because every child deserves a good home, a family and a future. Ang pamilya ay nasa puso, hindi lamang sa dugo,” Poe said.
Citing data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Poe said that from 2009 to September 2020, a total of 7,890 children have been declared legally available for adoption because they were found to be either abandoned, neglected, dependent or voluntarily surrendered by their biological parents or legal guardians.
To date, the DSWD said there are 4,943 children under their care, waiting for a permanent home.
According to the senator, previous state policies such as Republic Act 9532 or the Administrative Declaration of the Child Legally Available for Adoption have recognize that administrative processes under the DSWD are the most expeditious proceedings for the best interest and welfare of the child.
Under the bill, procedural safeguards are in place such as the following documentary requirements: Home Study Report conducted by a licensed social worker on the adopter; child study report conducted by a licensed social worker on the adoptee; certification declaring a child legally available for adoption; mandatory result of psychological evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents; and National Bureau of Investigation/police clearance.
The petition for adoption will also be published upon filing so that any person with information that could protect the child from harm can offer an objection, Poe said.
“Malapit ito sa aking puso dahil sa pinagdaanan ko at ng aking mga magulang; nakita ko ang hirap nito,” Poe said.
“Para ito sa pagkakataon ng mga batang napulot at naabandona sa iba’t-ibang dahilan. Sana ay mapadali at mapamura ang proseso para mas maraming magulang ang magkaroon ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng anak na kanilang mamahalin,” she added.