Adopting a child in the Philippines has been streamlined and made less stressful with the enactment of Republic Act 11642, also known as the “Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act”. This law, which took effect on January 28, 2022, shifts the adoption process from a judicial to an administrative one, aiming to expedite proceedings and prioritize the best interests of the children involved.
The law establishes the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), an entity with exclusive jurisdiction over all matters related to alternative child care, including domestic and adult adoption. It also sets up Regional Alternative Child Care Offices (RACCO) across the country.
Under the new law, couples can file an adoption petition with their local RACCO. Joint adoption by spouses is required, with exceptions for cases such as one spouse adopting the other’s legitimate child, or one spouse adopting their own illegitimate child with the other spouse’s consent.
The law outlines who can be adopted, including children with a Certificate Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption, legitimate children of one spouse by the other, illegitimate children by a qualified adopter, and relatives of the adopter, among others.
The NACC reviews all relevant documents and, if convinced that the adoption is in the child’s best interest, issues an Order of Adoption. Those with pending court adoption petitions can transfer them to the NACC. While inter-country adoption remains under the purview of the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995, all related duties and responsibilities are now transferred to the NACC.
This new law aims to facilitate the adoption process, providing more Filipino children with the opportunity to find permanent homes and a sense of belonging.