DSWD cites need to speed up adoption process
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has raised the need to speed up the domestic adoption and fostering process in a recent dialogue with child advocates from nongovernment organizations and representatives from foreign embassies.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said the agencies concerned should come up with concrete solutions and resolve the issues and concerns on the adoption process and foster care.
“We should look into how we can speed up the adoption process. We should not delay the opportunity for a child to belong to a loving family. No child will be left behind,” Soliman said during the consultation, where embassy representatives presented their rules and policies on immigration and adoption processes.
In a statement, the DSWD said the participants saw the need to amend Republic Act No. 8552, the Domestic Adoption Act, to hasten the assessment process for adopters.
The process of legally adopting a child may take six months to a year.
This includes the application of interested parents, preparation of a home study report, approval and disapproval of application, matching or family selection, preplacement and placement of the child, supervised trial custody, finalization of adoption, issuance of adoption decree and amended birth certificate, and conduct of post-adoptive services.
Soliman said Republic Act No. 9523, otherwise known as “An Act Requiring the Certification of the DSWD to Declare a ‘Child Legally Available for Adoption’ as a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings,” helped shorten the adoption process.
The law states that the time before a child is considered abandoned is reduced to a maximum of three months from the original minimum of six months to speed up the adoption process.
Soliman said the adoption process should always be in the best interest of the child.
“It is imperative that the best interest of the child should be determined in a manner that ensures respect for all rights,” she said.
One of the suggestions to speed up the process is for the adoptive parents to have adequate knowledge on adoption and urge them to complete the requirements immediately.
Other suggestions: that adoptive parents ensure that their lawyers are available during the scheduled hearings; and that courts allocate one day per week for adoption hearings.
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