Press Release
June 17, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara has called for a review of the country's existing adoption laws to streamline the process for the welfare of both adoptees and adopting parents.

The Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws, and Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations held a hearing yesterday on Senate Resolution No. 516 filed by Angara.

During the hearing chaired by Senator Pia Cayetano, representatives from hospices, child-care associations and government agencies were united in their call for a revision of the country's adoption laws.

"Laws need to be reviewed periodically to ensure that they are still responsive to the needs of the times. Our existing adoption laws must be examined to address potential loopholes and expedite the process without prejudice to the welfare and safety of children," said Angara.

Resource persons at the hearing described the existing process of adoption as painstaking, citing the redundant assessment for certifying legal availability for adoption, first by the DSWD then by the court's social worker.

Republic Act No. 9523 ("An Act Requiring Certification of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to Declare a Child Legally Available for Adoption") provided for an additional requisite in adoption, including the certification from DSWD.

This law amended three earlier adoption-related laws, namely the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 (R.A. 8552); the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (R.A. 8043); and the Child and Youth Welfare Code (Presidential Decree 603).

While the said certification from the DSWD is a prerequisite for adoption petitions, the same assessment is later carried out by the court once a petition for adoption has been filed.

This process has become a bottleneck as the size of potential adoptees in the custody of child-care agencies - now totaling more than 9,000 - continues to grow while the number of social workers needed to make the necessary assessments remains limited.

"As a result of these delays, some children end up spending most of their youth in these child-care institutions which should just have been a halfway home," said Angara.

On average, the adoption process in the country lasts for up to two years.

Angara, vice-chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, aims to work for the review and possible consolidation of the four existing adoption laws in place in the country.

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