Press Release
August 31, 2021

Grace Poe's manifestation transcript
on Domestic Administrative Adoption bill

Napakahalaga po ng araw na ito. Maraming salamat, Senator Hontiveros at sa ating mga kasamahan. Ang panukalang batas na ating ipinasa ay magsisilbing susi sa magandang kinabukasan ng mga batang nangangarap na magkaroon ng sariling pamilya.

There are thousands of children who have been voluntarily or involuntarily given up by their parents due to poverty, negligence, abuse, a death in the family, or many other reasons.

But thank God that there are others who wish to step up, adopt children, and provide them with a loving home.

However, the adoption process has not always been easy. And just as it takes a village to raise a child, today, we have seen that it takes a village of senators to produce a bill that we can all be proud of.

I authored and filed the Domestic Administrative Adoption bill after many adoptive parents, the DSWD, and child's rights NGOs shared their grief over the exhausting process of adoption in the Philippines.

The administrative phase of adoption takes around three to six months, after which the judicial phase would normally take one to three years. The lengthy period in the courts is due to the backlog of cases and constant rescheduling of hearings. However, the assessment made by the court-assigned social worker is a virtual duplication of the work already done by the social worker of the DSWD or child agency.

By removing the judicial phase in the process of adoption, we have shortened it, made it less tedious and less costly. By creating an adequately staffed one-stop shop on alternative child care, applications and procedures will be handled more efficiently and effectively. And we thank also Sen. Pia Cayetano for all of her wonderful insights that have actually streamlined the process.

But swiftness should not translate into recklessness. Consequently, we have added many safeguards in order to protect and uphold the best interest of the child. For instance, we have a provision which requires publication of the petition for adoption in order to give notice to the public and allow oppositors with relevant information to intervene in order to protect the child from possible harm or abuse.

Once our Administrative Adoption bill passes into law, and hopefully it will be signed into law soon, it will undoubtedly be a landmark in child care legislation.

Thus, I would like to thank our hardworking sponsor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who showed determination, leadership, and genuine passion for improving the process of adoption.

I would like again to thank Sen. Pia Cayetano, who gave valuable inputs based on her research and experience as an adoptive parent. Her amendments have certainly enhanced our work.

Every child deserves a loving family and the opportunity to become the best person and citizen they can be. For those precious gifts, I give thanks to my adoptive parents, my mom, Susan, and of course, my father. Totoo pala na ang pamilya ay nasa puso at wala lamang sa dugo.

Subalit marami pang bata ang naghihintay na sila rin ay masagip at mahalin. Kaya't sa panukalang batas na ito, binigyan natin sila ng pag-asa. Maraming salamat.(

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