OUR PRACTICE AS ADOPTION LAWYERS IN THE PHILIPPINES:
As specialized adoption lawyers in the Philippines, our practice is divided into the two categories of local and inter-country adoption under the Philippine Domestic Adoption Act ( R.A. 8552 ) and the incorporation of the provisions of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption into the statute books of the Philippines via Republic Act No. 8043. Recently, the Philippines has allowed for administrative adoptions, without the necessity of court proceedings under Republic Act No. 11222 (Simulated Birth Rectification Law).
The Family Law department is made up of experienced adoption lawyers in the Philippines from the top law schools in the country who have been trained in this specialized field. They have been in the forefront of pioneering litigation involving complicated issues on Adoption Law, such as the efforts to convince foreign jurisdictions to recognize the bona fides of local adoptions for purposes of applying for a dependent’s visa for the subject child under the auspices of the Hague Convention, seeking exceptions to such requirements as residency of the adopters, relation, prior criminal record of both the adopter (foreigner or Filipino) and the natural parents (on the issue of whether or not consent would be necessary).
Considering our firm’s affiliate presence in foreign jurisdictions, and its involvement early on from its founding, our select adoption attorneys in the Philippines can ably assist in the process of determining the applicability of either international adoption under the Hague Intercountry adoption process or domestic adoption.
WHAT WE DO AS ADOPTION ATTORNEYS IN THE PHILIPPINES:
The first stop for most prospective adoptive parents is an adoption attorney or law firm. Adoption is often an emotional experience, either with a specific child in mind or simply the overwhelming instinct to take care of another human being made helpless by circumstances beyond its control.
1) PRE-ADOPTION COUNSELLING. While we may not have the necessary training in psychological counselling as adoption lawyers in the Philippines, we would recommend an initial Pre-Adoption counselling not only for the prospective adoptive parents, but more importantly for the known natural or biological parents who are about to give up their child. After all, the law itself frowns on “hurried decisions” and makes it a State policy to keep a child with his/her biological family.
2) THE FIRST CONSULTATION. During the first consutlation with an adoption lawyer in the Philippines , the first question posed usually refers to the type of adoption applicable, whether domestic or intercountry, and if the former whether it is with the consent of the biological parents or is it an adoption of an abandoned child. Once this is determined, our experienced adoption lawyers will give the prospective parents a list of the necessary documentation for the adoption process.
3) THE INTAKE QUESTIONNAIRE. Once the client has decided to proceed with an adoption, he/she will be asked to complete an intake questionnaire form which details the information that would be needed for the filing of the Petition.
4) THE PETITION FOR ADOPTION. The drafting of the Petition for Adoption will then be assigned to one of our adoption lawyers in the Philippines who will keep the line of communication open to ensure that the allegations or statements in the Petition are accurate and represent the motivation and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt the subject child.
5) HOMESTUDY. “Home Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the motivation and capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to provide a home that meets the needs of a child. While our adoption lawyers in the Philippines do not actively participate in the Homestudy, they explain the process to the clients and prepare them for the interview.
6) CHILD STUDY. “Child Study Report” refers to a study made by the court social worker of the child’s legal status, placement history, psychological, social, spiritual, medical, ethno-cultural background and that of his biological family needed in determining the most appropriate placement for him. Our adoption attorneys will point out that a child study report vis a vis a Homestudy report focuses on the child and how he/she will fit in his/her role with the prospective family setting.
7) SUPERVISED TRIAL CUSTODY refers to the period of time during which a social worker oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopters and adoptee in stabilizing their filial relationship. This is akin to a dry run where the social worker observes the child in the family environment and how the child interacts with the members of the family.
8) PREPARATION FOR THE PENDING JUDICIAL PROCESS. By the time the Homestudy, the Child Study, and the Supervised Trial Custody are undertaken, the Petition for Adoption would have been much underway. Our adoption lawyers in the Philippines would have established the jurisdiction of the court where the Petition is pending. The clients would be briefed before every hearing to explain the procedure and the relevance of each step of the judicial process.
9) TESTIFYING IN COURT. The most important witnesses in an adoption case in the Philippines are the prospective adoptive parents. They are encouraged by our adoption attorneys to be completely truthful during their testimony in court and answer the questions propounded by the judge and the representative of the Office of the Solicitor General truthfully.
10) THE DECREE OF ADOPTION. After the hearings in court, the long wait for the judgment starts, with all the anticipation and anxiety that it involves. If the judge finds favorably for the adoptive parents, it issues a decree of adoption which gives official judicial approval for an infant to be part of a family.