Enacted on 6 January 2022, Republic Act 11642 also known as “Domestic Administrative Adoption and Child Care Act” is expected to facilitate some adoption processes.
RA 11642 which reorganized Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) into National Authority for Child Care (NACC) aims to simplify the domestic administrative adoption proceedings and lessen the cost of streamline services for alternative child care.
The NACC is the one-stop quasi-judicial agency responsible for administrative domestic adoptions, foster care, certification of a child legally available for adoption, and the Stimulated Rectification Act. It exercises all powers and functions relating to alternative child care, including declaring a child legally available for domestic administrative and inter-country adoption, foster care, kinship care, family-like care, or residential care.
Regarding the existing processes of alternative child care, for inter-country adoption cases, no changes will be made in the process of inter-country adoption and issuance of the certification of a child legally available for adoption.
However, for domestic adoption cases and as provided in section 56 of RA 11642, judicial petitions for domestic adoption pending in court upon effectivity of the law may be withdrawn and filed before the NACC.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the NACC has issued Memorandum Circular No.3, S. 2002 to guarantee the continuous processing of child placement and adoption processing services while the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11642 is yet to be released. Meanwhile, there will be a three-year transition process for the implementation of the law. During the period, functions related to foster care, issuance of Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA), and adoption processes under RA 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act of 2019 will remain under the DSWD.
Meanwhile, the DSWD in coordination with the NACC will continue to handle 1) adoption cases withdrawn from the court; 2) new petitions for administrative adoption; 3) child case management by DSWD residential care facilities/ child caring agencies and local social welfare and development offices; 4) new applications for adoptive parents in the Regional Alternative Child Care Office (RACCO); 5) matching and issuance of Inter-country Adoption clearance; 6) procedure for foster care and simulated birth rectification; 7) Inter-country Adoption; 8) procedure for disrupted pre-adoptive placement; 9) registration of the order of adoption; 10) petition for recision of adoption; and 11) travel clearance for cases under the NACC jurisdiction. s
On the other hand, a transition team composed of the DSWD and the ICAB shall act as NACC to handle for domestic administrative adoption cases and inter-country adoption processes.
During the transition period, prospective adoptive parents may directly coordinate with the RACOO located at #40 North Drive, Baguio City or in the nearest DSWD Field Office in their locality.
The DSWD through its Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) has been intensifying the information dissemination of the new law through an information drive “Give a Child a Home”. The booths were set up around Cathedral Square Session Road last June 5 and 19, 2022 AND another at SM City Baguio last June 14 and 15, 2022.
A forum on Administrative Adoption and Foster Care was also conducted by the Adoption Resource and Referral Section for employees from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).
The Department has been spearheading the Adoption Consciousness Celebration since 1999 aiming to mainstream and advocate concerns regarding alternative parental care. This was originally celebrated in February but this year was moved to June.
“We hope that through the developments in the law, we will be able to further advocate the adoption and foster care. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the guidelines in order to uphold the best interest of children at all times” DSWD FO CAR Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II shared. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Louis Mario D. Castro (SMU Intern) with Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva- Trinidad