Adoption is defined as a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.

Adoption is for children who cannot be reared by their biological parents and who need and can benefit from new and permanent family ties. Adoption provides the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their biological parents. It comprises of social work and other professional services that are required in the placement of children in adoptive families.

Children whose parents are either absent or unable to function as parents require the protection of the State. Protection of the child requires sufficient study to make certain that the placement is suitable and present no hazard to the child’s growth and development. The State through the Department of Social Welfare and Development has a concern in every adoption including those by stepparents and relatives.

There are three types of adoption in the Philippines:

  1. Agency adoptions are those in which a licensed adoption agency finds and develops adoptive families for children who are voluntarily or involuntarily committed. The adoptive families go through the process from application to finalization of the child’s adoption under the auspices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or a licensed child-placing agency like the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation. Through this type of adoption, the legal rights of the child, the parents who gave birth to the child and the parents who will adopt the child, are all equally protected.
  2. Family or relative adoptions are those where the biological parents make a direct placement of the child to a relative or a member of their extended family with whom they relinquish their child.
  3. Private or independent adoptions could either be a direct placement to a family known by the child’s biological parents or through the use of an intermediary or a go-between. In an intermediary placement, an individual knows of parents who want to have their child adopted and arranges such placement to a family or someone who wants to adopt. These intermediaries are generally well-meaning and have good intentions. However, one must be wary of “black market” placements which involve an intermediary who brings together a person who has a child and individuals who want to adopt, for the sole purpose of making a profit. This practice does not consider the best interests of the child nor the legal rights of biological parents and adoptive parents.

The following are components of adoption:

  • Recruitment of potential adoptive families who may provide a home to a child;
  • Development of adoptive applicants as parents to a particular child in need of a home;
  • Selection of a family who can best contribute to the total development of a particular child;
  • Preparation of the child and family prior to placement to insure acceptance and readiness for the new relationship;
  • Supervision of trial custody for at least six months to facilitate the child’s adjustment in the family prior to the completion of adoption;
  • Preparation for removal of the child from the adoptive home if the placement disrupts while alternative plans are being worked out;
  • Finalization of adoption and termination of service with issuance of the final decree of adoption and amended birth certificate;
  • Organization of groups of adoptive parents as part of support system; and
  • Post-legal adoption counselling when adoptive family and adoptee need further counselling related to information about adoptee’s background and search for his/her biological parents.


  • Sever all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter;
  • Deem the adoptee as a legitimate child of the adopter;
  • Give adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations arising from the relationship of parent and child, including but not limited to;
  • The right of the adopter to choose the name the child is to be known; and
  • The right of the adopter and adoptee to be legal and compulsory heirs of each other.