Republic Act 11642, or the “Domestic Administrative Adoption and Child Care Act,” aims to expedite domestic administrative adoption procedures and reduce the cost of streamlined services for alternative child care.
The law re-organized the Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB) as the National Authority for Child Care (NACC). The NACC, a one-stop quasi-judicial agency affiliated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), now has jurisdiction over administrative domestic adoptions, foster care, certification of a legally adoptable child, and the Simulated Rectification Act. It executes all powers and functions associated with alternative child care, such as designating a child legally available for domestic administrative and international adoption, foster care, kinship care, or residential care.
Judicial applications for domestic adoption pending in court upon the effective date of the law may be withdrawn and filed with the NACC. The DSWD and the NACC have issued Memorandum Circular No. 3, s. 2002 to ensure the continuity of child placement and adoption processing services pending the release of RA 11642’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR). In the interim, there will be a three-year transition period for the law’s implementation. During this time, the DSWD will continue to oversee foster care, the issue of Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA), and adoption processes under RA 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act of 2019.
In the meantime, the DSWD, in coordination with the NACC, will continue to handle: 1) adoption cases withdrawn from the court; 2) new petitions for administrative adoption; 3) child case management by DSWD residential care facilities/child caring agencies and local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; and 6) procedure for foreign adoptions.
During the transition period, prospective adoptive parents can cooperate directly with their local or their local DSWD Field Office.
The Supreme Court has issued guidelines on the effects of the law on the Rule on Adoption.
- Upon the implementation of RA 11642, courts may no longer receive or approve adoption petitions. The NACC will now have jurisdiction over domestic adoption matters.
- Adoption proceedings are now administrative.
- Regardless of the stage of the proceedings, petitioners have the option to immediately withdraw their domestic adoption petitions pending in court. Otherwise, the courts shall continue to consider and decide such petitions.
- The courts shall allow petitioners time to manifest their intention to withdraw. Petitioners are deemed to have waived their right to withdraw their petitions if they fail to notify the court within the specified period.
- Petitioners and their respective counsels who avail themselves of the benefits of RA 11642 without first withdrawing their pending petitions from the courts shall be sanctioned in accordance with the Rules of Court.
- Except for pending petitions for domestic adoptions that have not been withdrawn by petitioners, the domestic adoption provisions of the Rule on Adoption are now ineffective.
- Rescission of adoption under Section 47 of RA 11642 applies to judicial adoptions.
- Inter-country adoption petitions pending before the courts pursuant to Part B of the Rule on Adoption shall be dismissed.
- All courts must provide the Office of the Court Administrator with a list and status report of all pending and archived adoption cases.
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