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A bill to make the adoption process easier for Filipino youngsters has been signed into law.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a measure that makes the process of adopting a child easier for Filipinos.

Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11642, also known as the Domestic Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care Act, on Jan. 6, 2022, and it was made public on Thursday.

Duterte recognizes “the State’s policy to ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of parents and is provided with love, care, understanding, and security in order for the full and harmonious development of the child’s personality” by signing RA 11642.

“In the enactment of alternative care, custody, and adoption policies, the best interest of the child shall be the paramount concern,” the new law stated.

The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) will be reformed into the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), a one-stop quasi-judicial organization for alternative child care that will be affiliated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“All ICAB, DSWD, and other government agencies’ duties, functions, and obligations connected to alternative child care and adoption are hereby transferred to the NACC,” the bill stated.

In collaboration with the ICAB and the DSWD, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will develop a cohesive organizational structure with appropriate plantilla roles responsive to the NACC’s responsibilities and divisions.

The law states that the NACC is responsible for making petitions and all other matters involving alternative child care “simple, expeditious, and inexpensive,” including the issuance of a Certificate Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA) and the process of domestic and international adoption, foster care, kinship care, family-like care, or residential care.

The law also requires each region of the country to establish a Regional Alternative Child Care Office (RACCO), which will be responsible for ensuring a well-functioning system of receiving local petitions for CDCLAA and adoption, as well as other requests for alternative placement and child well-being.

It also establishes timeframes for the NACC, RACCOs, and other government entities to make decisions on adoption petitions and facilitate documentation.

The judgment of the NACC may be appealed to the Court of Appeals within 10 days of the interested party receiving the Order.

A home study report or a written report made by an adoption social worker regarding the motivation and capacity of potential adoptive or foster parents to establish a home that meets the requirements of a child is required by law to protect the welfare of the child to be adopted.

RA 11642 makes it illegal to expose an adopted kid to “risk, abuse, or exploitation,” as well as to engage in “simulation of birth,” or the false registration of a child’s birth in the name of someone who is not the child’s biological parent.

This Act combines Senate Bill No. 1933 and House Bill No. 8998, which were passed by the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives on September 28, 2021, and September 29, 2021, respectively.

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