DSWD Certification that child is “legally available for adoption” is now a prerequisite for adoption

Posted by Admin | Posted in Civil Law, Family Law | Posted on 03-02-2010

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Republic Act No. 9523

AN ACT REQUIRING CERTIFICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT (DSWD) TO DECLARE A “CHILD LEGALLY AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION” AS A PREREQUISITE FOR ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8552, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE DOMESTIC ADOPTION ACT OF 1998, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8043, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION ACT OF 1995, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE CODE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 1. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared the policy of the State that alternative protection and assistance shall be afforded to every child who is abandoned, surrendered, or neglected. In this regard, the State shall extend such assistance in the most expeditious manner in the interest of full emotional and social development of the abandoned, surrendered, or neglected child.

It is hereby recognized that administrative processes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the declaration of a child legally available for adoption of abandoned, surrendered, or neglected children are the most expeditious proceedings for the best interest and welfare of the child.

Section. 2. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

(1) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the agency charged to implement the provisions of this Act and shall have the sole authority to issue the certification declaring a child legally available for adoption.

(2) Child refers to a person below eighteen (18) years of age or a person over eighteen (18) years of age but is unable to fully take care of him/herself or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of physical or mental disability or condition.

(3) Abandoned Child refers to a child who has no proper parental care or guardianship, or whose parent(s) have deserted him/her for a period of at least three (3) continuous months, which includes a founding.

(4) Neglected Child refers to a child whose basic needs have been deliberately unattended or inadequately attended within a period of three (3) continuous months. Neglect may occur in two (2) ways:

(a) There is physical neglect when the child is malnourished, ill-clad, and without proper shelter. A child is unattended when left by himself/herself without proper provisions and/or without proper supervision.

(b) There is emotional neglect when the child is maltreated, raped, seduced, exploited, overworked, or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health; or is made to beg in the streets or public places; or when children are in moral danger, or exposed to gambling, prostitution, and other vices.

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Rights of Illegitimate Children

Posted by Admin | Posted in Family Law, Succession | Posted on 18-01-2010

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Illegitimate children are those who are born to parents who are not married. If the parents were underage (below 18), the child may still be legitimated if the parents marry upon reaching majority age. But if the parents cannot marry each other because either or both are already married to other persons, or simply because they do not want to marry each other, the solution is legal adoption. That way the child can enjoy the same status as that of a legitimate child. But if for one reason or another, the child remains illegitimate; here is an enumeration of rights that were intended for their benefit.

1. Right to prove their illegitimate filiation

An illegitimate child can prove his blood relationship with his parents in the same way as a legitimate child.

When and how?

The child may file an action to claim illegitimate filiation during his or her lifetime. In this case, it may be proved by:

1) a birth record appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or

2) admission of filiation in a public document; or

3) admission of filiation in a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned

The child may also prove filiation through the following:

1)      open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child; or

2)      any other means allowed by the Rules of Court

But in these last two instances, the action to claim filiation may only be filed during the lifetime of the alleged parent. If the parent had died, the child can only claim by presenting any of the first three pieces of evidence.

If the child died when he was still a minor or when he was insane, the right to file the court action is transmitted to his heirs. Heirs would refer to his other relatives. They have a period of five years within which to file the action.

If the action was already filed, it may be continued even if the child or the alleged parent dies while the action was pending. Read the rest of this entry »