New child-care law frees DSWD of adoption cases

New child-care law frees DSWD of adoption cases
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REPUBLIC Act (RA) 11642, the new law on adoption, transfers all adoption cases to the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) as these will no longer be handled by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Shayne A. Sampiano, head of the Domestic Adoption Unit at Regional Alternative Child Care Office-Davao Region (Racco-Davao), clarified during the Kapihan sa PIA at NCCC Victoria Plaza, Davao City, on Friday, June 14, 2024, that RA 11642 also known as the “Domestic Administrative Adoption and Child Care Act” makes the process of adoption administrative rather than judicial.

“Previously ang atoang law on adoption is the Republic Act 8552 so under the previous law sa adoption judicial ang atoang process sa adoption so meaning to say muagi siya og korte, naa tay hearing before mahatagan ang usa ka bata og degree or order of adoption (Previously, under our law on adoption, RA 8552, the adoption process was judicial. This means that the adoption had to go through the court, and there were hearings before a child could be granted a decree or order of adoption)," Sampiano said.

"However sa new law on adoption nato ang RA11642, administrative na siya so meaning to say ang atoang proseso direkta na sa atoang regional offices — Regional Alternative Child Care Office, i-file nila didto ang petition (However, under our new law on adoption, RA 11642, the process is now administrative. This means that the procedure is handled directly by our regional offices, specifically the Regional Alternative Child Care Office, where the petition will be filed,)” Sampiano continued.

Under the new adoption law, the NACC has become the one-stop quasi-judicial agency overseeing all administrative domestic adoptions, foster care, the certification of a child as legally available for adoption, and the Stimulated Rectification Act. 

NACC now also holds all powers and functions related to alternative child care, which includes declaring a child legally available for both domestic administrative and inter-country adoption, as well as for foster care, kinship care, family-like care, or residential care. These responsibilities are no longer managed by the DSWD.

Sampiano revealed during the press conference that as of present, there are 64 licensed foster families in the Davao Region; these foster families have 82 children under their care as of June 2024.

She also stressed the mandatory appearance of those who intend to adopt under the NACC as quasi-judicial in front of a Racc officer, where before they needed to appear before a judge.

“Ang atoang Racco man gud no, under the NACC is a quasi-judicial naman gud iyang proseso so sama gihapon siya sa court no, so mag-appear sila sa atoang Regional Alternative Child Care Officer so naay mandatory appearance, mura gihapon sila’g mo-atobang sa atoang judge but karon Racc Officer na atoang tawag,” she further explained.

(Our Regional Alternative Child Care Office under the NACC serves as a quasi-judicial. It is similar to court proceedings, so petitioners will still appear before our Regional Alternative Child Care Officer. There is a mandatory appearance, much like facing a judge, but now we refer to them as the Racc Officer).

The regional office will then endorse the documents to NACC to determine if they are motivated and suitable to become an adoptive family. The NACC will then issue the adoption order. Karl Bryan Porras

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