Agencies that intend to provide services for adoption of Filipino children must be authorized by the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB), the Central Authority on the intercountry adoption placement of Filipino children. ICAB evaluates the agency and issues an authorization certificate allowing the agency to participate in the adoption program of the Philippines.
Foreign adoption agencies from both Contracting States and Non-Contracting States can participate in the Philippine Intercountry Adoption program.
An authorization is granted by the Board: (a) foreign adoption agencies of Receiving Countries; (b) the Central Authorities; and (c) foreign adoption agencies of Non-Hague States after execution of a bilateral agreement.
The application for authorization requires submission of the following documentary requirements:
A license and/or accreditation from the Receiving State to operate as an international adoption agency;
Names, qualifications and salaries of the members of its Board of Directors, senior officers and other staff involved in intercountry adoption;
Detailed description of its programs and services, research studies and publications;
Audited financial report including sources of funds, adoption fees and charges;
Undertaking under oath that it shall
- assume responsibility for the selection of qualified applicants;
- comply with the Philippine laws on intercountry adoption;
- inform the Board of any change in the foregoing information; and
- comply with post adoption requirements as specified by the Board.
6. Such other requirements which the Board may deem necessary in the best interests of the child.
The abovementioned documents written and in the proper case officially translated to English, and whenever practicable, authenticated by the Philippine Consular authorities, shall be submitted to the Board.
A designated Board Member/s or duly-authorized representative/s of the Board may conduct an authorization visit to the foreign adoption agencies. The Board shall determine if the authorization can be done through desk review of submitted documents or through ocular visit.
CRITERIA FOR THE AUTHORIZATION AND ACCREDITATION OF FOREIGN ADOPTION AGENCIES
Any foreign adoption agency applying for authorization and accreditation to participate in the Philippine intercountry adoption program must meet the following:
The agency is duly licensed intercountry child placing agency in their State and/or country. A copy of the agency’s license should be presented and an endorsement by the State Department of Social Services or its equivalent in cases of private of agencies.
The agency must have been in active operation for the last five (5) years as a child placing agency preceeding the filing of application and properly registered with the appropriate agency.
The agency’s vision, mission and goals are for the welfare of the child (not for the adopting parents) as stated in the incorporator’s papers and reflected in their programs and services.
Programs and services are comprehensive and include post legal adoption services as well as support social services available to adoptive families and their children. Adoption should not be the only program of the agency.
The agency must be capable of providing financial support and appropriate services to a child whose placement is disrupted and working out alternate placement for the child.
The Executive Director is a Master’s Degree holder in social worker or related discipline and with at least three (3) years experience in management of a child welfare agency.
- For those providing direct services, the professional staff involved in adoption must have degrees in social work and related behavioral disciplines and duly supervised by a supervisor with a Master’s Degree in social work or related discipline, with at least one (1) year experience in adoption/child welfare work.
- For foreign Adoption Agencies involved in coordinating adoption services, there shall be a full time Executive Director and one (1) full time technical person, with a Master’s Degree in Social Work or related discipline and one (1) year experience in adoption work.
- The agency must be financially stable and sources of funds should not only be from adoption fees and donations from adoptive parents.
- The agency must promote knowledge and the appreciation of Filipino culture to enrich the cultural heritage of the adoptive child/ren.
RENEWAL OF AUTHORIZATION
A foreign adoption agency (FAA) shall notify the Board of its interest to renew its authorization at least sixty (60) days before the expiration of its authorization. The Board shall act on its application for renewal within thirty (30) working days upon receipt. When there are violations or complaints in which case, appropriate action shall be undertaken by the Board.
The foreign adoption agency (FAA) upon application for accreditation, authorization or its renewal, shall pay a fee of US$3,000.00
VALIDITY PERIOD OF AUTHORIZATION
The period of validity for authorization of Foreign Adoption Agencies (FAAs) in Contracting/Hague States is three (3) years and two (2) years for Non-Hague States.