A. The Inter-country Adoption Board Members
Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 created the Board which is composed of the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the ex-officio Chairperson and six (6) other members to be appointed by the President for a non-renewable term of six (6) years:
a. One (1) psychiatrist or psychologist,
b. Two (2) lawyers who have at least the qualifications of a regional trial court judge,
c. One (1) registered social worker, and
d. Two (2) representatives from non-governmental organizations engaged in child-
caring and placement activities,
A collegial body, the Board exercises the general administrative, executive and collegial decision making functions of the whole agency. The powers and functions of the Board include: policy formulation, program development, regulatory authority and advocacy and networking. Directly under the Board’s supervision are the Inter-Country Placement Committee (ICPC) and the Secretariat.
The Board shall have the following powers and functions:
- To prescribe rules and regulations as it may deem reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act, after consultations and upon favorable recommendation of the different agencies concerned with child-caring, placement and adoption;
- To set the guidelines for the convening of and Inter-country Adoption Placement Committee which shall be under the direct supervision of the Board.
- To set the guidelines for the manner by which selection/matching of prospective adoptive parents and adoptive child can be made.
- To determine a reasonable schedule of fees and to be exacted in connection with the application for and process of adoption.
- To determine the form and contents of the application for inter-country adoption.
- To formulate and develop policies, programs and services that will protect the Filipino child from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and adoption practice that is harmful, detrimental and prejudicial tot eh best interests of the child.
- To institute systems and procedures to prevent improper financial gain in connection with adoption and deter improper practices which are contrary to the Act.
- To promote the development of adoption services, including post-legal adoption services.
- To accredit and authorize foreign private adoption agencies which have demonstrated professionalism, competence and have consistently pursued non-profit objectives to engage in the placement of Filipino children in their own country; provided, that such foreign adoption agencies are duly authorized and accredited by their own government to conduct inter-country adoption; provided however, that the total number of authorized and accredited foreign private adoption agencies shall not exceed one hundred a year.
- To take appropriate measures to ensure the confidentiality of the records of the child, the natural parents and the adoptive parents at all times.
- To prepare, review, modify and thereafter, recommend to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Memoranda of Agreement on inter-country adoption consistent with the implementation of this Act and its stated goals, entered into, between and among foreign governments, international organizations and recognized international non-governmental organizations;
- To assist other concerned agencies and the courts in the implementation of this Act, particularly in the coordination with foreign persons, agencies and other entities involved in the process of adoption and the physical transfer of the child; and
- To perform such other functions on matters relating to inter-country adoption as may be determined by the President.
B. The Inter-country Placement Committee (ICPC) Consultants
The Inter-country Placement Committee or the ICPC is composed of consultants from the following representations: a child psychiatrist or psychologist, a medical doctor, a lawyer, a registered social worker and a representative of a non-governmental organization engaged in child welfare.
This multi-disciplinary group is involved in the following:
- Review and evaluate adoption applications and recommend appropriate action to the Board.
- Review profiles of Prospective Adoptive Parents and Prospective Adoptive Children for matching conference.
- Attend and participate in the deliberation during the Matching Conference and make recommendation to the Board of Matching Placements.
- Act as consultants to the Secretariat in their area/field of expertise.
- Assist the Board in its accreditation function
- Act as resource persons during the conduct of ICAB Training activities.
- Perform such other functions and duties as may be determined by the Board.
C. The Inter-country Adoption Board Secretariat
The Secretariat is the implementing arm of the Board. This is headed by an Executive Director.
The existing Secretariat has two (2) divisions : Operations and Support Services Division with a total of 41 personnel:
- Twenty-three (23) permanent staff
- Three (3) Contract of Service Workers
- Nine (9) Outsourced Manpower Services
- Six (6) Temporary Staff