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Topic 4: Laws Affecting the Family, the Couple, and the Child

Family Code of the Philippines: E.O 209

On July 6, 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 209,
otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines.
The Family Code became effective on August 3, 1988 and repealed certain
provisions of the Civil Code.
The Family Code is the basic law on persons and family relations and governs,
among others, the following:

(1) Marriage
(2) Legal Separation
(3) Rights and Obligations Between Husband and Wife
(4) Property Relations Between Husband and Wife
(5) The Family
(6) Paternity and Filiation
(7) Adoption
(8) Support
(9) Parental Authority
(10)
Emancipation and Age Of Majority

Among the changes brought by the Family to the Civil Code are the following:
(1) psychological incapacity became a ground for the annulment of marriage;
(2) the default property relationship between spouses was changed from conjugal
partnership of gains to absolute community;
(3) a Filipino who is divorced from a non-Filipino spouse is allowed to remarry
under Philippine law.

Inter-country Adoption Act of 1995: R.A 8043

Inter-country adoption in the Philippines is governed by Republic Act (R.A.) No.


8043 or the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995.
The law aims to place every neglected and abandoned child with an adoptive
family.
Preference is given to Filipino adoptive parents as can be seen from the law's
restrictive stance towards adoption of Filipino children by alien prospective
adoptive parents (PAP).
The law allows inter-country adoption to alien (PAP) only if it shown that the
same is for the best interests of the child.
R.A. No. 8043 is in accord with the Hague Convention on the Protection of
Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, to which the
Philippines is a State Party.
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The Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICABM) created by R.A. No. 8043 is the
central authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption of Filipino children. It
is the same policy-making and regulatory body responsible for the approval of all
inter-country adoption applications and placements.

The Inter-Country Adoption Process


The adoption process begins with the application for adoption submitted to the ICAB.
The PAP may be an alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad. Before the
PAP may be allowed to adopt, he must:
(1) be at least twenty-seven (27) years old and should at least be sixteen (16) years
older than the child to be adopted at the time of application, unless the adopter is the
biological parent of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent;
(2) if married, his/her spouse must jointly file the application for adoption;
(3) have the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental
authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from
an accredited counselor in his/her country;
(4) have not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
(5) eligible to adopt under his/her national law;
(6) in a position to provide the proper care and support and to give moral guidance to
his children, the prospective adoptee included;
(7) agree to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under the Philippine laws,
the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and
regulations issued to implement the provisions of R.A. No. 8043;
(8) a national of a country with whom the Philippines maintains diplomatic relations and
whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency and that
his/her national laws allows inter-country adoption; and
(9) possess all the foregoing qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided in
other applicable Philippine laws.
With respect to the adoptee, R.A. No. 9523 otherwise known as "An Act Requiring the
Certification of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to Declare a Child
Legally Available for Adoption" mandates that only a child legally available for adoption
may be the subject of inter-country adoption. A child legally available for adoption refers
to a child in whose favor a certification was issued by the Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD) that he/she is legally available for adoption after the fact of
abandonment or neglect has been proven through the submission of pertinent
documents.
The ICAB is expected to act upon the application within one (1) month from its receipt.
Documents such as the Child Study and Home Study Reports, Birth or Foundling

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Certificate, Certification from the DSWD that the child is legally available for adoption
must be submitted together with the application. Applications are reviewed and
processed only when the required documents are completely submitted.
Matching the prospective adoptive child with an applicant shall thereafter be carried out
in a matching conference conducted by the ICAB. The process of matching entails the
review of adoption dossiers, submission of matching proposals, and deliberations.
Matching or child referral will depend largely on the stated child preference of the PAP.
This usually takes two (2) to three (3) years after the approval of the matching proposal.
Upon approval of a matching proposal, notice shall be given to the concerned Central
Authority or foreign adoption agency. After the applicant has accepted the matching
proposal, the ICAB shall issue a Placement Authority. The applicant is thereafter
assessed for pre-adoptive placement fees which may range anywhere between
US$2000 to US$3000 per placement. The amount varies from one child to another.
Factors such as visa fees and medical examinations contribute to the variance in fees.
Problem Areas
Trial custody of the child commences upon the physical transfer of the child to the
applicant who, as custodian, shall exercise substitute parental authority over the child.
Trial custody is supervised by the Central Authority and/or Foreign Adoption Agency
(FAA) concerned. Regular reports on the child's health, psycho-social adjustment, and
relationship with the applicants shall be furnished by the FAA to the ICAB. If the child
suffers abuse or injury from the PAP or other household members of the adoptive family,
the Central Authority or the FAA is mandated to step in and protect the child. It may do
so by withdrawing the child from and terminating the trial custody.
Recent Developments
A recent study conducted by the ICAB on the number of children cleared for intercountry adoption vis--vis the number of prospective adoptive families revealed a
glaring disproportion between the number of children against a long list of prospective
adoptive families, resulting in a protracted waiting period for child placement. This
prompted the ICAB to temporarily suspend the acceptance of additional adoption
applications from FAAs. The temporary suspension as enunciated in the ICAB
Resolution issued on December 9, 2010 however, only applies to FAAs which have sent
ten (10) or more applications per year for the last three (3) years (2008-2010). The
FAAs affected by this new policy shall be required to temporarily refrain from sending
additional applications until the waiting period for applicant families have decreased for
the next two (2) years.
Best interest of the child above all else
For many, the benefits of adoption outweigh the risks. Through adoption, many childless
couples have found a way to realize their dream of raising a family. Adoption has also

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Topic 4: Laws Affecting the Family, the Couple, and the Child

placed countless homeless Filipino children to the care of loving adoptive parents who
are emotionally and financially ready to support them. It is because of these inherent
benefits in adoption that the Philippines takes a liberal view on inter-country adoption
and promotes the same not only as an act that creates a relationship of paternity and
filiation, but also one aimed at giving every prospective adoptee a chance at a better
future.
Along with the liberality accorded to adoption, the principle of "best interest of the child"
pervades Philippine cases involving adoption and child custody. Philippine law
mandates that in choosing the parent to whom custody is given, the welfare of the child
should always be the paramount consideration. Aside from the material resources, as
well as the moral and social situations of the PAP, all relevant circumstances that impact
on the child's well-being and development are considered. It is in keeping with this
principle that all programs on inter-country adoption are geared towards the betterment
of the adopted child.
Republic Act No. 9262
is known as The Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004.
It recognizes "the need to protect the family and its members particularly women
and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and security",
The law applies married women, co-habiting partners, lovers, beaus and suitors. It
affords immediate protection to women and their children.
The law has both a civil and criminal aspect.
o Though a civil case can only thrive for as long as the victim pursues the case.
o A criminal case pits the people of the Republic of the Philippines versus the
accused. This is important, given that many victims are threatened,
manipulated and harmed for them to waive charges.
RA 9262 was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 2,
2004.
Republic Act (RA) 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and Children, defines abuse
against women as the following:
1. Physical violence refers to bodily harm.
2. Sexual violence refers to all sexual acts women do not consent to, including
rape and prostitution. These include forcing women to watch pornography, use
sexual appliances and engage in various sexual positions. It is not the nature of
the acts but the lack of consent that qualifies them as abuse.
3. Psychological violence includes intimidation, harassment, stalking, verbal abuse,
humiliation and blatant displays of infidelity with the aim of causing emotional
torture and mental imbalance. These include threatening phone calls, the
brandishing of weapons and other acts that purposefully terrorize a woman.
4. Economic abuse refers to the deprivation of financial resources, the destruction
of household property and the control of a womans finances.

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Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children. The crime of violence against
women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:
1. Causing physical harm to the woman or her child
2. Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm
3. Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm
4. Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm
5. Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct
which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist from conduct
which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict
or restricting the woman's or her child's freedom of movement or conduct by
force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other
harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or child. This shall include, but
not limited to, the following acts:
a. Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of
custody to her/his family
b. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of
financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing
the woman's children insufficient financial support
c. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal
right
d. Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession,
occupation, business or activity or controlling the victim's own money or
properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or
properties
6. Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of
controlling her actions or decisions
7. Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual
activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical
harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his
immediate family
8. Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through
another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to
the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following
acts:
a.
Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places
b.
Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman
or her child
c.
Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or
her child against her/his will
d.
Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to
animals or pets of the woman or her child
e.
Engaging in any form of harassment or violence
9. Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman
or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse,
and denial of financial support or custody of minor children of access to the
woman's child/children.

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Protection Orders
A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing
further acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in the law and grant
other necessary relief.
The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement
agencies.
The protection orders that may be issued under this Act are:
o Barangay Protection Order (BPO) refer to the protection order issued by the
Punong Barangay ordering the perpetrator to desist from committing acts
under Section 5 (a) and (b) of the Republic Act and shall be effective for fifteen
(15) days.
o Temporary Protection Order (TPO) refers to the protection order issued by the
court on the date of filing of the application after determination that such order
should be issued and shall be effective for thirty (30) days.
o Permanent Protection Order (PPO) refers to protection order issued by the
court after notice and hearing. A PPO shall be effective until revoked by a court
upon application of the person in whose favor the order was issued.
Legal Support of the Child and R.A 9262
Articles 195 and 196 of the Family Code enumerate the persons who are under
obligation to support each other, thus:
(1) The spouses;
(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate
children of the latter;
(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate
children of the latter;
(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood; and
(6) Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood,
except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age,
is due to a cause imputable to the claimants fault or negligence.
On the other hand, the amount of support should be in proportion to the
resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient, pursuant to
Articles 194, 201 and 202 of the Family Code:
Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance,
dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in
keeping with the financial capacity of the family.
The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the
preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some
profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority.
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Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and


from place of work.
Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and
196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the
necessities of the recipient.
Art. 202. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be
reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase
of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person
obliged to furnish the same.
Congress saw it fit to criminalize (only against fathers) the withholding of
support in certain instances.
R.A. 9262 provides for criminal sanctions or penalties for failure to provide
support or withholding custody, in certain cases.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
is an organization founded in 1978 in Washington, D.C. with a goal to organize
for collective power by advancing transformative work, thinking and leadership in
communities and individuals who seek to end violence in our lives.
The organization not only focuses on domestic violence in the home, but also
society-wide violence and factors which perpetuate violence against women and
children.
Philippine Commission on Women
the primary policy-making and coordinating body on women and gender equality
concerns. As the oversight body on womens concerns, the PCW acts as a
catalyst for gender mainstreaming, authority on womens concerns, and lead
advocate of womens empowerment, gender equity, and gender equality in the
country.
was formerly known as the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
(NCRFW) until August 14, 2009. This was the date that NCRFW was renamed as
PCW and its mandate was expanded by the enactment of Republic Act 9710,
otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).
NCRFW was established on January 7, 1975 through Presidential Decree No.
633, as an advisory body to the President and the Cabinet on policies and
programs for the advancement of women. It was mandated "to review, evaluate,
and recommend measures, including priorities to ensure the full integration of
women for economic, social and cultural development at national, regional and
international levels, and to ensure further equality between women and men."
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of
Intercountry Adoption (or Hague Adoption Convention)

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is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child


laundering, and child trafficking in an effort to protect those involved from the
corruption, abuses and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international
adoption.
The Convention has been considered crucial because it provides a formal
international and intergovernmental recognition of intercountry adoption to
ensure that adoptions under the Convention will generally be recognized and
given effect in other party countries.
History:
By the 1980s, it was recognised that intercountry adoption was creating serious
and complex human and legal problems and the absence of existing domestic
and international legal instruments indicated the need for a multilateral
approach.
It was in this context the the Convention was developed by the Hague
Conference on Private International Law, the preeminent organization in the
area of private international law, to establish safeguards which ensure that
intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with
respect for the childs fundamental rights.
It was concluded on 29 May 1993 and entered into force on 1 May 1995.
As of March 2013, the Convention has been ratified by 90 countries. Korea,
Haiti, Nepal and the Russian Federation are signatories, but have not ratified it.
Many countries which have not ratified the Convention do not permit foreign
adoptions of their children nor adoptions of foreign children.
The objects of the present Convention are:
a) to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the
best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as
recognised in international law
b) to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that
those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of,
or traffic in children
c) to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance
with the Convention.
Requirements for Intercountry Adoption:
1. Competent authorities of state of origin must:
a. have established that the child is adoptable
b. have determined, after possibilities for placement of the child within the
State of origin have been given due consideration, that an intercountry
adoption is in the child's best interests;
c. have ensured that the persons, institutions and authorities whose consent
is necessary for adoption, have been counselled as may be necessary
and duly informed of the effects of their consent, in particular whether or
not an adoption will result in the termination of the legal relationship
between the child and his or her family of origin; the consents have not
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been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and have not been
withdrawn, and the consent of the mother, where required, has been given
only after the birth of the child.
2. Competent authorities of the receiving state have:
a. determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to
adopt;
b. ensured that the prospective adoptive parents have been counselled as
may be necessary; and
c. determined that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside
permanently in that State.
Republic Act 8552
known as the Domestic Adoption of 1998.
approved on the 25th of February 1998
it recognizes the need to ensure that every child remains under the care and
custody of his/her parent(s) and be provided with love, care, understanding and
security towards the full and harmonious development of his/her personality.
Only when such efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or
adoption within the child's extended family is available shall adoption by an
unrelated person be considered.
all matters relating to the care, custody and adoption of a child, his/her interest
shall be the paramount consideration in accordance with the tenets set forth in
the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Declaration
on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children
with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption, Nationally and
Internationally; and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and
Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
Department of Social Welfare and Development or to any duly licensed and
accredited child-placing or child-caring agency shall be authorized to take steps
for the permanent placement of the child.
Objectives:
1. Safeguard the biological parent(s) from making hurried decisions to relinquish
his/her parental authority over his/her child
2. Prevent the child from unnecessary separation from his/her biological
parent(s)
3. Protect adoptive parent(s) from attempts to disturb his/her parental authority
and custody over his/her adopted child.
4. Conduct public information and educational campaigns to promote a positive
environment for adoption;
5. Ensure that sufficient capacity exists within government and private sector
agencies to handle adoption inquiries, process domestic adoption applications,
and offer adoption-related services including, but not limited to, parent
preparation and post-adoption education and counseling; and

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6. Encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the child's identity and culture


in his/her native land, and only when this is not available shall intercountry
adoption be considered as a last resort.
Eligibility:
WHO MAY ADOPT:
1. Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and
legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any
crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically
capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the
adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her
children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of
sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and
adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of
the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee's parent;
2. Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for
Filipino nationals: Provided, that his/her country has diplomatic
relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been
living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to
the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence
until the adoption decree is entered. The requirements on residency
and certification of the alien's qualification to adopt in his/her country
may be waived for the following:
a. a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the
fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity
b. one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her
Filipino spouse or
c. one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly
with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse
d. The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the
guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.
3. Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
a. if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the
other;
b. if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate
son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse has
signified his/her consent thereto; or
c. if the spouses are legally separated from each other.
In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the
illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be
exercised by the spouses.

Who May Be Adopted:


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1. Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been
administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;
2. The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;
3. An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her
status to that of legitimacy;
4. A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been
consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own
child since minority;
5. A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or
6. A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That
no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of
death of said parent(s).
Effects of Adoption:
a. Parental Authority. Except in cases where the biological parent is the
spouse of the adopter, all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the
adoptee shall be severed and the same shall then be vested on the
adopter(s).
b. Legitimacy. The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of
the adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the
rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to
them without discrimination of any kind.
c. Succession. In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the
adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from
legitimate filiation. However, if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s)
had left a will, the law on testamentary succession shall govern.
Republic Act 9231
known as The Anti Child Labor Law
was signed into law on 19 December 2003 by President Gloria MacapagalArroyo
The passage of this new measure makes the Philippines the first country to
present model legislation reflective of the widely ratified International Labor
Organization Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.
About 143 governments or 80 percent of the international community have
already ratified ILO Convention 182 in a span of three years.
The law seeks to eliminate the worst forms of child labor such as those
involving slavery: such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage,
serfdom, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
prostitution and pornography; use pf children for illegal activities, including
drug trafficking; and any work that is hazardous and harmful to the health,
safety and morals of children.
Among the salient features of the law is the stipulation that children below 15
years of age, if working in non-hazardous conditions, may work for not more
that 20 hours a week, at most 4 hours a day.
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The law limits children 15 17 years old to work not more than 8 hours a day
or 40 hours a week. Night work from 8pm to 6am is prohibited.
The law also states that children should receive and own their wages. The
childs earnings shall be set aside primarily for his/her support, education or
skill acquisition and not more than 20 percent of he childs income may be
allotted for the collective needs of the family.
Employers on the other hand are instructed to provide the working child
access to al least primary and secondary education. In line with this
provision, the Department of Education shall design and make available to
working children alternative and non-formal education courses.
The government shall also provide and make accessible to working children
free and immediate legal, medical and psychological services.
Victims of child labor shall be exempted from paying filing fees for recovering
civil damages.
The new law (amendment of R.A 7610) also provides for stiffer penalties
against acts of child labor, particularly in its worst forms. It increased the
penalties against abusers to a maximum of PhP 5 million and 20 years of
imprisonment. The Department of Labor and Employments is given the
authority to close down business establishments found violating anti child
labor provisions of the new law.

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