Philippines search policy

Subject        :  Policy on Post adoption

Date            :  October 15, 2009

In view of the increasing number of requests from young adoptees and from adoptive parents who would like to search and meet the birth family of their adoptive child, the Philippines Inter Country Adoption Board (ICAB) has recently issued a policy on the matter.

Since emotional maturity of the adoptee should be a major consideration in the search and reunion process, the appropriate age for an adoptee to initiate the search and reunion shall be the age of majority applicable under the laws of the Receiving Countries. Thus, only an adult adoptee either 18 or 21 years old will be permitted to pursue their intention to search and meet with their birth family.  The requests for search and reunion from adoptive parents will only be considered if there is a written consent from the adult adoptees.

 

Does ICAB undertake search and reunion? (advice from ICAB website)

 
    The letter received from the CA/FAA/GAA may include a request for the tracing of birthparent/family and reunion. In such cases, the ICAB retrieves family/legal and/or medical documents and schedules meeting and visitations to orphanages/institutions. In the meantime, it is obligatory that the searchee (be he/she a minor or not) and the adoptive family of the minor undergo counseling first and this should be ascertained by the FAA who processed the adoption with a confirmation letter attesting to such counseling sent to the Board.
 
    The ICAB Lead Person/Social Worker on Post Legal Adoption Services coordinates with the Records Section of the ICAB as well as with the parent agency – the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the retrieval and review of the child’s/ren’s closed/archived files/records not only to cull out significant information on the birthparent/family but to make these files accessible to the searchee.
 
    Once the birthparents and family have been located, counseling is extended to determine the level of resolution by the birthparents of their guilt/anxiety/apprehension over giving uptheir child for adoption, current circumstances, understanding of the post adoption reunion, clarifications of expectations and preparation of the birthparent/s for the possible reunion.  (The setting up of a reunion depends on the willingness and preparedness of both the birthparent/s and his/her family and the searchee/s and his/her adoptive parents, if the adoptee is a minor).
 
    A reunion between the returning adopted child/ren and the traced birthparent/s is held under the supervision of a BoardMember, the Executive Director and the ICAB Lead Person.