Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos are legally qualified to adopt children, Rep. Michael “Mike” Defensor (Anakalusugan) said on Sunday.
“We must stress that under the law, the right to adopt a child is granted to individuals, and not to couples,” Defensor, vice chairperson of the House committee on welfare of children, said.
“Our adoption law does not discriminate against LGBT individuals who may wish to adopt children who are legally available for adoption,” Defensor, who is running for Quezon City mayor, said.
Defensor made the statement to correct the widespread public misperception that only a husband and wife may adopt a child. “We want to encourage the adoption of abandoned and neglected children so that they may enjoy the living conditions conducive to their full development,” Defensor said.
“We would also prefer domestic over foreign adoption to preserve the child’s identity and culture here at home,” Defensor said.
Under the law, Defensor said any Filipino citizen at least 25 years old may adopt a child who is legally available for adoption.
Defensor said the only requirements are that the citizen has full civil capacity and legal rights; has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; is of good moral character and can model the same; is emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for the child; is at least 16 years older than the adoptee; and has the means to support and care for the child.
Under the law, a child may become legally available for adoption after the fact of abandonment or neglect has been proven, or after a child is voluntarily committed by the parents or legal guardian.
The child is eventually issued an administrative certificate of availability for adoption, and put under the care of a foster parent, guardian or a licensed child-caring agency pending adoption.