Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
DE RUEHML #1358 1800932
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290932Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4499
UNCLAS MANILA 001358
CA/OCS/CI FOR KELLY R. ALBRECHT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS CASC KOCI CMGT RP
SUBJECT: HAGUE CONVENTION ADOPTIONS IN THE PHILLIPPINES, 2008-2009
REF: 08 STATE 023128
¶1. SUMMARY: Embassy Manila has seen smooth processing of
adoption cases in the first year under the Hague Adoption
Convention Requirements (Hague Convention). Communication
between Post and the GOP on this matter has been excellent.
Helping the transition go smoothly was the fact that the
Philippines has been a signatory to the Hague Convention
since 1993. END SUMMARY.
¶2. Conoffs and Locally Employed Staff handling adoptions
met with several Philippine Government agencies, including
the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Intercountry
Adoption Board (ICAB) to disseminate information and
explain new procedures before U.S. implemention of
Hague Convention procedures on April 1, 2008 (Reftel).
Staff also met with other foreign Embassies in the
Philippines to share notes.
¶3. Prior to implementing Hague Convention requirements,
Post held a conference with ICAB to discuss concerns such
as the IH3 process, vaccination waivers, local adoption
cases, and new required documentation. Post and ICAB also
conferred about the Summer/Winter Program, where prospective
adoptees travel to the U.S. to meet with potential adopting
families, and the Medical Mission Program, where prospective
adoptees with significant medical issues can travel to
the U.S. for medical treatment. ICAB, the country’s central
authority on adoptions, easily adapted to PostQs new Hague
Convention procedures and requirements since the Philippines
has been a signatory to the Hague Convention since 1993.
To streamline the process, Post agreed to allow ICAB to
submit the Article 23 certificate during an adopteeQs
initial interview so that Conoff can adjudicate the case
and simultaneously issue the visa and Hague Certificate.
¶4. As an example of ICABQs excellent cooperation with Post,
in June 2009 ICAB agreed to PostQs request to issue
Transfer of Custody and Placement Authority documents for
nine children who had traveled to the U.S. under the
Medical Mission Program. This will allow these children,
who suffer from a variety of serious medical ailments, to
remain with their adopting families in the U.S. for
treatment while still satisfying IH4 requirements. After
the issuance of Hague Certificates, these children may
apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. without
returning to the Philippines.
¶5. As the below statistics indicate, the overall number
of adoption cases has been sharply increasing as people
have been attempting to finish processing under the
previous rules. The number of IH4 adoptions has not
been as high as expected.
IH4 IR3 IR4 Total
APR 06-MAR 07: 73 178 251
APR 07-MAR 08: 85 222 307
APR 08-MAR 09: 37 129 229 395