ADOPTION IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Law 136-03 or Code for the System of Protection of the Fundamental Rights of Children and Adolescents, defines adoption as a legal institution of public order and social interest that allows creating, through a sentence rendered to that effect, a voluntary filiation link between people who do not have it by nature.
Adoption in the Dominican Republic is considered an exceptional act, based at all times, the well-being of the child, the girl or the adolescent, by integrating them to the family with the necessary conditions to fulfill this objective. For this reason, it is a complex process that must be carried out under the state´s surveillance.
For this reason, the Dominican state through the Code for the System of Protection and Fundamental Rights of children, created the necessary mechanisms to ensure the transparency of this rigorous process, which is composed of two phases: an administrative, which must be channeled through the Adoptions Department of the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence (CONANI), and the other jurisdictional, in charged of the children and adolecents´ courts.
Children who are orphans of father and mother can be adopted; also, children and adolescents of unknown parents who are under the tutelage of the State; those whose parents have been deprived of the guardianship by sentence and those whose adoption is consented by the parents.
Adoption can only be requested by Dominican spouses, married for three (3) years, and foreigners with five (5) years of marriage; by the couple of Dominicans under concubinage regime, not less than five (5) years; the relatives of the child up to the fourth grade and other persons contemplated by the code; for unmarried applicants, is required for the state a particular analysis of the motives of the adopter, in order to avoid distortion of the spirit of the adoption.
Applicants must be over 30 years old and under 60 years old, with exceptions, regardless of their marital status, but able to guarantee the physical, moral, social and sexual stability of the child. There must be an age difference of no less than 15 years between the adopter and adopted.
This process also requires, a stage of provisional convivence of the adoptive with the adopted one. In case this is resident or domiciled in another country, the period of coexistence within the national territory will have a minimum duration of sixty (60) days, in the case of children under twelve (12) years old, and thirty (30) days, when the adopted is older than twelve (12) years old.
The Dominican Republic only has the privileged adoption, in which the adoptee ceases to belong to his blood family and the kinship with the members of the family is extinguished, as well as all its legal effects, with the exception of matrimonial impediments. Obtaining the adopted in the family of the adopter, the same rights and obligations of a biological child, being this irrevocable.