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JUDICIAL RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN DECREES

 Foreign decrees such as adoption and divorce promulgated by the Courts in Switzerland or Liechtenstein need to be recognized by the competent Philippine Courts for it to be enforceable in the Philippines and by Philippine agencies. 

The said decree, with a notarized English translation (if the original is not in the English language), must bear the Apostille Certificate of the Cantonal Authorities where the document was issued for it to be recognized and used in the Philippines.

Note that the Philippines, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are among the signatory countries to the Apostille Convention. Thus, documents issued by Switzerland and Liechtenstein bearing their respective Apostille Certificate/s are recognized and accepted in the Philippines by all government agencies, including the Philippine Courts.

Concerned client/s must contract the services of a lawyer in the Philippines to undertake this through the filing of Special Proceedings for the recognition of the foreign decree of divorce or foreign decree of adoption. The said lawyer should be able to advise you on the requirements, processes, and fees required to undertake this legal process.

The Embassy cannot recommend any lawyer in the Philippines for professional and ethical considerations.

The Embassy is also not in a position to issue a copy or a certified of the divorce or adoption law of Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Please contact the concerned Swiss or Liechtenstein authorities for this.

Among the foreign decrees that can be judicially recognized by the Philippine Courts are the following:

 

Foreign decree of divorce 

There is no divorce in the Philippines. A divorce validly obtained by the Filipino citizen thereafter in a foreign court must be judicially recognized by a Philippine court before the Filipino spouse can remarry under Philippine laws.

The judicial recognition of said divorce shall be the basis for the annotation of the relevant civil registry documents - that would enable the Filipino spouse to re-marry or the female (Filipino) spouse to revert to the use of her maiden name.

 

Foreign decree of adoption 

For adoption of Philippine children finalized in Switzerland or anywhere outside of the Philippines and thereafter their names are different from their Philippine birth records with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the said foreign decree of adoption must be judicially recognized in the Philippines before the child could use the surname of the adoptive father in their Philippine birth records.

The judicial recognition of said adoption shall be the basis for the annotation of the relevant civil registry documents - that would enable the Filipino child to use the surname of the adoptive father.

Concerned clients may also wish to contact the Inter-country Adoption Board (ICAB), which is the competent Philippine authority to process the adoption in the Philippines. Information on ICAB may be accessed from: https://www.icab.gov.ph/.