Clarification needed on new passports for overseas foster children

I would like to know if any Bruneian foster families who have adopted Filipino children are facing the same problem as I am.

With the new regulation for children under 18 years, we as legal foster parents under Brunei Government law cannot get new passports for our foster children.

The procedure of getting a new passport for a foster child in Brunei has to be done by the biological parents themselves.

The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines has given us two options.

Either the biological parents have to be in Brunei for the procedure to be carried out, or we as foster parents have to get the legal documented certificate of adoption from the Republic of Philippines.

The foster parents have to hire their own lawyers to negotiate and work on the procedures.

With the enforcement of the new regulation, many foster parents face hurdles which include:

It is difficult for foster families to find their children’s biological parents as they have returned to their country.

Sometimes the biological parents request for money in return.

It takes a year or two to complete the process at the Court in the Philippines and we as parents have to go to the Philippines to sign the document before the Magistrate.

The cost of hiring a lawyer is very expensive which is around USD5,000.

Why were we not informed of the procedure at the beginning of the process of adopting the child? Why is the issue arising now, after several years?

The embassy should have guided us in the first place.

Is it possible for the embassy to gather all foster parents and convey this information to us?

At least then we will know beforehand, unlike the situation we are facing at the moment. We only knew of this procedure when we wanted to renew our child’s passport.

For a non-resident (Green identity card holder), passports act as a student pass for schooling. The implementation of a new regulation without proper guidelines is very inefficient.

Are other embassies in Brunei implementing this new regulation as well? We as foster parents are willing to do anything but without adequate guidance, how can we proceed?

It is important to take into account that not all foster parents can afford to hire a lawyer.

For parents with Filipino foster children, do check with the embassy as soon as you can so that you do not encounter the same problem as us.

Upset Mummy