DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Feb) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Davao Region will hold the annual Adoption Consciousness celebration from February 21 to 25 to raise the awareness of the parents on the legal adoption process.
During Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, Sheryll Annie Dumalogdog, social welfare officer 3 of DSWD-11, said that the staging of the celebration, dubbed as “Legal na Ampon Ako: Anak na Totoo,” is necessary so that the parents will know the procedures, including the documentary requirements, the benefits and the effects of adoption.
Dumalogdog added that the parents who are willing to adopt a child will have to go through the final screening to determine if they are “financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually” ready.
An Adoption Forum is set to open on Friday where around 100 participants are expected to gather at the Grand Men Seng Hotel here while around 150 adoptive parents, adopted children, and orphaned kids will participate in the Convention for the Adoptive Families on Saturday at the Sunny Point along Ma-a Road here, according to Dumalogdog.
She added different adoption help desks will be put up in malls of Davao City.
“The activity aims to raise and intensify the public’s awareness on legal adoption of abandoned, surrendered, and neglected Filipino children through various activities highlighting the theme of the celebration,” said Pacita Sarino, OIC director 4 of DSWD’s Protective Services Bureau, in her letter sent to all regional directors dated January 11.
“The celebration will educate the public on the legal process of adoption that may lead to applications for domestic adoptions or inquiries on adoption and other forms of alternative family care,” she said.
Objectives of the five-day event include to respond to inquiries of the public on adoption and other forms of alternative family care, provide program orientation on adoption and foster care laws and guidelines to selected school officials and teachers of the Department of Education (DepEd), and provide orientation/discussion to partner agencies, adoptive families and selected publics, on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) in relation to providing alternative family care to children.
36 kids placed for adoption
A total of 36 children had been placed for local and intercountry adoption in 2015 while another 74 children with Certifications Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDLAA) are now in the final stage of the adoption process, an official said.
Of the 36 children, four were adopted by parents who live abroad while the 32 were taken by the local parents.
Dumalogdog added the 74 children are currently housed at the DSWD facility and the accredited child-caring facilities in the Davao Region.
“DSWD is not asking fees from the parents who want to adopt but they are asked to pay for the lawyers,” she said.
She said some of the parents who previously signified interest to adopt a child would back out because of the court fees and getting a lawyer that would cost them P5,000 at the minimum.
After the adoption, the agency will continuously monitor the condition of the children while the agency’s counterpart through the Inter-country Monitoring Board will look after those children adopted by parents who live in another country.
“So far we have not received any reports of abuses to our children who have been adopted,” she said.
In most cases, the children who are sent to the DSWD’s care are either voluntarily surrendered by parents, abandoned, or foundlings.
She added that majority of the reasons why parents would give up on their children is due to poverty.