The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) strengthens its advocacy for legal adoption as the Department and its partner agencies lead the observance of Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration on 15 to 22 February 2014 with the theme, “Legal na Pag-aampon sa Lahat ng Pagkakataon”.

The Adoption Consciousness Week is celebrated every February carrying different Adoption Consciousness related themes in accordance to Presidential Decree No. 72 issued on February 3, 1999.

For this year, the theme emphasizes the legal process of adoption taking into consideration the current situation where most orphaned, abandoned or surrendered children sought for adoption like in situation of disasters direct placement where the parent/s directly give/s up the child for adoption to a person/s and not through the DSWD and the court. Some also commit birth simulation where a child is directly released to and named after the adoptive parents without undergoing the legal process.

“Simulation or illegal adoption is committed because of the lack of information regarding the legal process. Some claim that the adoption process is tedious and expensive but in reality it is not. Simulation is committed with direct placement and this is punishable by the law pursuant to RA 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Law” Adoption and Referral Resource Section Head Mary Ann Buclao emphasized.

“We would also like to emphasize that no child shall be directly placed out to any family, group, or unregistered social welfare agency to prevent child trafficking. In cases of foundling children, this should be brought to the adoption of the DSWD for monitoring and technical assistance in case management”, Buclao added.

Meanwhile, from 2009 to December 2013, there are already 83 children from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) who are cleared for adoption. Of this number, 37 children are cleared for inter-country adoption, 24 are cleared for local adoption and 22 cases are still to be classified. For foster care, there are already 42 Foster Care children with Foster Placement Authority (FOPA) and 36 Licensed Foster Parents.

Individuals who have queries on this matter may visit the Adoption and Referral Resource Section, DSWD Field Office CAR located at # 40 North Drive, Baguio City or may call (074) 444-32-09. They may also visit the DSWD Information Booth at the Panagbenga Session Road in Bloom located near Malcolm Square, Lower Session Road, Baguio City from 24 February to 2 March 2014. # DSWD-CAR Social Marketing Unit, Celma Magahngo (SMU Intern)

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