Cordillera Administrative Region- With Christmas just around the corner, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here continues to promote unconditional love for children.

“This Christmas Season, one precious gift that we can share to our neglected and abandoned children is our unconditional love and acceptance. We can give toys, clothes, food, and other material things to children in our residential care facilities. But we would also like to encourage those who are interested to help to try spending time with our children for them to experience affection and attention that they seldom enjoy”, DSWD FO CAR OIC- Regional Director Leo L. Quintilla said.

The DSWD Field Office CAR maintains three (3) residential care facilities. These include the Regional Haven for Women and Girls (Regional Haven), Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY) and the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC). Of these facilities the RSCC serves as the home for abandoned, abused, and neglected children. Often times, children under the Alternative Parental Care Program are also admitted in the said center.

DSWD’s Alternative Parental Care program involves the processes of adoption and foster care. Through this, child care or placement services are provided to children in especially difficult circumstances who cannot be taken care of by their biological parents. This can be temporary and is called foster care that has the goal to provide temporary and planned substitute family care for the child while the biological family or relatives are being prepared for the child’s return or while a more appropriate permanent placement is being worked out. Kinship care and legal guardianship may also fall under foster care where as relatives and/or pre-identified individuals are given authority to look after the children.

Meanwhile, adoption is a socio-legal process of giving a permanent home to a child whose parents have voluntarily given up their parental rights. This also gives the adopted child all the legal rights a biological child is mandated to have.

“Alternative Parental Care, is a legal way of showing love and acceptance to the uniqueness of our children. They may come from a different bloodline from ours, but they are worthy to have a family and a home that they can call their own. We may have diverse beliefs and differing physical attributes, but we have been gifted the capacity to love. May we all have the generosity to share our unconditional love not just this holiday season but all throughout the year by considering the option of adopting or fostering these children who are most in need, Director Quintilla added.

As of 15 December 2020, DSWD FO CAR has recorded 67 licensed foster parents and is able to place 104 children for foster care. Meanwhile, 18 children are declared available for adoption, ten (10) children were placed for domestic adoption and eight (8) children were cleared for inter-country adoption.

The DSWD FO CAR would also like to reiterate the implementation and observance of “The Simulated Birth Rectification Act” or Republic Act (RA) No 11222 that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on 21 February 2019 that allows birth records to be corrected and provides amnesty to adoptive parents with children whose birth records have been simulated.

Birth simulation are cases in which the civil registry was tampered with to make it appear in a child’s birth record that he was born to someone other than his biological mother. Prior the passing of RA 11222, individuals who committed birth simulation are bound to face legal liabilities.

With the Act, amnesty from any criminal, civil, or administrative liability will only be given to adoptive parents if they changed the birth records “for the best interest of the child” and that the child has been consistently considered and treated as the parents’ own son or daughter.

The law also fixes the status and filiation of the child whose birth was simulated by giving them all the benefits of adoption.

Interested individuals may visit DSWD FO CAR Adoption Resource and Referral Section at #40 North Drive, Baguio City or contact (074) 661-04-30 loc.25003 or (02) 396-65-80. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva-Trinidad

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