TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Regional Child Welfare Specialist Group (RCWSG) Region 02 is encouraging families who want to adopt children to follow the legal adoption process.
RCWSG focal person Rosario Corpuz said this will also help families have who adopted children, but did not undergo legal adoption process, avoid problems on heirs and properties later on.
“We encourage everyone lalong lalo na po yung mga families na merong children under their care na hindi po dumaan sa legal process…para naman po mabigyan natin ng protection yung mga batang nasa ating custody and at the same time tayo rin po magkaroon din ng protection,” Corpuz said.
RCWSG Chairman lawyer Noel Mora said “adoption is purely judicial process because it affects the status of the child,” adding that there is no shortcut in adopting process.
RCWSG officials guested in Philippine Information Agency’s Tipon-Tipan on Friday, February 9, to promote Adoption Consciousness Week which will be celebrated on February 10 to 18.
The celebration will focus on the theme: “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption).”
The RCWSG is a committee tasked in matching children to prospective adoptive parents. It is composed of a lawyer, psychologist, pediatrician, a DSWD social worker, and a representative of a non-government organization.
RCWSG said 175 children have been legally adopted in the region since 2009. From this number, 56 were adopted by foreign or overseas parents.
RCWSG social welfare officer May Asuncion said single and married couples can adopt children but need to be at least 16 years older than the child.
Asuncion said the prospective parents must submit their birth certificate, marriage certificate for married couples, medical certificate, proof of income, income tax returns, latest certificate of employment if employed, proof of source of income for self-employed, and National Bureau of Investigation or police clearance.
Further, single persons have to first undergo psychological test, and, if annulled or divorced, prove necessary documents.
Parents or parent must then file application to DSWD who will later give orientation.
After this, DSWD will conduct home assessment, visit, and collateral interview of prospect parents.
The RCWSG will then recommend approval of the home study report to DSWD regional director. The pool of prospective parents are then presented in monthly matching conferences.
RCWSG Chairman lawyer Noel Mora also emphasized that they look into the best interest of the child.
Mora said financial capability of a prospective parent is not their primary consideration and assured they also look into the social, moral, psychological, financial, and other capacities of adoptive parents.
“Ang basis po namin is ano ba yung need ng isang bata na sa tingin nmain ay meron nitong prospective adoptive parents, [at ano ang kanilang] resources na nakakapagmeet doon sa pangangailangan ng bata,” the lawyer said.
He said also adopted children are entitled to all rights and obligations as that of a legitimate child.
“Once the child is legally adopted, and there is a decree of adoption issued by the court, the child is a legal heir or a legal child of adopting parents. Definitely, he has the same status as those of the biological child or children of the adopting parents; and therefore the child is entitled for all legal intents and purposes of the rights and obligations of the legitimate child,” Mora explained.
Yet, biological parents must first undertake counseling before letting their child be available for adoption, Mora said.
He added parents must take this seriously and ensure they understand their choice of putting the child for adoption.
Meanwhile, Mora said biological parents can no longer reclaim their status as legal parents of their child once they execute the affidavit of consent of adoption, and deed of voluntary commitment to DSWD.
“Once na approved and decreed by the court of the legal adoption, the parental authority and the care of custody of the child has been terminated on the part of the biological parent or parents at dun na mapupunta sa adopting parents,” he said.
“Nawala na nga by legal process. If they want to restore the parental authority, the answer is no [way kasi] natanggal na eh. Wala pa sa batas natin yung to nullify, to disregard, or repudiate the process of adoption,” he added.
Yet, that does not deprive the biological parents to visit, Mora said.
Meanwhile, Asuncion assured they offer post-adoption services for adoptive family.
Asuncion also said not all children in centers and are in the care of foster parents. These children will be under foster parents until family problems of the child is resolved, she said.
Further, she said the committee also aims to keep families intact as much as possible.
DSWD will have an adoption help desk at SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown and SM City Cauayan on February 14 to 15; and will have a fun run on Friday, March 2. Northernforum.net