(Feature) DSWD presses campaign on easing of court process on adoption

February 21, 2015 12:28 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Feb. 19 (PNA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is exerting more efforts aimed at easing the judicial process of adoption while intensifying awareness campaign on the importance of adopting abandoned and neglected children needing a safe, secure and loving home.

“Our challenge now is through the task of coordinating with the courts to lessen and ease the process so that more people will find their way on involving themselves towards the adoption process and giving families to orphaned and abandoned children,” DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said on Thursday.

Adoption is defined as a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a boy a girl whose parents have voluntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.

According to Secretary Soliman, the services of DSWD for adoption of children is free.

However, she noted that because there is the so-called “judicial phase,” there will be court proceedings that may entail certain costs as there is a need to hire for a private lawyer that entails acceptance and appearance fees (in court), among others.

She said that they are conducting dialogues with the office of the Chief Justice and Court Administrator to see what else can be done to shorten the adoption process and make it faster and less frustrating, stressful, time-consuming and expensive for those who want to adopt children.

She explained that through coordination with other government agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), they want also to convey the message to the public to support and understand the essence of adoption and advocate for the legal process.

She said that through partnership with DepEd, they are hopeful that people will discover the true beauty of adoption and there should not be any distinction if a child is biologically born or not (meaning not coming from a mother's womb).

Soliman noted that what matters most is the “true love” of the loving adoptive parents given to their adopted child that should be put into focus.

With the partnership, the DepEd is expected to include in textbooks beautiful, inspiring and positive stories on adoption and how the adoption can help change the lives and future of orphaned and disadvantaged children into a brighter and promising one.

According to the DSWD chief, there are several reasons why some children are placed for adoption.

Some of these are due to neglect and abandonment which can be traced from irresponsible parenthood or unplanned pregnancy, leaving the parent with no choice but to leave the child in some institutions like churches and orphanages.

Another reason is the onslaught of a disaster where the parents of the vulnerable children die, leaving them (children) alone or parentless.

Those orphaned and have no relatives are usually brought to the accredited orphanages of DSWD while others are often "adopted" by well-off relatives.

Soliman said the DSWD is tracking down those orphaned children under the care of their relatives who “adopted” them so that the adoption papers can be fixed and the children will be legally adopted as protective measure to ensure that children will not be abused in any form.

“Legal adoption gives the adopted children same rights with the biological ones like inheritance rights, a name (surname) that they can carry and give them the chance also to experience having a loving, caring and protective family,” she said.

She added that through legal adoption, the adoptive parents can be assured that the child cannot be taken away from them because they have the legal papers that support their parental authority over the child.

Based on current survey, there are at least two million children 0 to 18 years old who need adoptive and foster care parents.

Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent." The placement of the child is usually arranged through the government or a social-service agency.

Every year, the DSWD reminds the public on adoption through the "Adoption Consciousness Week" celebration every second week of February to convey the message that adopted children are waiting to be part of the adoptive homes, especially those who welcome them to fill up and grow well.

For this year, the celebration started on Feb. 17 and will culminate Feb. 28.

The theme for this year is “A child Finds Worth in Legal Adoption” which emphasizes that adoptive children have the same rights as biological ones.

To create more awareness, display of photos of adoptive parents and children will be conducted in partner agencies and supporting institutions as well as putting of help desks in malls that will explain more about adoption. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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