It’s Adoption Consciousness Month this Feb

Feb. 13, 2017

Social Worker Officer Sheryll Dumalugdog of the Department of Social Welfare and Development on Monday talks about the administrative process of legal adaption in the observance of the Adoption Consciousness Celebration during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at the SM Annex in Davao City. (Photo by Jason Amisola)

By Jason Amisola, Intern

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao region will hold the annual Adoption Consciousness celebration from February 11 to 18, to promote legal adoption as a means of serving abandoned, neglected and surrendered children.

With the theme, “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin!” the celebration also aims to raise awareness to Filipinos about legal adoption.

Sheryll Dumalogdog, social worker of DSWD, said in 2015, 63 children were declared as legally available for adoption.

She, however, pointed out that “pursuant to RA 9523 no children should be subjected for adoption if they have not yet been issued with a certification” signed by DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo.

“A child would be declared for legal adoption if he or she is more than three months old because you have to exert all efforts to locate the biological parents… So for four months, three months old above and 18 months old below, they are still subjected for declaration as free for adoption,” Dumalogdog said.

In Davao, the DSWD’ will hold a convention of adoptive families on Feb. 18 at the Garden Oases to highlight the Adoption Consciousness celebration. Apart from this, an annual Adoption Forum will also be held at DSWD Seminar Hall on Feb. 16.

Mercedita Jabagat, regional director of DSWD 11, explained that a regular visitation of at least once a month and an annual or semi-annual meeting with the adoptive couples are being observed in the region.

“If ever we already received all the documents from our prospective adoptive parents, we are given 30 days to prepare the home study and subject the couple for matching,” she said.

Jabagat said that in the region, 184 cases were served by DSWD back in 2014 and 176 cases in 2015.

“Among these cases, we have children who were from the orphanages and as well as from our foster homes because it is our job to assess if the adoptive parents are really capable and have no any psychological deficiencies or problem,” she added.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Mae Fe Templa said that “as early as possible the children should know that they are adopted. They should know the reason why as well as the circumstances surrounding their adoption.”

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