DSWD-Central Visayas on adoption: No to shortcuts

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FOLLOW the legal process when adopting a child, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 appealed to the public as the country celebrates Adoption Consciousness Week.

Rosemarie Salazar, social welfare officer V and the Protective Services Division chief, emphasized that resorting to shortcuts in adoption put the rights and welfare of the child at stake.

“It is our vision that we will no longer advocate for legal adoption because all of us are aware that it is a must for the child’s welfare and interest,” she said in a press conference on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

“We cannot aim for zero adoption because the reality is there are childless couples and there are children who are in need of family,” she added.

Concepcion Solera, social welfare officer III, said from 2010 to 2020, they have issued a total of 738 certifications declaring a child legally available for adoption (CDCLAA).

Republic Act 9523 requires the certification of the DSWD to declare a “Child Legally Available for Adoption” as a prerequisite for adoption proceedings.

Those who are surrendered, abandoned, foundling, neglected and dependent children can be issued with CDCLAA either in a domestic or thru inter-country adoption proceeding.

On the status of these CDCLAA, six are foster adoption, 339 are local/domestic adoption and 393 are inter-country adoption.

The DSWD 7 said the status of the adoption cases of independent placement or direct placement (or the placement of the child to a family known by his or her biological parents, but did not undergo legal adoption process) under domestic adoption is already filed in court for legalization.

Of the total number, per records, only nine percent have Decision or Adoption Decree amended birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The DSWD 7 said it is still tracking and monitoring cases filed in court.

Under pending Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 76, adoption is taken into the realm of administrative proceeding to hasten the process and minimize the cost of adoption on the part of the adoptioners.

Salazar said an amnesty was also given to those who have done simulation of birth records to further ease adoption process.

The DSWD defines simulation of birth record as the “tampering of the civil registry record to make it appear in the record of birth that a child was born to a person who is not such child’s biological mother, causing the loss of the true identity and status of the child.”

From 2019 to 2020, a total of 65 children were surrendered to the DSWD 7, 19 were abandoned and 15 were foundling.

Of the local adoption, 45 were adopted in Cebu, five in Bohol and six in Negros Oriental.

As they always advocate, Salazar said adoption is for the child to have a family and not for couples to have a child. (WBS)