Only 6 kids adopted in 2010: DSWD 7

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


AN AVERAGE of 200 children were admitted and processed at the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) in the last five years. Those who were not adopted were transferred to foster homes, institutions or returned to their families.

Last year, six children were adopted: one by a local couple, while the others underwent inter-country adoption.

RSCC head Suchiella Arong said the RSCC has an average population of 26 at any given time. The children range from one month to four years old.

There are currently 10 children eligible for adoption, she said. The rest are undergoing classification.

RA 9523

Arong said 60 percent of the children were abandoned, 35 percent were surrendered to the agency and five percent were considered neglected.

According to Republic Act (RA) 9523, or An Act Requiring the Certification of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to Declare a Child Legally Available for Adoption, an abandoned child is one with no proper parental care or guardianship, or who has been deserted by parents for at least three continuous months, which includes foundlings.

A neglected child is one whose basic needs were deliberately unattended or inadequately attended for three months. This includes physical neglect when the child is malnourished, ill-clad and without proper shelter; and emotional neglect, when the child is maltreated, raped, seduced, exploited, overworked, or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health.

Foundlings are children with no known parent or guardian.

Requirements

Among the requirements of adoptive parents are that they are physically and mentally fit to perform their duties. They must also be financially capable and have no criminal record.

They are required to attend a forum where a social worker will assess them.

Single parents can also adopt children, said DSWD child specialist Emma Patalinghug,
provided there is a father figure in the family.

She said the agency supports moves to amend RA 8552, or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, to make adoption more affordable.

She said current expenses may prove to be daunting for some couples who, aside from paying a processing fee, must also pay for the lawyer’s services. The certificate of adoption can take up to a year to be released, she said.

“Putting the children in an institution is the last recourse,” Patalinghug said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2011.

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