TWO-YEAR-OLD Juan Leandro “Andrew” Dumaraos will tell you he was “born from Mama’s heart” whenever people ask about his family.
Andrew was adopted by Renato and Rosalyn Dumaraos, who have been waiting for a child in eight years of marriage.
“We know having kids was not meant for us,” said Rosalyn, 36, in a press conference held yesterday in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 as part of Adoption Consciousness Week.
“I read the report of Sun.Star Cebu on adopted children, ‘Dumped by Mama’. And for some reason it tugged at my heartstrings,” Rosalyn said.
Little did she know that Renato was aware of the same story, having seen the promotional material on the three-part special report, “Dumped by Mama: Plight of the Abandoned Child.”
The report, printed in December 2010, explored the circumstances surrounding abandonment, related crimes and steps taken to address the issues.
“When I went home, I said, ‘Let’s talk about it (adoption)’,” said 39-year-old Renato.
The couple relayed that it was on Dec. 8 when they heard mass together and began inquiring about adoption procedures.
“It (processing adoption papers) was like expecting a child but in less than nine months (we were already able to adopt a child),” he said.
The adoption by the Dumaraos couple is rare, according to DSWD 7 officials, as there are more inter-country adoption cases than local ones.
For 2012, there were 32 cases of inter-country adoption, against only four local adoption cases.
Emma Patalinghug, DSWD 7 social welfare specialist, explained that among the cases of inter-country adoption are many sibling groups that are adopted by couples abroad.
“It is also our culture; we are not open to adoption,” she told reporters yesterday.
She said there are 122 children currently available for adoption and 95 of them were forwarded to the protection services bureau.
In the Children of Cebu Foundation Inc.’s Parian Drop-in Center, an additional one child a week, on the average, is left in their care.
The most common reason for leaving a child in the center, Romulo Velasquez said, is that the parent’s new partner doesn’t want to accept the child.
Some are orphans and some were abandoned.
The Asilo dela Milagrosa, said Sr. Leticia Derilo, DC, accepts children abandoned in the hospital, whose basic and spiritual needs are then provided for.
There were already 30 children, mostly sibling groups, adopted from the Children’s Shelter of Cebu, said Paul Healy.
The biggest group of siblings, at nine brothers and sisters, was adopted in the United States last year, added Healy.