Adopt through legal means, DSWD says

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Davao Region continues to encourage childless couples who plan to adopt a child, to adopt orphans through legal means.

DSWD-Davao Adoption Unit head Sheryl Dumalogdog issued such statement in line with the Adoption Consciousness Week celebration this year, which started last February 10 and ends on the 17th.

With the theme: "Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin," Dumalogdog said their department continues to raise awareness on the importance of adhering to the legal procedures of adoption here in the country.

Dumalogdog said the week-long celebration aims to ensure that orphaned, neglected, abandoned, and surrendered children would have a secure, permanent and a loving family they deserve.

Data obtained from DSWD-Davao noted that around 418 were already issued with Certification Declaring that the Child is Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA) from 2009 to 2017.

The department also recorded 391 eligible children issued with Pre-Adoption Placement Authority (PAPA) or Affidavit of Consent to Adoption (ACA), or cleared for Inter-Country Adoption (ICA).

For 2017, children issued with CDCLAA are 54, children matched locally are 37, children issued with regional clearance are 27, those with court decision are at 30, and relative adoption are at 17.

"A child could not be adopted if they were not issued yet with a certification that they are already legally available for adoption. There will be an assessment to be done first," Dumalogdog said.

DSWD-Davao assistant regional director for operations Rebecca Santamaria said regardless how good the intentions of adoptive parents are, it is still the best interest of the children they take into their homes to be legally adopted.

Santamaria said that tampering with the civil registry of children is a criminal offense that has great repercussion. She added that the importance of going through legal process is to ensure the rights of children are upheld and protected.

DSWD called on their partners to help the agency protect the credibility, security, and efficiency of the legal adoption process so that prospective adoptive parents will go through the legal process, as they discouraged birth simulation.

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