NACC, 8 LGUs ink agreement to implement, localize foster care program

NACC, 8 LGUs ink agreement to implement, localize foster care program
David Ezra Francisquete/SunStar Photo

The National Authority for Child Care (NACC) and eight local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao have inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the implementation of the Philippine Foster Care Program (PFCP). 

The historic move aims to create comprehensive legal frameworks on foster care processes under the Republic Act 11642 or Administrative Adoption and Alternative Child Care and increase awareness about illegal adoption.

The initiative would also further localize the national program and bring initiative efforts to every LGU.

Around 250 participants including policy-makers, national government officials, local chief executives, and social workers across the island gathered for the first National Congress on Adoption and Alternative Child Care 2024 on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Davao City.

Under RA 11642, NACC's mandate includes the implementation of the Simulated Birth Rectification Act (RA 11222), Inter-Country Adoption (RA 8403), and Philippine Foster Care Program (RA 10165), and the Founding Recognition and Protection Act (RA 11767).

During the program, SunStar Davao was able to get the side of Margarita Calunghog, a Daycare Teacher in Toril district and a foster parent for almost a decade now.

According to her, aside from detachment, one of the challenges she has faced as a foster parent is the policy-based “cut-off of communication” or the absence of communication once the child is being legally adopted or returned to their real-life parents.

“Lisod kaayo. No communication at all because once gi-adopt na sya, wala naka’y labot nila. Dili na sya agreement but it is a policy. It's hard kay after so many years, mawala na sila sa imohang side pero kailangan gihapon nato dawaton (It's very difficult. No communication at all because once they are adopted, we will no longer be connected with them. It is no longer an agreement but it is a policy. It's hard because after so many years, they will leave your side but we still have to accept it),” she emotionally revealed.

However, she expressed that keeping a child regardless of their background is a noble and fulfilling responsibility, considering that she once dreamed of bearing and having her own child. 

“Napakasaya dahil naranasan ko ding maging isang ina dahil sa mga batang ito. [Although] may mga special children pero masaya. Kaya ko naman (I am very happy because I also got to experience being a mother because of these children. [Although] there are special children but I am happy,) she added.

Currently, Calunghog has two kids in her home. One of them has an Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

In 2023, the agency was able to make 524 children legally eligible for adoption. It also issued 158 adoption orders and served 1,143 foster children. 

Meanwhile, for inter-country adoption, 239 were entrusted to foreign adoptive parents. The NACC also received 399 Decrees of Adoption from 17 partner nations.

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