Cordillera Administrative Region – As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Department of Social Welfare and Development here is intensifying its search for individuals and families who are willing to share their unconditional love.
This is part of this year’s observation of the Adoption Consciousness Month with the theme “Spreading Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption”.
“Since 2017, we have been using this theme for our Adoption Consciousness Month celebration because we want to further advocate the need to undergo the legal process of alternative parental care. By doing so, we are also protecting their right to identity. And these are just some of the ways that we can show our love for our children,” OIC- Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.
Alternative parental care is a child care or placement service provided to children in especially difficult circumstances who cannot be taken care of by their biological parents. This can be temporary and is called foster care that has the goal to provide temporary and planned substitute family care for the child while the biological family or relatives are being prepared for the child’s return or while a more appropriate permanent placement is being worked out. Kinship care and legal guardianship may also fall under foster care where as relatives and/or pre-identified individuals are given authority to look after the children.
“Individuals who are taking care of children who are not their own should apply for a foster care license especially if the child is under their custody for a long period of time. This may include grandparents rearing their grandchildren because their parents, for some reason, have left these, or individuals who wish to take care of the children of their less fortune relatives,” Director Armas added.
On the other hand, adoption is a socio-legal process of giving a permanent home to a child whose parents have voluntarily given up their parental rights. This also gives the adopted child all the legal rights a biological child is mandated to have.
Data from the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARSS) of the DSWD show a decrease in the number of children placed for foster care as well as those who were adopted. In 2016, there were 67 children placed for foster care, 78 in 2017 but only 47 in 2018 while children who were adopted in 2016 reached 24, 31 in 2017 and 18 in 2018. Number of foster parents developed also decreased from 85 in 2016 to 56 in 2017 and 30 in 2018.
“As we have observed, our centers were able to admit lesser number children in difficult circumstances in 2018. This might be the reason in the decrease in our number in 2018. However, this poses a challenge for us to further strengthen our advocacies to promote legal adoption and foster care. We will continue our efforts until every child in our community finds a family that can give them the unconditional love that they deserve,” Director Armas shared.
Interested individuals and families may visit the Adoption Resource and Referral Section of DSWD-CAR at # 40 North Drive, Baguio City or call (074) 444-32-09 or +63939-770-74-37 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the DSWD-CAR will also be conducting a forum on 23 February 2019 to discuss the basic information on adoption and foster care. The said forum is a requirement for those who are interested to undergo the legal process of adoption. Help desks will also be set-up in various public places as part of the Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration.
By Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva