TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Feb. 13 (PIA) – In observance of this year’s Adoption Consciousness Week, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 2 warned the public particularly those who engaged in illegal adoptions facilitated through social media networks or other means.
Rosario Corpuz, DSWD focal person on adoption, said DSWD is the only mandated government agency to process legal adoptions.
Corpuz said no other entities are authorized or have the capacity to process such, adding that illegal adoption is tantamount to child trafficking.
Adoption, she said is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.
“We encouraged those couples planning to adopt a child to seek DSWD’s help especially in complying with the requirements and other documents required by Republic Act 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998,” she said.
Corpuz said that DSWD also provides services and other interventions for couples who are interested to adopt such as counseling sessions, seminars, among others to resolve possible adoption issues and to prepare them for effective parenting.
Who can adopt?
Under the provisions of R.A 8552, any person can adopt provided he or she is a Filipino citizen who: 1) is of legal age; 2) is at least 16 years older than adoptee, except when the adopter is the biological parent; 3)has the capacity to act and assume all the rights and duties incident to the exercise of parental authority; 4) is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; 5) is in a good position to support, educate and care for his/her legitimate and illegitimate children and the child to be adopted; 6) has undergone the pre-adoption services.
Alien residents, possessing the same qualifications as stated above, may also adopt provided that his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter.
Who may be adopted
Under the law, the following may be adopted: (a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption; (b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse; (c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy; (d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority; (e) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or (f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: provided, that no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).
End illegal adoption
Corpuz urged the public and other concerned government agencies to help the Department in its efforts to end illegal adoption as this practice will endanger not only the lives of children but also the adoptive parents.
“Let’s give hope and home to those neglected, abused and abandoned children through legal adoption,” Corpuz, a social worker, said.
She added that couples who failed to comply with the legal procedures and safeguards provided by the law for adoption will be penalized with an imprisonment ranging from six years and one day to 12 years and/or a fine not less than P50,000 but not more than P200,000 at the discretion of the court. (ALM/PIA-2)