By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has appealed to the public to course adoption through legal processes and not through social media or any other means.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista encouraged public action against the increasing number of fake Facebook pages involved in the illegal adoption of children.
“The adoption process should be strictly complied with. Adoption cannot be effected by merely surrendering the custody of a child to another person. The process for legal adoption must start through legitimate child caring/placing organizations or local social welfare offices which will then forward the matter to DSWD and there must be a verified petition filed before the competent court,” Bautista explained.
“Adoption will give the parentless a chance of having not only a decent life but one that is well guided and protected by both the prospective parents and the state itself,” he added.
The Department also urged the public to report to authorities any person or group who is involved in simulation of birth or the tampering of the birth registry documents of children.
Simulation of birth, which commonly happens in hospitals and lying-in clinics around the country, is a criminal offense under Republic Act 8552 or the “Domestic Adoption Act of 1998” and is punishable by six years and one day to 12 years imprisonment, and/or a fine not exceeding ₱50,000.
From 2010 to 2018, DSWD facilitated the placement of 2,191 children for domestic adoption.
The Department reiterated that its adoption services are free.
However, applicants who want to adopt will shoulder the cost of legal services and necessary documents.
Those who want to inquire about legal adoption are encouraged to contact any DSWD field office located around the country.