By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
At least 25 social media accounts engaging in illegal adoption have been reported to authorities for proper action.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Virginia Orogo appealed to the public to course adoption through legal processes to “safeguard abandoned and neglected children.”
“Not only by giving these children loving homes, but to ensure that they are provided, under the law, with full rights similar to biological children in order to reach their best potential,” she added
She reminded the importance of advocating legal adoption and to take strong action against illegal adoption facilitated in social media, such as fraudulent Facebook accounts and groups.
DSWD has already identified 25 Facebook accounts that are engaging into this illegal act.
“The DSWD continues to warn the public to prevent any transaction in social media promising direct placement of children up for adoption. This is a clear violation of children’s rights and we are strongly condemning these illegal acts,” Orogo said.
“No children should be treated as a commodity which can be brought online or anywhere else. We are going to take legal measures to ensure that these children will be protected and we urge the public to join us in this crusade,” she added.
Aside from the issue of illegal adoption, the Department is currently pushing for reforms to streamline the adoption process by means of making legal adoption an administrative process instead of going through courts.
“One of the reasons why the DSWD is creating means to hasten the process of adoption is to prevent birth simulation that deprives adopted children to know their identity, and to break the stigma that legal adoption is only for people who can afford the process,” Orogo explained.
Based on the data provided by DSWD-Protective Services Bureau, DSWD has facilitated the placement of 1,818 children for domestic adoption from 2010 to 2017.
During the same period, the Department also developed 1,847 local adoptive parents.
“We urge families and prospective adoptive parents to directly transact with DSWD-Field Offices and accredited partner-child placement agencies to ensure the proper facilitation of the process of legal adoption,” Orogo said.