DSWD warns public anew vs. ‘online adoption’

MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Saturday warned the public anew against participating in illegal adoption facilitated online through social media accounts.

In a legal adoption media forum, DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova said online adoptions are considered scams which could endanger the lives of children and parents involved.

"We warn the public not participate in such scams, kami sa (we in) DSWD we have this forum and a month-long celebration of the adoption consciousness to inform everyone that the adoption process is not that tedious. Dadaan muna sa DSWD administratively nang walang bayad, afterwards the judicial process will start," she said.

Marikina City Regional Trial Court Branch 168 Judge Lorna Catris-Chua Cheng said adoption through social media is dangerous as it usually involves human traffickers who pretend to be the adoptees' parents.

Chua Cheng added they also result to simulated births -- a scenario where adoptive mother presents themselves as the real or biological mothers which is considered tampering with the civil registry of children

"Delikado ang simulated births dahil sa mga relatives ng adoptive parents na medyo hindi maganda ang ugali. Lalo na kung mayaman ang (Simulated births are dangerous because of the adoptive parents' relatives who might have bad character. Especially if they are rich adoptive parents. Someone who is not biological child or legally adopted child is not a compulsory heir. The adoptive parents' relatives might create a case for them to get the heir," she said.

Relova explained that DSWD will send social workers to the whereabouts of couples or individuals who adopted children online or engaged simulated births.

"Ito ay para mabigyan sila (This is to give them) advice on legal adoption. We will pursue the legal consequences to get information and to catch the online perpetrators, but of course, we also don't want to punish these people who have the heart to share their love and homes to the homeless.

To solve this issue, House of Representatives Social Welfare Committee Secretary Catherine Macapagal said a bill rectifying simulated birth records and providing administrative adoption proceedings is waiting to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"There are several hundred thousand of Filipinos who have been adopted in this manner, the child is deprived of legal rights compared to those adopted legally. The aim of this bill to provide legal relation between the adoptees and adoptive parents," she said.

While stressing that all participants in the simulated births are considered a crime, Macapagal stressed that the bill is not solely to provide amnesty for the parents who will be charged of it.

"It is for the benefit of the children to have all the benefits of adoption, status, rights under the law in the society. The petitioners who are the known parents of the child will have to file a petition in the form of an affidavit in the social welfare development office of the city of municipality where the child resides," she added.

Relova urged the public to visit DSWD's field offices for legal adoption information.

"Tulungan ninyo ang DSWD na mai-disseminate ang information na hindi tedious ang legal adoption process, na-streamline na ang ilang processes namin. Para hindi kayo magkamali sa pag-aampon, huwag online, bumisita kayo sa amin (Help DSWD to disseminate the information that legal adoption process is not that tedious, we've streamlined the other processes. To avoid adoption mistakes, don't go online, visit us)," she added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency