Foreigners more open to adoption than Pinoys
More foreigners than Filipinos are adopting children in the Philippines, officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.
Families from other countries are open to raising kids 6 years old and above, and those who have medical needs or disabilities, while Filipino families prefer young and healthy children, the officials explained.
In 2015, 352 children were matched with foreign parents out of the 357 kids cleared for adoption by the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB), which processes the adoption of Filipino children by foreigners.
By comparison, 357 children were matched with Filipino parents out of the 687 cleared for domestic adoption by the DSWD last year.
The rest were directly entrusted or independently placed among Filipino families who had the children under their care for some time, and had been assessed to be in the best position to raise them.
One possible reason that daunts Filipinos from adopting children is the prohibitive legal fees—at least P100,000—once the petition for adoption has been filed with the courts.
“Filipino applicants give preference to kids whom they have the capability to raise. They usually prefer young and healthy children, meaning those without disabilities,” said Rosalie Dagulo, assistant director for the DSWD’s Protective Services Bureau.
In contrast, ICAB estimates that 4 out of 10 foreign families are open to adopting children who have medical needs and disabilities.
In fact, said ICAB social worker Jennifer Abenido, there are more foreign adoptive parents than children up for adoption such that “the waiting period is longer.”
There’s no specific preference for Filipino children, Abenido said. Families, mostly from Europe, simply want to adopt children. An average of 400 Filipino children are adopted by foreigners every year, she added.
Years ago, an American family adopted nine Filipino siblings, the ICAB social worker said in a phone interview.
To encourage domestic adoption, the DSWD has amended its guidelines to allow a family that took custody of a child minus the legal process to keep the child pending approval of the petition for adoption.
“They should have all qualifications and none of the disqualifications,” Dagulo said by phone.
To shorten the tedious adoption process, the DSWD also dropped its requirement of having a social worker visit the adopted child in the home of the adoptive family once a month for a period of six months.
This was a requirement prior to the filing of a petition for adoption with a court, the final stage of the legal process.
The DSWD now defers to the court to decide whether or not to send its own social worker to visit the child at home during the hearing on the petition for adoption, Dagulo said.
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