Believing that every child needs a loving and caring family, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is enhancing public awareness on the growing number of orphaned, abandoned or neglected Filipino children in need of love and permanent families.

The department likewise promote, widens and intensifying adoption and foster care of these children in the absence of their biological parents.

In a Foster Care and Adoption Forum held at DSWD Field Office 5, Buraguis Legazpi City recently, Ms. Arlene Chua, SWO II and Focal Person of the Adoption Resource and Referral Section explained that the department is gender sensitive. Applicants for foster care and adoption will not be judge on his/her sexual representation as long as he/she has shown enthusiasm for wanting to care for a child.

The forum was also a venue for prospective adoptive parents to clarify issues and concern about adoption and foster care. It also encourages couples or parents of right age to legally adopt in order to reduce the rising number of orphaned, neglected and abandoned children in the country.

Foster care is the provision of substitute parental care to a child by licensed foster family when his/her biological parents are unable to care for them while adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished their parental authority over the child.

“Legal adoption is for the best interest of the children. It will provide them with the assurance of the protection provided by the state and will protect them from abuses and harshness”, Mr. Kenjie Andal, an adoptive father of a three year old girl proudly beams that God had made couples like he and his wife Stephanie because there are children who will need them.

Blessing in disguise 

“ I considered my family blessed because after 9 years of marriage….waiting to have a baby, Rain was given to us.

Kenjie also shared that their marriage was almost in a rock. They have very limited time for each other having both busy in their work. She is a dentist here in Albay while he works as a Corporate Planning Head in Manila. “We do not have family which we can call our own, “he added.

Kenjie said that for him a family is composed of a father, mother and children be it natural born or adopted.

The realization of dreams

June 30, 2011 was a lucky day for us. It was a day when I received a call from my wife that there is a baby at home (in Bicol). It was “Rain”. Rain because it was raining hard when a skinny baby about 1 year and 9 months, wrapped in a plastic bag was given to us.

“Having a child of their own is one of the fondest dreams of the couple. According to them having Rain in their lives is a realization of their dream.

Rain is the realization that parenthood is not just bearing a child but it is giving the best love and care to the children.

“The best thing that happened in my life was when I heard Rain called me Papa”Kenjie exclaimed.

As expressed by Stephanie and Kenjie, the best way of really expressing their love for Rain is to ensure that we will be able to provide security blanket that will protect her from any threat or being left abandoned again so that we decided to legalize our parental authority over her.

The long process of legally having Rain is worth it. We are praying hard to have another baby….a natural born, but if we will not be able to have it,” I know that the DSWD is always ready to help us look for another “Rain” in our life.” Kenjie disclosed.###eejerusalem/crbarrameda