DSWD Caraga meets hospital chiefs
by Leah T. Quintana
BUTUAN CITY (February 13) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga Region recently met the chiefs of hospitals and some LGU representatives to orient them on legal procedures on adoption especially on cases of abandoned children in the hospitals. The activity was part of the series of activities conducted by the Field Office relative to the celebration of the Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration on February 2-8, 2008 with the theme, "Isulong! Legal na Pag-aampon, hindi 'Simulation.'
The forum provided the venue for the hospital personnel, medical practitioners, government health workers and DSWD Field Office to discuss their issues and concerns pertaining to the implementation of the Domestic Adoption Law and abandoned children in the hospitals.
Discussed also in the forum are the procedures and requirements of adoption and foster care, R.A. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act.
Adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.
Atty. Josefe Sorrera-Ty explained thoroughly the legal process of adoption and the roles and functions of hospitals and other stakeholders underscoring the hospital personnel's responsibility to report abandoned children to DSWD. She emphasized that abandoned children in the hospitals should not be given away to anybody who wants to take custody of the child without even reporting it to the social welfare agency.
She also cautioned government and private health practitioners like nurses and midwives not to engage in the so-called "shopping" for children to be adopted because it is prohibited by law.
The lady lawyer also said DOH Hospitals/Hospitals are mandated by law to provide hospital-based care; specialized or general services. The law also mandated the medical practitioners to provide psychological and medical assessment of the adopter and adoptee.
Social Welfare director Mercedita P. Jabagat stressed that at present, the state's paramount consideration in adoption is the best interest and welfare of the child. "Adoption is designed to provide home, parental care, and education to unfortunate, needy or orphaned children," told Jabagat. It gives children the protection of society and family and allows childless couples or persons to experience the joys of parenthood and manifest their natural parental instincts.
With the Department's continued campaign against simulation of birth, Dir. Jabagat exhorted the participants to help prevent such unlawful act. She also urged those who want to adopt to do it the legal way to protect the child as well as themselves from being exploited.
The participants appreciated the invitation to the forum because according to them, it was the first time that they knew their responsibilities and functions as stipulated in the Domestic Adoption Law.
Other activities conducted were radio guesting/interview in different radio stations in Caraga region with the SWAD team leaders as resource persons, Adoption help desk in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur and hanging of streamers at the field office, at the SWAD team offices and at DSWD centers. (DSWD-13/PIA-13) [top]