Almost 6,500 children in the Philippines were marked legally available for adoption between 2009 and 2017. Most of those are currently being living in residential facilities. In an effort to raise awareness, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) hosted the Adoption Consciousness Celebration.  The event, which ran from from February 10th to the 18th, aimed to find permanent homes for the many kids who are orphaned, neglected, abandoned, and surrendered.

Emmanuel A. Leyco of the Department of Health and Welfare said, “At the heart of adoption is the inspiration to build homes filled with happiness, security, respect, and unconditional love between people who are unrelated by blood.”

A “Wall for Legal Adoption” was held on February 10th, followed by a gathering of adoptive families and children. A press conference was held with legal adoption experts, families, and advocates, as well as members of DSWD. Adoption Help Desks were set up in the malls on the 17th and 18th.

Along with sharing the vast need for adoptions, the DSWD used the opportunity to educate against illegal forms of adoption. Leyco warned, “We enjoin the public to help us in our efforts to end illegal adoption facilitated through social media networks because it’s tantamount to child trafficking. Illegal adoption should be stopped because it’s a practice that endangers the lives of children and adoptive parents.”

Though ideally every Filipino child would be placed with a family within their home country, international adoption is also an option for these children. Those who are interested in adopting from the Philippines, which is a Hague Convention country, should be aware that US Citizens adopting from the Philippines must be residents of the Philippines for at least three years before petitioning to adopt. However, these requirements may be waived if at least one of the hopeful adoptive parents is as former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative.