Mrs. Cynthia Mae F. Pingoy (L) and her husband Francis are seen wit their adopted daughter inside their house in General Santos City. (Photo by Inas Codarangan / DSWD)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in collaboration with other agencies, is celebrating this year’s “Adoption Consciousness Week” from February 24 to Feb. 27.

This year’s theme, “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption),” seeks to promote legal adoption as an expression of unconditional love and support to abandoned, neglected, and surrendered children.

According to Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, in Central Mindanao this year’s celebration will kick off with a  walk for legal adoption on February 24, at 7:00 a.m., from Koronadal city’s commercial district going to the regional office, where selected college students will interpret “I Love you Anak”, a song that was recorded by international singer Lea Salonga in support for DSWD’s Inter-Country Adoption Board Adoption Advocacy Campaign.

A help desk will be also set up at SM  shopping here and at Pinggoy Medical Center in Koronadal City to cater the queries of couples inclined to adopt and foster care. 

Other activities include adoption forum, spoken poetry among regional employees and media forum to discuss issues related on the implementation of Republic Act No. 11222 or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act,” warnings on the birth simulation and social media pages facilitating illegal adoption, and information on pending laws related to legal adoption.

”This year, we  encourage families to undergo legal adoption in order to protect the welfare of adopted children.  The legal adoption process will also ensure the safety, security, and best interest of the adoptive children,” Dir. Espejo said.

To date, around 17 children at the agency’s facility are up for adoption with half of them matched to prospective adoptive applicants. ( JBM / DSWD)