How a former adopted child turned into an adoptive father PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 August 2014 11:45



For Pastor Samuel Cariño, a former adopted child, becoming an adoptive father later on in his life was something he did not plan but it happened and it could be due to God’s calling.

“The adoption took place as if it was designed by God. It seems that He was leading me and my wife into something that will change our lives forever, which is adopting a homeless child and giving him the warmth and love of a real family,” said Pastor Cariño as he looked back on the circumstance that led them (he and his wife) to decide to go for adoption.

“He (referring to God) made me realize that my situation was no accident. I believe that God orchestrated the events in my life, and if there is one thing that He would want me to do, that is to adopt a child. I felt that this was the legacy God wanted me to pass on,” he recounted.

As a young boy, Samuel was legally adopted on May 30, 1974 by Miguel and Victorita “Betty” Cariño, a childless couple from Midsayap, Cotabato. At the time of the adoption, the couple were childless.

“When my adoptive parents got married in 1969, they earnestly prayed for a son. My adoptive mother even vowed, ‘Lord, if You would give me a son, he will become a pastor,” said Pastor Cariño as he narrated his story to this writer based on what his adoptive parents had told him.

He explained that his adoptive parents gave equal treatment to him and their legal daughter, Marife, who was born four years after he was adopted.

“They loved me so much that I never realized I was an adopted son,” he said.

According to him, the discovery that he was an adopted son happened when he turned 12 years old.

“My friends started calling me ‘Hapon’ (Japanese), so I began to observe the faces of my family. Slowly, I began to realize that I did not resemble them in any way. Then I gathered enough courage to ask my mother if I am adopted.”

When his mother confirmed that he was indeed an adopted child, Samuel decided to find his real parents.

“I packed up my things, my emotions were in turmoil. My mother did not stop me from leaving. Instead, she waited for me to come home. Later, since I did not know where to go, nor where to get the means to survive, I decided to go home. Mom assured me that even if I am not their biological son, they love me still,” he narrated.

With the fair treatment he received from his adoptive parents at home, he felt secured and started believing that the Lord’s hand had placed him into a better world — having a loving family.

A tragedy struck the family in 1992 when his adoptive father was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs and was given only six months to live, while her adoptive mother died earlier due to enlargement of the heart after a liver operation.

“My world crashed. I did not know what to do. We became orphans in a span of two months. How could my sister Marife and I survive? What would happen to our schooling? These were just some of the questions that went through my mind,” he related.

With that situation, he began questioning God until one day he got very sick and ended up in the hospital fighting for life.

“It was then that I pleaded before God to give me one more chance to live... Along with the plea was the promise to serve Him faithfully all the days of my life,” Samuel recalled.

After getting healed, Samuel decided to fulfill his mother’s vow. He entered Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary in Zamboanga City in June 1994.

After he became a pastor in a Quezon City-based church, he married Hope, his long-time crush since he was in high school. When they remained childless for some years, they decided to adopt a child.

In March 2011, the couple attended a seminar on adoption conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), after which they submitted all the requirements in adopting a child.

In September of the same year, they were matched and the following month, Oct. 24, 2011, they fetched from the DSWD their bubbly seven-month-old adopted son whom they named “Chosen.”

“We named him Chosen because we learned that we cannot choose the baby. There is a committee who does the matching. And so we prayed, ‘God, You choose the baby for us.’ He is chosen by the Lord, at the same time, we are chosen by God to become his parents,” Pastor Samuel explained.

According to him, they chose to adopt in the legal way — through the Department of Social Welfare and Development — for the best interest of the child.

Meantime, the DSWD reminds couples to always choose for legal adoption.

“Legal adoption offers security and ensures the best interest of the child. This is why DSWD discourages direct placement and is against simulation of birth certificates,” DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman often stressed during legal adoption forums.

In the first semester of 2014, a total of 257 children were issued with DSWD Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA).

Of these number, 110 children are already under the care of families for trial custody that will eventually lead to possible adoption, 10 children are for foster-adopt cases while 137 children are for local matching process with adoptive parents.

For those interested to know more on how to go about legal adoption procedures, they may call DSWD-Adoption Resource and Referral Unit (ARRU) at 7348622 or contact the accredited DSWD-licensed adoption NGOs such as Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF) at 9121160 and Norfil Foundation at 372 3577.