Homes of adoptive parents can turn livelier with the presence of adopted child PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:43

By LEILANI S.JUNIO

 

Having an adoptive child that can transform silence into much joy and laughter in a once not so lively home is a significant indication for some childless couple to confirm that they did the right thing when they decided to consider legal adoption.

According to Bryan and Marie Grace Retales who gave their testimonies to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the presence of their adopted child “Margie” transforms their once very silent home into a livelier place as they shared together the joy of loving a child even if they are not the biological parents.

“We got married in 2005 and remained childless for six years because Marie Grace was diagnosed with a condition, wherein she is not capable of conceiving,” revealed Bryan.

With their great love for each other, the situation did not became a reason for them to become “unhappy couple” or divided couple and instead made them closer and stronger as they vowed altogether to look for ways on how their desire to build a big family surrounded with children turns into reality one day.

“Like any other childless couple, we considered some options that were advised to us by some friends and relatives such as artificial insemination, in-vitro fertility test (IVF) and even adoption,” said Marie Grace.

After a period of contemplating on the options they feel that undergoing practices of artificial insemination and in-vitro fertility test (IVF) do not conform to their practices and beliefs as devoted Christians so they just ignored that option.

However, in their stronger desire to have child, they decided to continue with the option so Marie Grace took fertility pills upon the advised of physician.

“Seeing my wife suffering side effects brought me to a decision to stop that option and consider adoption,” Bryan added.

He said at first, with their intention to really have a child, they tried adopting not within the proper way.

“When we were informed about an abandoned child, we almost wanted to adopt that child immediately,” Bryan recalled.

But perhaps they were destined to adopt the child in the “rightful manner”, the child was not given to their custody which gave them a feeling of disappointment.

“But through that situation we were enlightened that the best way to adopt is to do it legally. So we contacted NORFIL Foundation, Inc., a child placement agency accredited by DSWD, on January 2011, to express our interest in adopting a baby girl.

Like other adoptive parents, they attended the Local Matching Conference at DSWD Central Office in May 2011, where they were matched to an 8-month old baby girl from an orphanage in Palawan.

Through the seminars they attended they were informed that in adopting it is really for the best interest of the child to do it in the legal ways as what the DSWD always stressed because the adoptive parents are informed on the benefits that the “homeless child” can gain from the adoption process.

“Legal adoption offers security and ensures that 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 said.

They named their child Maria Margarita, fondly called Margie.

The couple described themselves as epitome of loving parents to the baby girl who is now three years old.

Bryan even took a one-week break from work to bond with their infant daughter, while Marie Grace filed two years of leave from her post-graduate studies to be a full-time mother to Margie.

“We are very happy to have Margie in our lives. Although we experienced some changes in our lifestyle with Margie’s arrival, we simply enjoy being with our daughter,” they both shared.

Bryan and Marie Grace claimed that they never felt that Margie is adopted because they love her unconditionally no ifs and buts.

“Adoption had helped us fulfill our dream to have a child of our own and completed our family,” they affirmed.

They added that they do not intend to hide to their daughter the details of adoption and willing to tell the child once she can understand everything.

“We believe that our daughter has a right to know the truth. And truth will set us free if we are open to her. We believe she will appreciate it best if the information comes from us. We will always emphasize to her that nothing is wrong with being adopted and nothing will change as the love is deeply embedded to our hearts,” Marie Grace added.

She added that she will always tell Margie that she may not have come inside her womb but she grew inside her heart and their love for her is true and we will always be behind her as real parents who just wanted the best for her,” she further said.

Bryan and Marie Grace are active participants of NORFIL’s Adoptive Parents (NAP) Adoption Support Group, taking part in its activities so they can learn and share their positive experiences on adoption to other adoptive families.

Further, as part of the support group, they advocate to couples who are able to consider adoption and help the many homeless kids waiting to have their own families in the different orphanages.

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

Of the said 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.

Interested couples or persons who want to know more on how to go about legal adoption procedures, may call DSWD-Adoption Resource and Referal Unit (ARRU) at 734 86 22 or contact the accredited DSWD-licensed adoption NGOs such as Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF) at 912 11 60 and Norfil Foundation at 372 3577.