How a couple erased their negative feelings about child adoption PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 13 September 2014 11:54



Negative feelings about child adoption are common among some childless couples.

But unexpected circumstances led a couple from Paranaque City to erase that feeling and instead opened their eyes to its real beauty — giving a name and family to an abandoned child needing the warmth of parental love and at the same time being filled with happiness and joy of having a baby in the family.

“I never thought that I will undergo the adoption process. I feel ashamed of not having a child before,” Michael Dennis told officials and employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led by Secretary Corazon J. Soliman during a recent flag-raising ceremony at the department’s Central Office in Quezon City where he was invited to give a short testimony.

Dennis recalled that on his fifth year of marriage with Cecil Sucgang, they faced the problem of inability to conceive a child because he was diagnosed with “azoospermia,” a medical condition of a man not having any measurable level of sperm cells.

He admitted that he was shocked upon learning of his condition because like any other normal couple, he and Cecil also dreamed of having a perfect family with children.

“But we learned to overcome the pain by supporting each other, as well as leaning on the support of our respective families and relatives,” he shared.

With full realization of what was lacking in their married life, they gradually considered adoption to be the logical choice for them to become parents to a child who is waiting to be loved and cared for by a family.

They decided to go to the DSWD, and in September 2009, the couple was assessed by a social worker as capable of adopting a child.

Like other couples going for adoption, they underwent the usual stage of matching process to their preferred female child.

Dennis cited that he was working in Singapore when he received the good news that they were finally matched with a baby girl whom they later named as Cyrille.

“I cried when I first saw the picture of baby Cyrille sent by my wife. That was the most beautiful picture of a baby girl I ever saw,” Dennis narrated as he cited how happy he was on that day.

He said that due to excitement to be with Cyrille, he immediately requested his employer for a vacation and flew home to the Philippines.

“When I first met my five-month-old child at the airport, I was very happy, and it entirely changed my negative feelings about adoption,” Dennis narrated.

On June 22, 2011, after nearly two years of waiting, the court issued the Certificate of Finality of their adoption application.

He shared that Cyrille is now studying in school and growing to be a very pretty and smart girl — a source of pride and joy that serve as assurance they did the right thing when they opted to go for adoption.

Today, the couple is one among the members of active adoption support groups in the National Capital Region which advocate adoption and speak of its real beauty and wonders offered to abandoned children who are assured of better lives as they are given the chance to be with the “right people who will give them love, support and care of real biological parents.”

Dennis and Cecil are among those who are often invited to give inspirational talks to prospective adoptive parents.

They said that they are considering to adopt a baby boy this time as they prepare for their second adoption application.

“We hope that through our advocacy in our own little ways, we can bring positive changes to other people’s lives, especially to abandoned children who need the love and care of a family,” Dennis said.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over a child.

It is for children who cannot be reared by their biological parents and who need and can benefit from new and permanent family ties, she said.

In legal adoption, which is the rightful way and stressed by DSWD, the same mutual rights and obligations exist between children and their adoptive parents.

In 2010, a year after Republic Act No. 9523, otherwise known as “An Act Requiring Certification of the DSWD to Declare a Child Legally Available for Adoption as a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings” was enacted, DSWD’s Adoption Resource and Referral Office (ARRO) received numerous applications from prospective adoptive parents.

Since then and up to the first semester of 2014, at least 414 children were placed for permanent adoption.