I published a news article this week on my Facebook page which highlighted the plight of almost 2 million children in the Philippines who are living without families. This article really hit a cord with my readers and it is not difficult to see why. These are the stories that we never hear about, the children hidden in plain sight on the streets, in a society who has become accustomed to them and whose efforts to help and support them are minimal. I must confess that the article surprised me as ICAB (The Inter-Country Adoption Board) of the Philippines is a very strong body, that is transparent and seems to work very hard on behalf of children needing adoption. But obviously their efforts fall short.
The IAC here in the UK has a Philippines programme, but last time a prospective adopter asked them about it, they were told that it does not work. This, though, is in strong contrast to Northern Ireland where the Philippines is one of the most popular countries to adopt from 'because it works so well'.
The numbers though are frightening, shocking and incomprehensible especially as this small country hardly ever comes on our radar. I remember once catching one of Stacy Dooley's fascinating documentaries on the Philippines and I realised that this was the first time I had actually seen any images of the country. She visited a maternity home and I have never seen anything like this in my life. It was the size of an aircraft hanger, with huge beds that had flat mattresses, The mothers would set up home in one of the beds with family and their own food and they would wait for the birth. Midwives would walk around checking that all was OK and would intervene if necessary. The scale was incredible as there must have been over 100 women giving birth at that one moment in time.
What scares me about these numbers is that these are the children who are going to be adults in the next generation - in my child's generation. They are going to grow up streetwise and poor, and will have more children as sex is probably their only pleasure and is a resource they have to exploit, and the cycle will continue. And who will carry the burden of the world's poor?
I will say it again and I feel like I am the lonely voice in the wind - international adoption is a viable and positive option for some of these children. There certainly are hundreds of families who are prepared to open their hearts out to a child growing up without the love of parents, it is time to remove so many of the obstacles in the way of these children finding permanent and loving parents so they can fulfil their true potential.
We can help you adopt a child from the Philippines. Call Cecile on 08444 157 827
Picture from Philippines Lifestyle News