Under the Philippine law, children are no longer eligible for adoption when they reach 15 years of age. When international borders closed at the start of the pandemic in 2020, an adoption agency admitted that it only managed to send one child to Europe.
According to 2016 United Nations data, the country has around 1.8 million “neglected or abandoned” children.
Yet, in 2020 alone, the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) shares that only 80 children were placed for adoption even though there are at least 700 families or individuals from the U.S. or Europe waiting in line to adopt at any given time.
Although a new adoption law was passed in January 2022 to streamline the process and make it more affordable, its effects are yet to be seen.
With this project, journalists Bernice Beltran and Maro B. Enriquez aim to uncover the factors and challenges that leave young Filipino children languishing in childcare institutions.