On May 30, 2016 ICAB was emailed a copy of the article: “The Philippines has 1.8 million abandoned children. Here’s what keeps them from adoption” and “It’s unfair. Even if we’re over 15, you should still adopt us, because we still need a family” published on May 30, 2016 by the Los Angeles Times. On May 31, 2016 ICAB sent the following email to the Correspondent MS SUNSHINE DE LEON (who to date has not emailed nor responded to the same). UPDATE: The story has been republished by the Business Mirror on June 3. 2016.


Ms. Sunshine de Leon
Correspondent, Los Angeles Time
Dear Ms. de Leon:
This has reference to your article co-written with Mr. Jonathan Kaiman.

The Inter-Country Adoption Board is saddened by the lack of verification of data used in the aforementioned article.

For your information, the child mentioned in the article, was cleared for inter-country adoption on October 23, 2014 at 16 years and 8 months old and has not “just turned 15” as stated in the article. The age is crucial since US laws are clear that only children below sixteen (16) are eligible for adoption to the US. xxx (the quoted) statement that: “The Intercountry Adoption Board just rejected her outright” therefore is based on the wrong premise.

The child’s profile was immediately endorsed to the foreign adoption agencies in the hope of finding an adoptive family for her. In reference to the “willing adoptive parents from Louisiana who had previously adopted from the home” referred to, the foreign adoption agency of the family stated that aside from the child not meeting the age requirement to immigrate to the USA as an adopted child (US Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101 (b)(1)(G), in part, that defines “child” as follows: “The child is under the age of 16 on the filing date of the petition”), the “willing adoptive parents” never made any move to process papers for adoption.

Republic Act No. 9523 requires the social worker of the child caring agency to secure all legal documents to declare a child legally available for adoption. “Ineptitude and Incompetence of many, many social workers” therefore is wrongfully directed.

A copy of birth certificates are secured from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a government agency. The PSA can issue a copy the birth certificate or a certificate of No Record of Birth whichever is the case.

The child was admitted at the children’s home on December 20, 2010 when she was 12 years old. Four years had passed without obtaining a copy of the birth certificate from the PSA.

We trust that the data provided will guide you in writing about the Philippine adoption system. Considering that the Philippine model is considered as the highest standard in international adoptions we request more responsibility before printing unverified data.
Very truly yours,

Bernadette B. Abejo
Executive Director