DSWD to start adoption process for baby abandoned at airport

Raoul Esperas

Posted at Jun 29 2017 02:31 PM

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will start processing the adoption documents of an infant abandoned by his mother at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last year.

The boy was 3 months old when his mother, an arriving passenger identified as Vilma Lastima of Maco, Davao, left him in the care of a stranger in November.

Travel documents obtained by the Manila International Airport Authority indicated that Lastima arrived on board a commercial flight from Amman, Jordan and intentionally left her child to Myrna Bonaobra who was at the airport to welcome an arriving relative.

Bonaobra reported to airport authorities that the boy’s mother failed to return for her child. Airport authorities turned over the baby to the care of the DSWD.

Ilene Lotino, supervising social worker of DSWD and in charge of the custody of the child, contacted ABS-CBN through this writer to know the whereabouts of the mother or any of her relatives. Lotino read a report on ABS-CBN News that the boy’s mother wanted to get her child back.

But since November, Lastima has yet to report to the DSWD NCR even though it was learned that she is already in Manila. 

Lotino, on the other hand, was able to communicate with Joy Detros, sister-in-law of Lastima, who expressed her interest in adopting the child. 

"Naiiyak nga po kami sa tuwa at nagkaroon ng pag-asa na makuha namin ang bata," Detros said. 

According to Lotino, if the mother or parents lose interest in claiming the child, the nearest of kin are given priority to adopt the child. 

Lotino further added that Detros has to secure a license with the DSWD and numerous documentary requirements, plus actual interview and counselling before the abandoned child will be returned to them.

"They will have to undergo the process of adoption and if they will be able to pass the requirements then DSWD will release the child to their custody," Lotino said.

Lotino said the child is now 9 months old and is very healthy and is starting to walk.

"Malusog po ang bata at nagsisimula na nga pong lumakad," Lotino said.