What does it really mean to become a parent? There’s no cookie-cutter formula on becoming one. Today, parenthood is no longer solely defined by one’s ability to conceive and bear a child biologically. It goes beyond blood ties.
Adoption, which is similar to any parental journey, can be one of life’s most challenging experiences. It is a path that brings about a lot of adjustments, responsibilities, emotions, and even sacrifices for both the adoptive parent and adoptee.
Esmie Tagatac, an adoption advocate, understands these hurdles being an adoptive parent herself. She knows that even when an adopted child is brought into a positive home, they may still face issues on identity, self-esteem, mental health, disconnection, association, and prejudice.
“I think one of the hardest things about adoptive parenthood is explaining to our children that they are adopted. There is no easy way to do it no matter how prepared and open we think we are. That is why it is important for us adoptive parents to foster effective communication at home, be understanding and patient, and give support to our children to help them overcome any uncertainties,” she shares.
Tagatac aims to help and inspire prospective parents through her adoption story.
“There are a lot of children that needs a loving home and a family that will care for them. I deem that for people like us who are blessed, we have a responsibility to portion out our blessings to these children and give them a better chance at life,” opines Tagatac.
Living with her adopted three-year-old son Isaiah for over a year now, she likewise understands that balancing work and parenting duties is not a walk in the park.
“As a single working parent, I know how tough it can get. However, with patience and communication, we can help our children adjust, and feel more reassured and safe,” shares Tagatac.
She continues, “It is also important that apart from working for their future, we should also find time to spend with our little ones to strengthen our bond. I am likewise lucky that I work in a company that shares my perspective and am grateful that they have supported me in every step of this journey.”
Tagatac has been working with Refinitiv, a global provider of market and financial data and news, for 17 years now. Through the company’s Adoption Leave Policy, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, she was able to successfully adopt and support her son.
Under the said policy, Tagatac is entitled to a 70-day adoption leave meant for child care and for processing of legal documents. Likewise, both she and her child receive medical benefits from the company.
“We at Refinitiv understand the value and fulfillment parenthood gives. That is why we strive hard to provide more flexible and dynamic opportunities to our employees and support them in their parental journey—equally addressing work-life balance and encouraging their wellbeing,” says Lei Buendia, Refinitiv director for contributed operations and Manila co-site lead.
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