Signed on Feb. 21, Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act allows the rectification of the simulated birth of a child. It also fixes the status of a child whose birth was simulated.
Duterte signs law on simplified adoption process
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has signed into law a bill simplifying the adoption process and granting amnesty to those who tampered with records to make it appear that a child was born to a person not the biological mother. 

Signed on Feb. 21, Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act allows the rectification of the simulated birth of a child. It also fixes the status of a child whose birth was simulated.

Simulation of birth records refers to the tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in the record of birth that a child was born to a person who is not his or her biological mother. 

It ensures the child’s entitlement to all the benefits of adoption and rights enjoyed by legally adopted children. 

The law seeks to provide for simpler and less costly administrative adoption proceedings that will apply to children who have been living for at least three years with persons who simulated their birth record.

Under the law, a person who simulated a child’s birth and who cooperated in doing so will not be criminally, civilly or administratively liable, provided that it was made for the best interest of the child and the child has been consistently considered and treated by the person as his or her own.

To avail himself of the amnesty, a person should have filed a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record within 10 years from effectivity of the law.

A person who simulated the birth of a child may avail himself of the adoption proceedings and rectify the birth record if the child has been living with him for at least three years before the law took effect.

Also required is a social welfare department-issued certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said the agency would ensure that the law on adoption process will be fully enforced.

“No legal adoption may take place through social media or any other means,” Bautista said during observance of the 20th Adoption Consciousness Celebration recently.

He urged the public to be wary of the increasing number of fake Facebook pages engaging in illegal adoption of children.

In an earlier statement, Sen. Grace Poe, principal author of the Simulated Birth Rectification Act, said the provision made adoption tedious and costly for ordinary Filipinos. 

Under the new law, adopters must be Filipino citizens, of legal age, possess full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and capable of supporting the child. 

For couples where one of the adopters is a foreigner married to a Filipino, the foreigner must have resided in the Philippines for at least three years before the filing of petition for adoption. 

Instead of going through court proceedings, those who seek to adopt a child may file a petition with the social welfare officer of the city or town where the child lives.

The social welfare secretary will decide on the petition within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the agency’s regional director.

Once the requirements are met, the adopted child will be considered a legitimate son or daughter and will be entitled to all rights and obligations provided by law.

About 6,500 children have been declared available for adoption.

Almost 4,000 of them are under the care of state-run facilities, according to a recent Senate statement. – With Rainier Allan Ronda

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