New law absolves adoptive parents who tampered with child's birth record
MANILA, Philippines – A new law absolves of any crime adoptive parents who changed the birth record of their adopted child and lays out a system for them to correct the birth record and legally adopt the child.
This law, the "Simulated Birth Rectification Act" or Republic Act No 11222, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 21. It was made accessible to the public on Wednesday, March 13.
The measure addresses cases in which the civil registry was tampered with to make it appear in a child's birth record that he was born to someone other than his biological mother. With the amnesty, those adoptive parents with children with simulated birth records will not fear admitting the situation, thus allowing for the birth records to be corrected.
But this amnesty from any criminal, civil, or administrative liability will only be given to adoptive parents if they changed the birth records "for the best interest of the child" and that the child has been consistently considered and treated as the parents' own son or daughter.
The law also fixes the status and filiation of the child whose birth was simulated by giving them all the benefits of adoption.
Kickstart adoption process
With the correction of the birth records, the adoptive parents may enter into administrative proceedings to legally adopt the child. This, however, can only happen if the child has been living with the person for at least 3 years after the effectivity of the law.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) must also have issued a certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption.
Adopters must also fulfill requirements: be a Filipino citizen, be of legal age, possess full civil capacity and legal rights, be of good moral character, have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, be emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, and must be in a position to support and care for the child in keeping with the means of the family.
There must be written consent from the adoptee if they are at least 10 years old, the legitimate and adopted children of the adopter and adoptee who are at least 10 years old, the illegitimate children of the adopter if living with the adopter and the latter's spouse who are at least 10 years old, and the spouse of the adoptee.
The administrative adoption procedure is kickstarted by a petition for adoption with an application for rectification of the birth record. It must come with supporting documents, like a copy of simulated birth or foundling certificate.
If an order of adoption is issued by the DSWD secretary, the simulated birth record will be cancelled and a rectified birth record will be issued bearing the names of the biological parents and the issuance of a foundling certificate.
With the adoption finalized, the adoptee will be considered the legitimate child of the adopter and is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children. – Rappler.com