Adoption process is now simpler and those who will tampered records to make it appear that a child was born to a person who is not the biological mother may be granted amnesty. 

Duterte signed Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act on February 21, 2019.

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

Under the new law, adopters must possess the following qualifications:

  1.  Filipino citizens,
  2. of legal age,
  3. possess full civil capacity and legal rights,
  4. of good moral character,
  5. have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude,
  6. emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and
  7. capable of supporting the child. 

If the adopter is a foreigner married to a Filipino, there is an additional requirement that the foreigner must have been residing in the Philippines for at least three years before the filing of the petition for adoption. 

Court intervention, no more

Those who seek to adopt a child may file a petition with the social welfare and development officer of the city or town where the child lives and the petition shall be acted upon within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the agency’s regional director.

Also, by virtue of this new law, the status and filiation of a child whose birth was simulated would be entitled to all rights provided to legally-adopted children.

Under the old law, Republic Act 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act penalizes those who cause the fictitious registration of the birth of a child under the name of a person who is not the biological parent.

Simulation of birth record 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 such child’s biological mother, and causing the lost of the true identity and status of such child.”

Grant of amnesty

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

To be granted the amnesty, the applicant must file a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record within ten years from the effectivity of the law

A person who simulated the birth of a child before may rectify the birth record of the child if he/she has been living with the person for at least three years before the law took effect.

Sen. Grace Poe, is the principal author of the Simulated Birth Rectification Act.

Photo credit: Philadelphia Legal Assistance