COUPLES who are planning to raise a child not their own, as well as those who are already raising a child not their own, are advised not to simulate the child's birth registration but instead go through the legal process of adoption.
Davao City Civil Registrar's Office head, lawyer Leo Anthony Braceros, during the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) Adoption Symposium held at the Apo View Hotel on Friday, February 15, 2019, reminded that there's no other legal way in raising a child not their own but through legal adoption.
Simulation of birth is the "tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his biological mother." This will result in the child's losing his true identity and status.
Simulation of birth violates the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 (RA 8552) which carries a penalty of prision mayor and a fine.
Braceros enumerated some indicators that simulation of birth has been committed by the parents which include among others the mother's age at the time of birth.
"If she's already old, like 50 or above, and she gave birth, makahatag ni siya'g pagduda," he said.
Long delayed first born also gives doubt as to the authenticity of the child's birth since most newlyweds want to have children not later than five years after their marriage.
Other indicators include the absence of immunization for a million dollar baby or only traditional "hilot" or birth attendant for a million-dollar baby.
"Million-dollar babies katong mga batang ang amahan foreigners, makahatag gyud og pagduda kung ang anak sa usa ka foreigner wala napabakunahan or kung gipaanak lamang sa usa ka traditional birth attendant," Braceros said.
The Civil Registrar's Office may also conduct preliminary evaluation of birth registration application if there is unusual irregularity of birth spacing, virtually unknown birth attendant or deceased birth attendant and if the parents show a newly prepared pre-natal record when the child is already a toddler.
These indicators are only their guide in detecting and in preventing simulated birth registration.
Meanwhile, lawyer Francis A. Calatrava, regional director of Public Attorney's Office Davao (PAO 11) and chairperson of Child Welfare Specialist Group, who was also the resource speaker during the symposium added that only legal adoption creates legal ties between the adopter and the adoptee. Legal adoption protects the legal interest of the child and the adoptive parents shall also enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled, like maternity and paternity benefits.