PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure allowing parents and guardians to correct simulated birth records of their children through administrative proceedings.
Republic Act (RA) 11222 allows rectification of simulated birth of a child for his "best interest" by "giving such child all the benefits of adoption and ensuring that the child shall be entitled to all the rights provided by law to legally adopted children, without any discrimination of any kind, as well as to love, guidance, and support from the child's adoptive family."
The law, otherwise known as Simulated Birth Rectification Act, also exempts from criminal, civil and administrative liability those who simulated the birth record of a child, provided that a petition for adoption with an application for the ratification of the simulated birth record is filed within 10 years from effectivity of the Act.
A person who simulated the birth of a child may avail himself/herself of administrative proceedings, as long as the latter has been living with the former for at least three years before the signing of the law.
RA 11222 also permits adoption and rectification of simulated birth record of a child, given that there is a certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption (CDCLAA) issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
A CDCLAA is no longer required, if the adoptee is already an adult or a relative of the adopter within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity.
Under the law, adopters must "be Filipino citizens; 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 be in a position to support and care for the child in keeping with the means of the family."
"In case of adoption by a married couple, where one of the adopters is a foreign national married to a Filipino, the foreign national must have been residing in the Philippines for at least three continuous years prior to the filing of the petition for adoption and application for rectification of simulated birth record," RA 11222 read.
The petition should be filed before the Office of the Social Welfare and Development Officer (SWDO) of the city or municipality where the child resides.
The SWDO is given a week to examine the petition and supporting documents and determine whether the same is "sufficient in form and substance."
The SWDO will then forward the petition and the supporting documents to the regional director within three days, if the plea is sufficient in form and substance.
The regional director, who will review the petition, will transmit the recommendation to the Social Welfare secretary.
The Social Welfare secretary will then act and decide on the petition within 30 days. An order of adoption will be issued if the Social Welfare secretary determined that the adoption will redound to the child's best interest.
RA 11222, signed by Duterte on February 21, was made public by Palace on Thursday, March 14. (SunStar Philippines)