THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Dumaguete City has reminded the public on the importance of supporting legal adoption and not those facilitated over social media using fake accounts.

Social Welfare and Development (Swad) Adoption Program focal person Analiza Cimafranca said prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to follow the legal process or be charged criminally for birth simulation.

In a Kapihan sa PIA forum, Cimafranca said the government is giving a 10-year amnesty for couples with simulated birth record of their adopted child and exempting them from criminal liability, given that they will comply with the legal adoption process to fix this problem.

Cimafranca explained that under Republic Act 11222, adoptive parents may correct simulated birth records of their adopted child with the help of DSWD.

The law provides simpler and less expensive administrative adoption proceedings for the couple and their adopted child.

Simulation of birth records happen when the biological mother and adopting parents agree that the latter’s names would appear in a child’s birth certificate instead of the child’s birth mother.

Cimafranca said this kind of arrangement is prevalent among young women -- mostly still studying -- and childless couples looking for a child to adopt.

The law took effect in March 2019 and couples who simulated birth records three years prior to the implementation of the law can avail themselves of this.

“Follow the legal process of adoption to safeguard the best interest and welfare of the child,” said Cimafranca.

Dumaguete City Social Welfare and Development focal person for Children’s Programs Mercy Tuballa-Suringa said that complying with the legal adoption process upholds a child’s right to have a home and guarantees that the adoptive child is given the same benefits and privileges experienced by the families’ other children. (PIA)