MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that aims to do away with the lengthy court proceedings when adopting children, Malacanang said on Thursday.
Duterte signed on Feb. 21 Republic Act 11222, or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act, which is the ratified version of Senate Bill 2081 and House Bill 5675.
Under the new law, “simulation of birth” is defined as 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, causing the loss of the true identity and status of such child.
The law grants amnesty and allow the rectification of the simulated birth of a child where simulation was made for the best interest of the child, and that such child has been consistently considered and treated by the person.
It also fixes the status and filiation of a child whose birth was simulated by giving such child all the benefits of adoption and ensuring that such child shall be entitled to all the rights provided by law to legally adopted children.
Those who simulated the birth record of a child prior to the law’s effectivity are exempted from criminal, civil, and administrative liability, provided that a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record is filed 10 years from the law’s effectivity.
Instead of going through the courts, those who will file petition for adoption may do so through the Social Welfare and Development Officer of the city or municipality where the child resides.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary shall decide on the petition within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the department’s regional director.
After all requirements for administrative adoption have been met, the child shall be considered the legitimate child of a person and as such is entitled to all rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children born to them.
DSWD records showed that about 6,500 children have been declared available for adoption, almost 4,000 of them are under the care of the government and nongovernment residential care facilities./PN