Public informed on simplified and faster adoption process

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) continues to promote unconditional love for children.

Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Araceli Shane Bayanos called on parents who simulated a child’s birth record to come into the open and adopt the child through legal procedures.

She made this announcement during the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) on November 17, 2021, in Barangay Dalican, Bontoc, Mountain Province.

According to Bayanos, their office is more than willing to assist individuals who have simulated or tampered birth records to avail of the amnesty provided by the Simulated Birth Rectification Act”.

The Simulated Birth Rectification Act” or Republic Act (RA) No 11222 that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 21, 2019, and took effect on March 29, 2019, allows birth records to be corrected and provides amnesty to adoptive parents with children whose birth records have been simulated. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were approved on October 7, 2019, and took effect in December 2019.

The new law aims to “provide for and allow a simpler and less costly administrative adoption proceeding where the child has been living with the person or persons who simulate her or his birth record” for at least three years before the effectivity of the act.

Bayanos explained that birth simulations are cases in which the civil registry was tampered to make it appear in a child’s birth record that he/she was born to someone other than his/her biological mother. Prior to the passing of RA 11222, individuals who committed birth simulation are bound to face legal liabilities.

With the Act, amnesty from any criminal, civil, or administrative liability will only be given to adoptive parents if they changed the birth records “for the best interest of the child” and that the child has been consistently considered and treated as the parents’ own son or daughter.

The law also fixes the status and affiliation of the child whose birth was simulated by giving them all the benefits of adoption.

Meanwhile, DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 16 which sets the guidelines on the Simulated Birth Rectification Act provides that “the child subject of the petition has been living with or under the custody of the petitioner(s) for at least three years prior to March 29, 2019 (or from March 29, 2016, or earlier), and he or she or they simulated the birth record of such child.”

It added that the petition for Administrative Adoption with Application for Rectification of Simulated Birth Record must be filed on or before March 29, 2029, which is the prescribed period under the law.

She mentioned that under the new law, adopters must be Filipino citizens, of legal age, possess the full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and capable of supporting the child.

Meanwhile, for couples where one of the adopters is a foreigner married to a Filipino, the foreigner must have resided in the Philippines for at least three years before the filing of the petition for adoption.

Bayanos remarked that it may take a while, but undergoing the legal process will be worth it as it ensures the child’s entitlement to all the benefits of adoption and rights enjoyed by legally adopted children.

For further inquiries, the public is advised to visit the MSWDO located at the First Floor of the Bontoc Municipal Capitol. By Alpine L. Killa