15-Mar-2019 Intellasia |
UNTV News |
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that will simplify the process of legal adoption in the Philippines.
Duterte signed the Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act on February 22. Malacanang released a copy of the law on Thursday (March 14).
The law would allow the rectification of the simulated birth of a child, in which the simulation was made for the best interest of such child.
The measure defines simulation of birth record 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.”
Under the law, a person who simulated a child’s birth record and those who cooperated in doing so prior to the effectivity of the law shall be exempted from criminal, civil or administrative liability provided that it was made “for the best interest of the child and the child has been consistently considered and treated by the person as her, his or their own daughter or son.”
To avail of the amnesty, the person should file a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record within ten years from the law’s effectivity.
A person who simulated the birth of a child may avail of adoption proceedings and rectify the birth record if the child has been living with the person for at least three years before the law took effect. Also required is a social department-issued certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption.
The law will also fix the status and filiation of a child whose birth was simulated by giving such child all the benefits of adoption and ensuring that he or she would be entitled to all rights provided to legally-adopted children.
The measure also seeks to provide for a simpler and less costly administrative adoption process that will apply to children who have been living with persons who simulated their birth record for at least three years before the law took effect.
According to the new law, adopters must be Filipino citizens, of legal age, possess full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character and have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.
They must also be emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and capable of supporting the child.
For couples where one of the adopters is a foreign national married to a Filipino, the foreigner must have been residing in the Philippines for at least three continuous years before filing of the petition for adoption and application for rectification of simulated birth control.
If an adoptee is 10 years old or over, a written consent of the adoptee is required. The same is also needed from the “legitimate and adopted daughters and sons, 10 years old and above, of the adopter and adoptee, if any.”
The petition should be supported by a copy of the simulated birth or foundling certificate of the child, affidavit of admission if the simulation was done by a third person, a certification from the village chief attesting that the petitioners are residents of the village and the child has been living with them, and a certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The law also requires petitioners to present affidavits of at least two disinterested persons who reside in the same village where the child resides, attesting that the child has been living with the petitioner for at least three years prior to the effectivity of the Act.
Instead of going through court proceedings, those who seek to adopt a child may file a petition with the social welfare and development officer of the town where the child lives. The social welfare secretary shall decide on the petition within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the agency’s regional director.
If the petition is granted, the adopted child would be considered a legitimate son or daughter “for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by the law.”
Adoption may be rescinded an adopter committed repeated physical or verbal maltreatment to the adoptee, made an attempt on the life of the adoptee, sexually assaulted the adoptee, abandoned and failed to comply with parental obligations or any acts that are detrimental to the psychological and emotional development of the adoptee.
An adoptee may file a petition for rescission with the assistance of the DSWD if he or she is a minor or over 18 years old but is incapacitated.
Under the law, those who obtained adoption through coercion, fraud, undue influence, improper inducement or other similar acts may be penalised with imprisonment from six years to 12 years and/or a fine of no less than P200,000.
Non-compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided by the law for adoption, and subjecting or exposing the child to danger, abuse, or exploitation are also punishable under the law.