May 23, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The local government 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.

During the Municipal Peace and Order Council meeting on Nov. 17, Bayanos said their office is more than willing to assist individuals who have simulated or tampered with birth records to avail of the amnesty provided by the Simulated Birth Rectification Act.

The Simulated Birth Rectification Act or Republic Act 11222 which 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. Its implementing rules and regulations took effect in December 2019.

The 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 said birth simulations are cases in which the civil registry was tampered with 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 law, amnesty for 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.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Memorandum Circular 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 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.

Bayanos said 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.

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 said 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. – Alpine L. Killa