By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 5:33 PM February 15, 2020
Boy and Lenie have been dreaming of having a child for years, and it just did not happen.
They found a chance when a relative, still in college, got pregnant and is due in a month. What did they do? Waited it out until she gave birth, took hold of the birth registration documents and consciously entered faulty data, to make it appear that the newborn child is that of Leni, and not of the biological mother.
What they just did constitutes simulation of birth, an act deemed illegal by the Republic Act 8552, and is punishable by prision mayor of 6 years and 1 day to twelve years.
They may not be caught there and then, but in time, the law would catch up on them, and then, their problems start.
When the child goes to school, documents would be asked. One lie would lead to another, civil registry altered, data tampered with, and that sense of digging one’s grave even deeper sinks in.
Good thing, there is Republic Act No. 11222, or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act,” which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last Feb. 21, shared Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Welfare Assistant Karen Faith Caliso.
Speaking together with Bohol Social Welfare and Development Team leader Rhea Marie Tubongbanua at Kapihan sa PIA, both social workers bared the good news that that government, as the President has promised, grants a limited amnesty to those who simulated birth records, the same law that allows rectification of such records through a simplified process that makes adoption less cumbersome.
Caliso said the law “exempts from criminal, civil, and administrative liability, those persons who simulated the birth record of a child prior to the effectivity of this act.
That also means Boy and Lenie can now be exempt from liabilities, provided they process their tampered civil registry records.
“The Simulated Birth Rectification Act now allows for adoptive parents who tampered with their child’s birth record to correct the document and legally adopt the child without fear of prosecution, as long as it is in the ‘best interest of the child’,”
reiterates Tubongbanua, whose office in Bohol now accepts and processes the administrative proceedings for adoption.
By best interest, that the simulation has happened and that the child has lived with the adoptive parents for at least three years when the petition for rectification was filed according to the new law, and that the child has been consistently considered and treated as their own son or daughter, Caliso explained.
By this, not all of those who tampered with the civil registry documents can avail of the amnesty, Caliso, whose unit at the DSWD 7 is technically handling adoption cases added.
The adoptive parents of a child for adoption and whose birth records have been tampered with, should have pegged at least three years before March 29, 2019, or those who had in their care the earlier than March 28, 2016, for them to avail of the amnesty, DSWD explained.
According to the government agency in charge for adoptions, just the same, even with the dispelling of the lengthy legal proceedings to have a child adopted, this new law that makes adoption now an administrative process, demand that prior to the act [of adoption], the DSWD still needs to issue a Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption.
That also presumes that the adoptive parents, by law should be Filipino citizens of legal age of good moral character and with the capacity to support, educate, care for the child and has not been convicted of a crime involving morel turpitude.
The Kapihan sa PIA on the new adoption law was also in time for the first week of February which is the Adoption Awareness Week.
Persons interested in adoption can then visit their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers and be appraised of the new administrative processes.