Adoption is such a laborious (and expensive) process in the Philippines that many resort to "simulating a birth record."
"Simulation of birth record refers to 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 reads.
This tampering of a public document had made one criminally liable under Philippine law until last February 21, 2019 when President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11222, or the "Simulated Birth Rectification Act."
The new law states that "a person or persons who, prior to the effectivity of this Act, simulated the birth of a child, and those who cooperated in the execution of such simulation, shall not be criminally, civilly, or administratively liable for such act."
This is now allowed provided that the act was made in the best interest of the child, and that he or she was treated by said individuals like their own daughter or son, the law further explains.
In addition, these individuals have to file a petition for adoption "with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record within ten (10) years from the effectivity of this Act."
Anyone who simulated the birth of a child "may avail of administrative proceedings for the adoption and rectification of the simulated birth record of such child, provided that the child has been living with the person for at least three (3) years before the effectivity of this Act," and that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) issues a certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption (CDCLAA).
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An administrative proceeding is one that takes place without the need for a judicial motion in a court of law.
For an administrative adoption to proceed, the adopters:
must be Filipino citizens and of legal age
must possess full civil capacity and legal rights
are of good moral character
have not been convicted of any crime "involving moral turpitude"
are emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children
are in a position to support and care for the child in keeping with the means of the family.
Read the full text of the "Simulated Birth Rectification Act" here.