By Daphne Galvez, March 15 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Image Credit to PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – The new law on the simplified adoption process could encourage more Filipino families to adopt children,  Senator Risa Hontiveros said Friday.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Republic Act No. 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act which would allow rectification of simulated births through a simplified administrative proceeding.

“I hope that RA 11222 will allow more and more adopted children to legitimately enjoy all the rights and benefits available to them under the law,” Hontiveros, the principal sponsor and co-author of the law in the Senate, said in a statement.

Birth simulation, the law says, 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 the child’s biological mother.

According to the law, 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 liable for such act provided that the simulation of birth was made for the best interest of the child and that the child has been consistently considered and treated by such person or persons his, her, or their own daughter or son.”

Hontiveros said that by granting amnesty and allowing rectification of simulated birth records, the new law will make it “easier, simpler, and less-prohibitive for parents to legally adopt their children.”

The new law would also allow the government to “plug the gaps” and improve the adoption process to make it “less lengthy and expensive, without compromising the safety and integrity of the child,” the senator said.

“We hope that the new law, among other state efforts, will encourage more adoption by Filipino families,” Hontiveros said.

“Every child, especially those who have been deprived of their parents, deserves a loving and caring family who will nurture them, protect them, and look after them,” she added.  / gsg