Congress ratifies simplified adoption process

Risa Hontiveros
Risa Hontiveros

SOME 6,500 “unwanted” children currently up for adoption will possibly soon be with their own families after the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill simplifying the adoption process of a child.

Senate Bill 2081 or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act of 2018” is contained in Committee Report 498 prepared by the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

The solons are hopeful the measure will be signed into law in time for a week-long celebration of “Adoption Consciousness” in February.

Records from the Department of Social Welfare and Development showed that at least 6,500 children have been declared available for adoption, almost 4,000 of them are under the care of the government and non-government residential care facilities.

Under the measure, prospective parents need not undergo the lengthy judicial process in the adoption of a child, which usually takes more than six months to complete.

The proposal also “grants amnesty and allow the rectification of the simulated birth of a child where simulation was made for the best interest of the child, and that such child has been consistently considered and treated by the person.”

“Birth simulation” 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.

Republic Act 8552 or the “Domestic Adoption Act“ penalizes any person who shall cause the fictitious registration of the birth of a child under the name(s) of a person(s) who is not his/her biological parent(s).”

“This provision makes adoption process tedious and excessively costly for ordinary Filipinos,” said Senator Grace Poe, principal author of the bill.

“This leaves a lot of adoptees under assumed filiation and unduly deprived of the benefits of legitimacy and succession,” Poe added.

To fast-track the adoption process, those who simulated the birth record of a child should be exempt from criminal, civil and administrative liability provided that the application to rectify a simulated birth record should be filed within 10 years from the effectivity of the measure.

Instead of going through the courts, those who will file a petition may do so through the Social Welfare and Development Officer of the city or municipality where the child resides.

“To remedy the problem of lengthy and financially restrictive adoption proceedings, this bill likewise proposes a simpler and less costly administrative adoption process without compromising the safety and integrity of the child,” said Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.