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Philippines : Poe Files Twin Legislation to Simplify Adoption Process.

Seeking to simplify the adoption process and make it more accessible and faster, Senator Grace Poe has filed a bill that would allow the correction of simulated birth records through administrative proceedings.

Poe's Senate Bill No. 1725 states that a petition for the rectification of 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. The Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall decide on the petition within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the department's regional director.

Simulation of birth 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 such child to lose his or her true identity and status.

The senator said the measure allows the rectification of the simulated birth of a child when it was made for the best interest of the child, and that such child has been consistently considered and treated by the person or persons who simulated such birth as his, her, or their own son or daughter.

"This will give the adoptive parents the opportunity to have the status of their adopted child or children regularized in law," said Poe.

"It is also in the best interest of the parents and the children to have the records rectified for possible future uses such as medical or DNA purposes or for other legal matters," she added.

Under the bill, those who simulated the birth record of a child are spared from criminal, civil and administrative liability, provided that the act was done for the best interest of the child.

The Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 provided an amnesty to enable parents to rectify a record and fully legalize the status of their adopted children. However, the five-year window, from 1998 to 2003, for the rectification of simulated births under the law had long expired.

This leaves a lot of adoptees under assumed filiation and unduly deprived of the benefits of legitimacy and succession.

Poe also filed Senate Resolution No. 672 to revisit the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, noting the gap in the big number of children who may be legally adopted and the successful legal adoption cases.

"The disparity in the number of children declared legally available for adoption and the number of successful legal adoptions in the country is indicative of flaws in the Domestic Adoption Act and its implementation," Poe said in her resolution.

The measure asks the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender to look into the status of implementation of Republic Act No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 and make a comprehensive review and gap analysis of the law, streamline adoption procedures and make formal adoption more accessible to all well-meaning adopters and children declared legally available for adoption.

"It is time to break the barriers that hinder good and caring potential adoptive parents from giving home and family to the thousands of children in orphanages," Poe said.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Mar 10, 2018
Words:554
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