New law makes adoption in PH faster

Adopting a child will now take only around two months under a new law that simplifies the country’s adoption process and does away with months or even years of tedious processes.

President Rodrigo Duterte has enacted Republic Act 11222, or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act,” on February 21, according to a document released by Malacañang Tuesday. The bill was filed at the House of Representatives in August 2017, and at the Senate in October 2018.

The new law aims to “provide for and allow a simpler and less costly administrative adoption proceeding where the child has been living with the person or persons who simulate her or his birth record” for at least three years before the effectivity of the act.

The new process requires a person to file a petition for adoption filed with the office of the Social Welfare and Development Officer (SWDO) of the city or municipality where the adoptee resides. The SWDO has seven days to examine the petition. If found sufficient in form and substance, the SWDO shall forward the petition to the regional director within three days, along with supporting documents.

The regional director then has up to 30 days to examine the petition and ask for additional information or evidence if necessary. The regional director will then make a recommendation to the Social Welfare Secretary, who has 30 days to decide on the petition.

The DSWD shall then send the adoption order to the petitioners, concerned agencies, and the local civil registry. Socialized fees will be waived for indigent petitioners.

Once the administrative adoption is approved, the child shall be considered the legitimate child of the petitioner, entitled to all rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children.

The DSWD, upon consultation with concerned agencies and child rights groups, is tasked to come up with implanting rules and regulations within 60 days from the effectivity of the act, which shall happen once published in state-run Official Gazette or in a major newspaper.

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