By: Oliver T. Baccay
Members of the Cagayan Valley Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) warned the public, especially birth attendants and civil registrars, against birth simulation.
According to Atty. Noel Mora, CWSG member, simulation of birth is defined under Section 3 (j) of Republic Act 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 as “the tampering of the civil registry making it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his/her biological mother, causing such child to lose his/her true identity and status.”
He said the tampering of the civil registry birth records of a child is against the law and punishable with imprisonment, plus a fine not exceeding P50,000.
“Foundling, surrendered, abandoned or neglected children should still undergo legal process of adoption as required by law. We could not sacrifice legality over convenience,” Mora said.
On her part, Assistant Regional Director Lucia Alan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) urged those prospective adoptive parents to go through the legal adoption process to avoid problems.
“While it is true that adoption process is very tedious and stringent, this is the best way to ensure correct matching of a child and his/her adoptive parents,” Alan said.
Aside from simulation of birth, Alan said independent placement, which is happening in the community, is considered trafficking.
According to Alan, independent placement could either be a direct placement to a family known by the child’s biological parents or through the use of an intermediary, an individual who knows of parents who want to have their child be adopted and arranges such placement to a family or someone who wants to adopt.
Alan, also a social worker, warned not only those couples undertaking direct placement but also those officials who are taking part in the illegal adoption process as they may face both criminal and administrative charges.
She added that DSWD will conduct orientation to all birth attendants, civil registrars, lawyers and even teachers here to encourage them to help the agency advocate legal adoption, thus, eliminating cases of simulated birth records.