A foundling is a child who was deserted or abandoned by its parents and whose birth details are unknown and undocumented. They are neither illegitimate nor orphans. There simply is no way to trace a foundling’s parentage and therefore, no way to determine the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth.
Today’s blog will cover the intricate details of how a foundling’s birth is registered in the Philippines. If there are no references to the child’s birth, how can a birth certificate be created for him or her? Who is responsible for the birth registration of a foundling? Is there a difference between a foundling and an abandoned child? What citizenship will a foundling adopt? We will try to answer these questions and more. Read on.
Registration of a Foundling
A foundling must be registered at the Office of the Civil Registrar of the city or municipality where the child was found. This must be done by the person who found the child, or a charitable institution where the child may have been endorsed. The registration must be done within thirty (30) days from the date the child was found or committed to an orphanage or charitable institution. Beyond the 30-day timeline, the child’s registration will be tagged as delayed.
Who should report the finding of a foundling and where should this be reported?
The person who found the abandoned child must report this to the barangay captain of the place where the child was found. If a barangay captain is unavailable, the case may be reported to the police. Once a proper and official report has been made about the foundling, the finder must endorse the child to the DSWD or to an orphanage or any other charitable institution.
The finder may apply for custody of the child and if awarded this, he or she may give the child a name and proceed with the birth registration procedure at the Office of the Civil Registrar of the city or municipality where the child was found. If no one is awarded custody, the DSWD or the orphanage where the child was committed will process the child’s birth registration and name assignment.
What are the requirements for the birth registration of a foundling?
- Certificate of Live Birth OCRG Form 101 accomplished correctly and completely by a social worker;
- Affidavit of the finder stating the facts and circumstances surrounding the finding of the child, and the fact that the foundling has been reported to the barangay captain or to the police authority, as the case may be;
- Certification of the barangay captain or police authority regarding the report made by the finder, stating that no one has claimed the child or no one has reported a missing child whose description may be the same as the foundling.
Will a foundling be assigned a birth certificate?
Earlier this year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that PSA shall now issue birth certificates to foundlings, instead of the usual Certificate of Foundling. According to the PSA’s National Statistician, Dennis Mapa, all foundlings can have Certificates of Live Birth as long as an accredited social worker facilitates the necessary birth registration procedures.
When registering a foundling, fill-out COLB OCRG Form 101; regular births are registered using COLB Municipal Form 102.
The person registering the child’s birth may provide an approximate date of birth as this is an essential detail in a person’s birth certificate.
What is the citizenship of foundlings?
The Foundling Recognition and Protection Act (RA No. 11767) states that a foundling found anywhere in the country, or in Philippine embassies, consulates, and territories abroad, is considered a natural-born Filipino citizen regardless of the status or circumstances of the child’s birth.
Given this, and under the provisions of RA 11767, a foundling is entitled to every available government program or service, including registration, facilitation of documents for adoption, education, legal and police protection, proper nourishment and medical care and admission to safe and secure child centers.
The law also exempts parents who turn over an infant that is 30 days old or younger to safe haven institutions. A safe haven institution is a licensed child-caring agency such as churches, DOH-accredited facilities, DSWD offices, or LGU-managed residential care facilities.
In the same manner, anyone found guilty of falsifying the registration of a foundling shall be imprisoned. Do not attempt to tamper, change, or provide false details and testimonies in the creation of a foundling’s birth certificate. The law imposes the penalty of imprisonment on the finder, or any government official or employee who may be proven to be involved in the falsification or tampering of a foundling’s birth documents.
Likewise, a safe haven provider that fails to report within 48 hours that a foundling was committed to them may be fined between Php 500,000 to Php 1 milion.
Now that the Foundling Recognition and Protection Act is in full force, the right to a proper and documented identity of foundlings and orphans is upheld and protected against discrimination. This means that they are recognized as citizens of the country and are entitled to the same rights and privileges that any other ordinary person who was born under ordinary circumstances have.
A foundling can have his or her own PSA birth certificate that can be used when enrolling in school, acquiring a Philippine Passport, getting married, and other important milestones in a person’s life.
For more information on the Foundling Law, please visit the website of the DSWD and the PSA. You may also download a copy of the RA No. 11767 here.
Philippine Statistics Authority
2 thoughts on “How To Register The Birth Certificate Of A Foundling”
I went on DFA office in ASEANA to get my adopted child a passport but requiring us to obtain DSWD clearance and Letter of guardianship from family court. We are in the process of Domestic Adoption under Administrative Law. We also acquired foundling Certificate but failed to get her a passport. She is now 5 years old
DFA’s requirements must be met before a person (young or old) is issued a passport. Especially for children, the DFA is very meticulous to avoid incidences of human trafficking and other forms illegal activities.