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What is the difference between adoption and simulation of birth?

Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes the legitimate child of the
adopting person/s. The law which governs domestic adoption is Republic Act 8552 or
the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.
Simulation of birth on the other hand occurs when a childless couple, for example,
comes into possession of a baby or child, given to them by a midwife, an unwed mother
or a relative, and this couple then applies for a birth certificate, making it appear that the
baby or child is their biological offspring. Under RA 8552, simulation of birth is a criminal
offense punishable by eight years imprisonment and a fine of fifty thousand pesos.
Please surf to my Salt and Light blog for the procedures in petitions for adoption.

My husband found out that our marriage certificate is not on file with the National
Statistics Office. He said that our marriage is therefore not valid, and that he can
get married to another woman. Is my husband correct?
Your husband is wrong. The lack or absence of a marriage certificate (or contract) in the
files of the NSO does not make your marriage invalid. The marriage certificate (or
contract) is not an essential or formal requisite for the validity of a marriage under the
Family Code.
The marriage certificate is a powerful documentary evidence of the existence of your
marriage. Even then, however, the existence or validity of your marriage can be proven
by other evidence - the marriage license, the testimony of the officiating minister and the
witnesses, wedding pictures, etc.
Should your husband therefore insist on getting married again, you can charge him with
bigamy under the Revised Penal Code.
What are the rights of illegitimate children?
Under Republic Act 9255, Article 176 of the Family Code has been amended, allowing
illegitimate children to use the surname of their father "if their filiation has been
expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil
register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is
made by the father. The father, however, has the right to institute an action before the
regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime."
Also, whatever a legitimate child gets in terms of inheritance, the illegitimate child is
entitled to one-half. For example, if the legitimate child gets one hundred thousand
pesos as his share in the inheritance, the illegitimate child gets fifty thousand pesos.
Please read the following Legal Updates blog posts:
DNA testing to prove legitimacy or illegitimacy of children; Supreme Court’s New Rule
on DNA Evidence
Visitation rights over illegitimate children
What surname should illegitimate children use? Problems and issues with RA 9255 and
its implementing guidelines
My boyfriend and I are both above 21 years of age, and we want to get married,
with our parents' consent. But the Local Civil Registrar won't issue a marriage
license because my boyfriend can't produce his birth certificate. What can we do?
Please point out to the LCR the last portion of Article 12 of the Family Code which
"The presentation of birth or baptismal certificate shall not be required if the parents of
the contracting parties appear personally before the local civil registrar concerned and
swear to the correctness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the application, or
when the local civil registrar shall, by merely looking at the applicants upon their
personally appearing before him, be convinced that either or both of them have the
required age. "
Is there any difference between annulment and declaration of nullity of marriage?
Under Articles 35 up to 54 of the Family Code, some marriages are considered either
void or voidable. Technically speaking, annulment refers to the legal action declaring
void those marriages considered as voidable (that is valid until annulled). On the other
hand, declaration of nullity refers to those marriages considered as void from the very
In laymen's language, however, annulment is often used as a generic term for the legal
action concerning both kinds of marriages.
What is the difference between divorce and declaration of nullity?
In divorce (which is non-existent in the Philippines), the grounds or reasons for such
arise during the marriage. In declaration of nullity of a marriage (as provided for by the
Family Code), the grounds or reasons are already existing even before the marriage,
but such grounds may have manifested themselves only during the marriage.
In practical effect, however, both divorce and declaration of nullity of a marriage allow
the former spouses to get married again to other persons.
What is psychological incapacity?
Article 36 of the Family Code provides, "A marriage contracted by any party who, at the
time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes
manifest only after its solemnization."
The Supreme Court in the case of Santos vs. Court of Appeals stated, "psychological
incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code is not meant to comprehend all possible
cases of psychoses. It should refer, rather, to no less than a mental (not physical)
incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage.
Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence,
and (c) incurability."
The Supreme Court expounded, in greater detail, in Republic v. Court of Appeals
what psychological incapacity is:
(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of marriage belongs to the plaintiff. Any doubt
should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and
against its dissolution and nullity. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution
and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family. Thus, our
Constitution devotes an entire Article on the Family, recognizing it “as the foundation of
the nation.” It decrees marriage as legally “inviolable,” thereby protecting it from
dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage are to be “protected”
by the state. The Family Code echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the
family and emphasizes their permanence, inviolability and solidarity.
(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be a) medically or clinically
identified, b) alleged in the complaint, c) sufficiently proven by experts and d) clearly
explained in the decision. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity
must be psychological – not physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may
be physical. The evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, was
mentally or physically ill to such an extent that the person could not have known the
obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption
thereof. Although no example of such incapacity need be given here so as not to limit
the application of the provision under the principle of ejusdem generis, nevertheless such
root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature
fully explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists and clinical
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at the “time of the celebration” of the
marriage. The evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties
exchanged their “I do’s.” The manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at
such time, but the illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto.
(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or
incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other
spouse, not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore,
such incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not
necessarily to those not related to marriage like the exercise of a profession or
employment in a job. Hence, a pediatrician may be effective in diagnosing illnesses of
children and prescribing medicine to cure them but may not be psychologically
capacitated to procreate, bear and raise his/her own children as an essential obligation
of marriage.
(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to
assume the essential obligations of marriage. Thus, “mild characteriological peculiarities,
mood changes, occasional emotional outbursts” cannot be accepted as root causes.
The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or
difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal or supervening disabling
factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that
effectively incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby complying with
the obligations essential to marriage.
(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of
the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225
of the same Code in regard to parents and their children. Such non-complied marital
obligation(s) must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included in the
text of the decision.
Sexual infidelity, per se, however, does not constitute psychological incapacity within
the contemplation of the Family Code. It must be shown that respondent Manuel’s
unfaithfulness is a manifestation of a disordered personality which makes him
completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state and not
merely due to his ardent wish to have a child of his own flesh and blood.
An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and void marriage.
Mere showing of “irreconcilable differences” and “conflicting personalities” in no wise
constitutes psychological incapacity. As we stated in Marcos v. Marcos: Article 36 of the
Family Code, we stress, is not to be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital
bond at the time the causes therefore manifests themselves. It refers to a serious
psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is a
malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and
responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.
In Barcelona vs. Court of Appeals, a 2003 case, the Supreme Court stated,
"The obvious effect of the new Rules providing that “expert opinion need not be alleged”
in the petition is that there is also no need to allege the root cause of the psychological
incapacity. Only experts in the fields of neurological and behavioral sciences are
competent to determine the root cause of psychological incapacity. Since the new Rules
do not require the petition to allege expert opinion on the psychological incapacity, it
follows that there is also no need to allege in the petition the root cause of the
psychological incapacity.
"Science continues to explore, examine and explain how our brains work, respond to
and control the human body. Scientists still do not understand everything there is to
know about the root causes of psychological disorders. The root causes of many
psychological disorders are still unknown to science even as their outward, physical
manifestations are evident. Hence, what the new Rules require the petition to allege
are the physical manifestations indicative of psychological incapacity."
Please read the following Legal Updates blog posts:
The Amy Perez case: Psychological incapacity in annulment of marriages
Sexual infidelity or promiscuity does not constitute psychological incapacity
“Irreconcilable differences” not a ground for declaring a marriage null and void
What happens in an annulment case if the respondent fails to file an Answer?
For the legal procedures and steps, please read:
Supreme Court Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
Annulment of Voidable Marriages
What are the effects when a marriage is declared null and void under Article 36 of
the Family Code?
Articles 50 up to 54 of the Family Code provide for the effects when a marriage is
annulled or declared null and void. Among others, the children are considered as
legitimate, and their presumptive legitimes must be given to them before the judgment
can become final.
What is the difference between legal separation and declaration of nullity?
The grounds or reasons are different, and more importantly, in legal separation, the
spouses are not allowed to get married again to other parties. The wife also still has to
use her husband's surname. (Practically no one therefore wants to file for legal
separation; almost everyone in marital troubles will choose to have his or her marriage
declared null and void.)
Can I get married to my first cousin?
No, you cannot. You are related to your cousin by four civil degrees, and thus any such
marriage is prohibited by reason of public policy (Article 38 of the Family Code).
From you to your father or mother, that is one degree. From your father or mother, to
your grandparents, that is another civil degree. From your grandparents to your uncle or
aunt, that is another degree. And from your uncle or aunt to your first cousin, is another
degree, making a total of four degrees.
How can I have my birth certificate corrected?
For change of first name, and for correction of minor clerical errors, you can simply file
an administrative petition with the Local Civil Registrar of your place of birth or
residence, under Republic Act 9048, also called the "Guinigundo Law."
For substantial errors, however, like errors in birthdates, gender, etc. you will still have
to file the proper petition with the Regional Trial Court of the place which issued your
birth certificate.
My father died leaving some properties to my mother and three children,
including me. How can we divide up his properties? What are the respective
You and your fellow heirs can simply ask a lawyer to draw up a deed of extra-judicial
settlement of your father's estate. You can then have it notarized, and then have the
notice published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three weeks.
After you pay the corresponding taxes, you can then present the deed, the notarized
affidavit of publication and the official receipts, to the Register of Deeds so that new
titles can be issued to your names (assuming of course that your father left real
Your mother gets one-half of the estate as her conjugal share. The remaining half will
then be divided among your mother, you and your two other siblings. However, nothing
prevents any heir from giving up his share of the inheritance or from choosing and
getting a lesser amount. Thus, for example, instead of getting the farm in the province,
one of the heirs may choose to get as his inheritance the brand new car.
Please read the following Legal Updates blog posts:
When a man is married to or living in with several women successively or
simultaneously, who has the right to inherit from him?
"Disinheriting children and descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate"
My husband abandoned me and our kids. How can I compel him to support us?
You can file a petition with the Family Court of the place where you reside asking for a
protection order under Section 8 of Republic Act 9262.
In the protection order, the court shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or
salary of the respondent (your husband) to be withheld regularly by your husband's
employer for the same to be automatically remitted directly to you. Failure to remit
and/or withhold or any delay in the remittance of support to you and/or your child
without justifiable cause shall render your husband or his employer liable for indirect
contempt of court.
Please read the following Legal Updates blog posts:
Support for abandoned woman and family.
Hold Departure Orders for OFWs under RA 9262
Disinheriting your spouse

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