Bill seeking legal status for foundlings filed | Inquirer News
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Bill seeking legal status for foundlings filed

/ 05:23 AM June 13, 2015

Foundlings, or children abandoned by their birth parents, need not face the daunting challenges created by their uncertain parentage if a bill filed by Sen. Lito Lapid were to pass.

“This measure seeks to correct the inequity created by irresponsible parents who chose to abandon their child to live with undefined status in society,” Lapid said in his explanatory note.

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According to the bill, foundlings should be recognized as the child of the person who found the foundling from the time of birth, given certain conditions.

A child’s legal status is determined by one’s parents, including citizenship and legitimacy that, in turn, entitle the child to certain rights and opportunities, Lapid said, adding that the same was not true for foundlings.

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The status of foundlings became an issue when a United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) official raised the issue of Filipino citizenship against neophyte senator and possible presidential candidate Grace Poe, whose parents are unknown. According to UNA, there was no way to determine if Poe was a natural-born citizen and therefore qualified to run for public office.

In the Philippines, a person is considered a citizen if at least one of the parents is a Filipino.

Under Lapid’s bill, individuals who find the abandoned child shall be considered the parents of the foundling, provided that the child has lived as a dependent with the founder until he or she reaches the age of majority.

Finder and foundling should have acted as parent and child, and have made such relationship known to the community as well, according to the bill.

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TAGS: Foundlings, Grace Poe, Lito Lapid, Philippine Senate
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