Simulation of births, A347 Revised Penal Code


Note: The following are annotations or notes on legal provisions. They are intended to be as a helping guide to better understanding the law. They are, however, not sources of law nor authorities. (Please refer to our full Disclaimer.)

Simulation of birth refers to the act of deceptively making it appear that the parents of a newly born child are persons other than the biological parents.

1. Concept

Simulation – refers to deceptive imitation or copying.

Simulation birth – refers to the act of deceptively making it appear that the parents of a newly born child are persons other than the biological parents.

a. Legal basis

Revised Penal Code provides:

Art. 347. Simulation of births, substitution of one child for another and concealment or abandonment of a legitimate child. – The simulation of births… shall be punished by prisión mayor and a fine of not exceeding Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000).
[Par. 3] Any physician or surgeon or public officer who, in violation of the duties of his profession or office shall cooperate in the execution of any of the crimes mentioned in the two (2) next preceding paragraphs, shall suffer the penalties therein prescribed and also the penalty of temporary special disqualification. (As amended by R.A. 10951)

(NB: If the article has been amended by legislation or has been the subject of a Supreme Court decision which may have impacted how it is interpreted, do let us know so we can consider for the next update of this article. You may send it via: Feedback.)

2. Modes of commission

The following are the modes of committing the offense:

1) Offender simulates birth and substitutes child for another;

2) Offender conceals or abandons legitimate child with intent to cause child to lose civil status; or

3) Offender is a physician or surgeon or public officer who cooperates in any of the above.

a. Mode 1: Simulation and substitution

Elements of the offense:

1) The offender simulates birth (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 347)

1) Element 1: Simulates birth

The offender simulates the birth of a child. The birth referred to herein refers to the birth registration of a newly born child. The simulation may be done by indicating false or incorrect information as to the biological parents of the child.

a) Bypass adoption

The simulation of birth is often used as a means to bypass adoption, particularly for domestic adoption. This is usually observed in arrangements between relatives where a couple is having challenges giving birth and/or the parents/mother of the child foresees that she will not be able to raise the child well. Further, due to the legal costs and perceived length of time in processing adoption, the parties often come up with this arrangement prior to the delivery of the child. Thus, after delivery, the parties engage in the simulation by providing false or incorrect information on the parents of the newly born child in the birth registration.

NB: The biological mothers or the father of the newly born child are usually made to fill up the birth registration within a period of 24 to 48 hours after delivery if it was done in a hospital. This is a measure to avoid simulation.

b. Mode 2: Physician, surgeon, public officer

Elements of the offense:

1) The offender is a physician, surgeon, or public officer; and

2) They cooperate in the execution of either: (a) simulation of birth and substitution of one child for another, or (b) concealment or abandonment of legitimate child to lose its civil status, in violation of the duties of his profession or office. (REVISED PENAL CODE, Paragraph 3, Article 347)

1) Element 1: Physician, surgeon, public officer

For this mode, the offenders are specified to be only either one of the following:

1) Physicians;

2) Surgeons; or

3) Public officers.

The physician or surgeon is not qualified, i.e., there is no requirement that they have to be the attending physician of the biological mother nor the surgeon who facilitated the delivery of the child. Thus, any physician or surgeon who commit the offense may be captured by this provision, including, the attending physician , the surgeon who facilitated the delivery, or any doctor who may have any involvement of the crime, such as those who may part of the hospital management or administration.

For the public officers, it is also not qualified, i.e., there is no requirement that they have to be employed or connected with the Local Civil Register. It can be any public officer who is involved in the simulation of birth.

2) Element 2: Cooperated in simulation of birth

The fact that the offenders cooperated in the simulation of birth presupposes that there is a principal offender who asked for the cooperation or assistance of the doctor, surgeon, or public officer.

3. Things to note

The following are some additional things to note about this offense.

a. Record of birth, a prima facie evidence

[A] record of birth is merely a prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. It is not conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of the statements made there by the interested parties. (Geronimo v. Santos, G.R. No. 197099, September 28, 2015, Per Villarama, Jr. J.)

3. Distinguish from other offenses

This offense is distinguished from other offenses or crimes below.

a. RPC Simulation vs RA 11642 Simulation

NB: RA 11642 did not expressly repeal Article 347 of the Revised Penal Code, neither are the two inconsistent with each other. The contemplated offenders are also different, as well as the overt acts.

FactorsSimulation, A347 RPCR.A. 11642
Offended PartyAny personAny person
OffenderAny personAny person
Overt ActsGenerally and broadly worded so as to capture several potential offenders, such as: the biological parents, the incorrect parents stated on the birth certificate, the doctors or medical staff who may have assisted, civil registrar or its staff, and anyone else who may have facilitated the simulation with full knowledge and intent to commit the crime.Provided for a definition on what constitutes simulation of birth referring to it as “the tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in the record of birth that a child was born to a person who is not such child’s biological mother, causing the loss of the true identity and status of such child” (R.A. 116642, Section 4[ii]). Thus, the offenders are narrowed down to a few and limited individuals, i.e., those who may be able to tamper the civil registry and they are those who have access to it, namely the Civil Registrar and its staff.


Title XII – Crimes Against the Civil Status of Persons, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: May 20, 2023

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

Top Read

Video Lessons

Legal Maxims

stare decisis et non quieta movere

Latin maxim. • “to adhere to precedents and not to unsettle things which are established” (Lazatin v. Desierto, G.R. No. 147097, June 5, 2009)

nemo tenetur seipsum accusare

Latin maxim. • “No one is bound to accuse himself.” (Google Translate; See Villaflor v. Summers, En Banc, G.R. No. 16444, September 8, 1920) •

par in parem non lizabet imperium

Latin maxim. • “[a]ll states are sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over one another.” (Arigo v. Swift, En Banc, G.R. No. 206510, September 16,

Suggested Answers to Bar Exam Questions

Read more


Infanticide, Revised Penal Code

1. Concept and legal basis Article 255. Infanticide. – The penalty provided for parricide in Article 246 and for murder in Article 248 shall be

You cannot copy content of this page