- We used my surname when we put the children through school, though we have not formally 'adopted' the children (no money back then. the PAO we approached asked for $40K which we could not afford).
- Because of school activities and enrollment paper works, we need to reflect my name on the BC's. We were (ill-)advised to "late register" our children in a different city's civil registrar. Family friend so we felt no malice back then.
- From prep school to HS, they graduated with my surname. It was only in college when we had difficulty getting an NSO-certified BC because of that 'late registry'.
- Later on I was forunate to be sent abroad for work, and had some money to legally adopt the children. We went through the process (interviews, paperworks, hearings, long waiting, etc.) the whole two plus years and the petition was granted.
- After being granted petition, we went to NSO to make the name change legal. NSO is saying there is a BC already (our previous one) and cannot make any corrections. We were advised that to fix it, we need to petition the cancellation of the fake ones.
I fear that my wife and I will be faced with falsification charges. I have read the revised penal code and saw incarceration was a penalty. The previous intent of the 'late registration' was to get the kids in school without the embarassment of "why is your name not your dad's?" and we were trying to keep their relationship with me (i.e. not being my kids) secret.
My question now is, how bad is it for us?
There our previous attorney mentioned that NSO may or may not choose to prosecute. Not sure if that was good or bad, but that's our gamble. Not really reassuring... I will labor to pay any fines but jail time feels a little unjust considering we only had the best intent for our children.
Right now we are in-between lawyers and I joined this forum hoping to get a "second opinion" (I searched for similar situation but turned negative). Appreciate any advice, sirs/madams.