A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - February 2, 2016 - 9:00am

Adoption creates  a relationship between adopter and adopted by fictions of law. This case of Lenny and her husband Carlos, is unique because it results in another relationship created by nature.

Lenny is one of the children of Tony and Alice. When she was already 32 years old and a practicing nurse, she married Carlos, a lawyer and a businessman. Thereafter the couple established a conjugal home of their own. One year after their marriage, Lenny’s mother Alice gave birth to another baby boy, whom they named Joshua. Since Joshua was a sickly child from birth, and because of his impairing health, his parents entrusted him to Lenny and Carlos especially because Lenny was a nurse.

Lenny and Carlos took care and reared Joshua for several years thereafter. As a result the couple and the child Joshua, developed a deep and profound love for each other.

So when Joshua was already four years old, Lenny and Carlos decided to file a petition for his adoption. Joshua’s parents Tony and Alice who were also the parents of Lenny even testified that they have voluntarily given their consent to the adoption of their son Joshua by the couple Lenny and Carlos. They submitted their written consent and conformity to said adoption and declared that they fully understand the legal consequences of their child’s adoption by their daughter Lenny and her husband Carlos.

The trial court however dismissed Lenny and Carlos’ petition. The court said that the adoption will result in an incongruous situation where the minor Joshua, a legitimate brother of Lenny will also be her son. Was the trial court correct?

No. There is no law prohibiting relatives by blood or by affinity, from adopting one another. To say that adoption should not be allowed when the adopter and the adopted are related to each other, is to preclude adoption among relatives, no matter how far removed or in whatever degree that relationship might be.  This is not the policy of the law.

The fact that the adoption in this case will result in dual relationship between parties since the adopted brother will also be the son of the adopting elder sister, should not prevent the adoption. One is by nature while the other is by fiction of law.

The relation established by the adoption is limited to the adopting parents and does not extend to their other relatives except as expressly provided by law.  Thus the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collateral relatives of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption, except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption.  Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter.

The interest and welfare of the child to be adopted should be of paramount consideration. Adoption statutes being humane and salutary and designed to provide homes, care and education for unfortunate children, should be construed so as to encourage the adoption of such children by persons who can properly rear and educate them (Santos Jr. etc. vs. Republic of the Philippines, L-22523, September 29, 1967, 21 SCRA 379).

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