In re Lim

G.R. No. 168992-93, 21 May 2009

FACTS:

Monina Lim, petitioner, who was an optometrist was married with Primo Lim but were childless. Minor children, were entrusted to them by Lucia, whose parents were unknown as shown by a certification of DSWD. The spouses registered the children making it appears as if they were the parents. Unfortunately, in 1998, Primo died. She then married an American Citizen, Angel Olario in December 2000. Petitioner decided to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty given under RA 8552 to individuals who simulated the birth of a child. In 2002, she filed separate petitions for adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial court. Michelle was then 25 years old and already married and Michael was 18 years and seven months old. Michelle and her husband including Michael and Olario gave their consent to the adoption executed in an affidavit.

ISSUE:

WON petitioner who has remarried can singly adopt.

RULING:

Petition was denied. The time the petitions were filed, petitioner had already remarried. Husband and wife shall jointly adopt except in 3 instances which was not present in the case at bar. In case spouses jointly adopts, they shall jointly exercised parental authority. The use of the word “shall” signifies that joint adoption of husband and wife is mandatory. This is in consonance with the concept of joint parental authority since the child to be adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to require spouses to adopt jointly. The affidavit of consent given by Olario will not suffice since there are certain requirements that he must comply as an American Citizen. He must meet the qualifications set forth in Sec7 of RA8552. The requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt cannot likewise be waived pursuant to Sec 7. Parental authority is merely just one of the effects of legal adoption. It includes caring and rearing the children for civic consciousness and efficiency and development of their moral mental and physical character and well-being.

SEC. 7.Who May Adopt. – The following may adopt:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptees parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter:Provided, further, That the requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouses; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided, however, That the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.
In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

* Case digest by Lady Rubyge A. Denura, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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