G.R. No. 92326, 24 January 1992
Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition to adopt Jason Condat, then six (6) years old and who had been living with her family since he was four (4) months old. Salvador Condat, father of the child, and the social worker assigned was served with copies of the order finding that the petition was sufficient in form and substance. The copy was also posted on the bulletin board of the court. Nobody appeared to oppose the petition. The judgment declared that surname of the child is changed to “Bobiles”.
WON the petition to adopt Jason should be granted considering only Zenaida filed the petition.
Yes. In determining whether or not to set aside the decree of adoption the interests and welfare of the child are of primary and paramount consideration. The welfare of a child is of paramount consideration in proceedings involving its custody and the propriety of its adoption by another, and the courts to which the application for adoption is made is charged with the duty of protecting the child and its interests and, to bring those interests fully before it, it has authority to make rules to accomplish that end. Ordinarily, the approval of the adoption rests in the sound discretion of the court. This discretion should be exercised in accordance with the best interests of the child, as long as the natural rights of the parents over the child are not disregarded. In the absence of a showing of grave abuse, the exercise of this discretion by the approving official will not be disturbed
Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, private respondent had the right to file a petition for adoption by herself, without joining her husband therein. When Mrs. Bobiles filed her petition, she was exercising her explicit and unconditional right under said law. Upon her filing thereof, her right to file such petition alone and to have the same proceed to final adjudication, in accordance with the law in force at the time, was already vested and cannot be prejudiced or impaired by the enactment of a new law.
In the case at bar, the rights concomitant to and conferred by the decree of adoption will be for the best interests of the child. His adoption is with the consent of his natural parents. The representative of the Department of Social Welfare andDevelopment unqualifiedly recommended the approval of the petition for adoption and the trial court dispensed with the trial custody for several commendatory reasons, especially since the child had been living with the adopting parents since infancy. Further, the said petition was with the sworn written consent of the children of the adopters.
* Case digest by Aileen B. Buenafe, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018