Adopter must be 16 years older than adoptee

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Dear PAO,
I am 35 years old, single and with a stable job. Am I qualified to adopt? Do I still need to get the consent of my parents before I may adopt?
Summer

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Dear Summer,
Adoption is a legal process which creates between two persons a relationship similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation (Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines: Volume One (1990 Edition), page 554). Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 sets out the qualifications and the rules and regulations to be observed in adoption and the filing of petitions for adoption. Section 7 thereof provides that 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 may adopt. 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 adoptee’s parent.

As to your second question, you don’t need to get the consent of your parents before you may adopt. However, the written consent of the following persons shall be necessary for adoption: 1) the adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over; 2) the biological parent(s) of the child, if known, or the legal guardian, or the proper government instrumentality which has legal custody of the child; 3) the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter(s) and adoptee, if any; 4) the illegitimate sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter if living with said adopter and the latter’s spouse, if any; and 5) the spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be adopted.

A petition for adoption shall be filed with the Family Court of the province of city where the prospective parents reside (Section 6, Rule on Adoption, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, August 02, 2002). Once adoption is granted, all the legal ties between the biological parents and the adoptee shall be severed and shall be vested on the adopter (Section 16, RA No. 8552). The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate child of the adopter for all intents and purposes and as such shall be entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate children born to parents without discrimination of any kind (Section 17, RA No. 8552). Furthermore, the adopter and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. However, if the adoptee and his biological parent(s) had left a will, the law on testamentary succession shall govern (Section 18, RA No. 8552).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

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