• Revocation of adoption: Who may file, when and what bases may be used

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    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I would like to seek advice regarding the revocation of my adoption. I was adopted by my grandparents when I was four years old. I am now 40 years old. Based on the papers I got hold of which were from my aunt, the petition for adoption was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City, and was granted in 1981. But before, whenever I would get my certified birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and our local civil registry, the names reflected as my parents are those of my biological parents. So, we assumed the adoption was not concluded and, for that reason, my biological parents’ names were indicated as my parents in all of my school and professional records, my SSS, and driver’s license. I even declared them as my dependents/beneficiaries.

    In May 2012, I was surprised when the PSA gave me a different birth certificate, which reflected that I was adopted. When I asked what happened to my old birth certificate, they told me that their system was updated. So now, I just want my adoption revoked because I never used or took advantage of it. Please advise.
    Mr. Adopted

    Dear Mr. Adopted,
    Under the Rule on Adoption, particularly domestic adoption, an adoption granted by our courts may be rescinded by filing a verified petition for that purpose. It can only be filed by the adoptee who is over eighteen (18) years of age, or with the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), if he is a minor, or if he is over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapacitated, by his guardian or counsel (Section 19, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC). The petition must be filed before the Family Court of the city or province where the adoptee resides. (Section 20, Id.)

    The petition, however, may only be filed by the adoptee within five (5) years after he reaches the age of majority, if he is incapacitated, or if he is incompetent at the time of the adoption, within five (5) years after recovery from such incompetency. (Section 21, Id.) Furthermore, the petition may only be based on any of the following grounds committed by the adopter:

    “1) repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter despite having undergone counseling;

    2) attempt on the life of the adoptee;

    3) sexual assault or violence; or

    4) abandonment or failure to comply with parental obligations. x x x” (Section 19, Id.)
    Corollary, it appears that you may no longer file the petition seeking for the revocation of your adoption considering that you are now forty (40) years of age. While we take into consideration the fact that you were only able to obtain a birth certificate authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority in May 2012 reflecting the registration of your adoption, such fact is not one of the exceptions provided under the rule. In addition, it appears that your reason for seeking the revocation of your adoption does not fall under any of the above-mentioned bases also under the rule.

    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.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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