Digest Author: Dodot

In Re: Adoption of Erwin Villa (1967) Petition: Appeal [Decision of Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court] Petitioners-Appellants: Edwin Villa Y Mendoza, Luis Santos, Jr., and Edipola V. Santos Oppositor-Appelle: Republic of the Philippines Ponente: J. Angeles Date: 29 September 1967 Facts:   (1) The natural child, by the natural father or mother; (2) Other illegitimate children, by the father or mother; (3) A step-child, by the step-father or step-mother. (n) Art. 339. The following cannot be adopted: (1) A married person, without the written consent of the other spouse; (2) An alien with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations; (3) A person who has already been adopted. (n) Issues: 1.

WHAT’S BEING CONTESTED: Whether an elder sister may adopt her younger brother [when both are legitimate children of the same set of parents] 8 January 1963 – Luis and Edipola filed a petition to jointly adopt Edwin o Edwin is the legitimate, younger brother of Edipola [4 yo]  Sickly; consequently had been entrusted by common parents to Edipola  Parents have given their consent to the adoption [written consent and conformity] – have said that they fully understand the consequences of adoption o At the time, spouses did not have any other children of their own – legitimate or otherwise o Spouses possess well-suited to adopt  Both employed w/ steady source of income [lawyer/businessman/manager and nurse, respectively]– have had a conjugal home  Neither have been convicted of any crime of moral turpitude

Can a sister be allowed to adopt her legitimate younger brother? [YES]

Ruling/Ratio: 1. YES.   SC: unaware of any provision in law which says that relatives – by blood or affinity – are prohibited from adopting one another. Only objection [of Trial Court]: “incongruity” [lack of harmony] that will result – relation of child to parent, both mother/son and brother/sister, at the same time  Theory: adoption among people who are related by nature should NOT be allowed [to prevent dual relationships]  Purpose of adoption: establish a relationship of paternity and filiation where none existed before; where the relationship of parent and child already exists – by blood or affinity – it would be unnecessary and superfluous to establish and superimpose another relationship through adoption. [McGee v. Republic (1954)]  Adoption: an express authorization of law is necessary.  On the other hand, American Jurisprudence: variance in decisions  Some states: absence of express statutory restriction – blood relationships is NOT a legal impediment to adoption On one hand: legitimate brothers are not listed among those who MAY be adopted [Art. 338, CC]  Except in cases enumerated in Article 338, precludes adoption among relatives no matter how far removed or in whatever degree that relationship might be?

Pertinent laws/provisions/concepts: CIVIL CODE [Old Law] Art. 334. Every person of age, who is in full possession of his civil rights, may adopt. (173a) Art. 335. The following cannot adopt: (1) Those who have legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction; (2) The guardian, with respect to the ward, before the final approval of his accounts; (3) A married person, without the consent of the other spouse; (4) Non-resident aliens; (5) Resident aliens with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations; (6) Any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, when the penalty imposed was six months' imprisonment or more. (174a) Art. 338. The following may be adopted: 

Digest Author: Dodot
 BUT, on the other hand: legitimate sisters are not listed among those who are prohibited from adopting [Art 335, CC]  Neither are legitimate brothers listed among those who MAY NOT be adopted [Art. 339, CC] SC: on dual relationships  Not prohibited per se – ex. resulting dual relationships among those who are related [so long as the requisite separation by degree has been met]  Dual relationship – one relationship is by nature, the other by fiction of law: in adoption, relationship by fiction limited to the adopting parents, does not extend to other relatives SC: “as We do not find any provision in the law that expressly prohibits adoption among relatives, they out not to be prevented.”

Opinions: No separate opinions Disposition: Decision appealed from SET ASIDE. Petition for the adoption of the minor GRANTED. Principles: Adoption  Who may adopt/be adopted