You are on page 1of 4

Santos, et al. vs. Aranzanso, et al., No.

L-23828, February 28, 1966_digested

(Special Proceedings Adoption: Consent, Abandonment and Collateral Attack)
Facts: A petition for adoption of Paulina, 17 years old and Aurora Santos, 8 years old, was filed by Simplicio Santos and Juliana
Reyes in the CFI of Manila. It was alleged that both parents of the minors have long been unheard from and could not be found
in spite of diligent efforts to locate them; that since the war said minors have been abandoned; and that for years since their
infancy, said children have been continuously been in petitioners care and custody. The consent to the adoption has been given
by the guardian ad litem appointed by the Court. After due publication and hearing, the adoption court granted the petition for the
Subsequently eight years later Juliana Reyes died intestate. Simplicio Santos filed a petition for the settlement of the
intestate estate of the former, stating among other things that the surviving heirs of the deceased are: he, Paulina Santos and
Aurora Santos. He also asked that he be appointed administrator of the estate.
Gregoria Aranzanso, alleging to be the first cousin of the deceased, filed an opposition to the petition for appointment of
administrator, asserting among others that the adoption of Paulina and Aurora Santos is void ab initio for want of the written
consent of their parents, who were then living and had not abandoned them.
Demetria Ventura, alleging likewise to be the first cousin of the deceased and mother of Paulina opposed also the petition of
Simplicio and adopted the pleadings filed by Aranzanso.
The Court of Appeals sustained respondent-oppositors right to make a collateral attack against the adoption decree on the
ground of failure to obtain the consent of the natural parents was a jurisdictional defect rendering the adoption void ab initio.
Issue: WON a decree of adoption could be assailed collaterally in a settlement proceeding.
Held: No. Firstly, consent of the parents is not an absolute requisite if child was abandoned, consent by the guardian ad litem
Second, in adoption proceedings, abandonment imports any conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose
to forgo all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child. It means neglect or refusal to perform the natural and
legal obligations of care and support which parents owe to their children.
Third, the settled rule is that even when the jurisdiction of an inferior tribunal depends upon the existence of a fact to be
established before it, the determination of that fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a collateral attack upon its order.
Hence, the CA erred in reviewing under a collateral attack, the determination of the adoption court that the parents of the
adopted children had abandoned them.


On October 13, 1972, petitioners-spouses filed with respondent court their verified petition to adopt the minor Luis Alberto Martin
de Santos, who was born a Filipino citizen in Madrid, Spain on August 4, 1969, the acknowledged natural child of petitioner Ana
Marie de Santos Malkinson who alone of his parents extended him recognition.
The petitioners claim that the child concerned has been living with them under their care and custody since their marriage in
1972. Petitioner Frederick Malkinson is an American citizen, while his spouse is a Filipino citizen and owns a property in the
Philippines. They claim that it is to the best interest of the child that he be adopted by the spouses who are qualified for such
legal adoption.
Respondent Judge Hon. Corazon Agrava dismissed the abovementioned petition in November 1972 because the court opined
that the position was insufficient due to the fact that the petitioner husband is an alien while the child sought to be adopted is a
citizen of the country.
Petitioners then moved for reconsideration on the ground that no law prohibits a resident alien, who is neither a citizen of a
country without diplomatic relations with the Philippines nor otherwise legally disqualified from adopting a Filipino. Respondent
court again denied the same in December 1972.
WON an alien who is not legally disqualified may adopt a Filipino
If alienage alone of the adopter or of the adopted were to be a disqualification, it is inconceivable that the lawmakers would not
have so explicitly provided. Article 335 of the New Civil Code only provides that non-resident aliens and resident aliens with
whose government the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations are the only two classes of aliens expressly disqualified and
prohibited to adopt, while Article 339 provides that only an alien with whose state our government has broken diplomatic relations
is expressly disqualified and prohibited to be adopted.
Inclusio unius exclusion alterius (The inclusion of one is the exclusion of another)
Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, hold the interest and welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration and
are designed to provide homes, parental care, and education for the unfortunate, needy or orphaned children and give them the
protection of society and family in the person of the adopter as well as to allow childless couples or persons to experience the
joys of parenthood and give them legally a child in the person of the adopted for the manifestation of their natural parental
instincts. Every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble and compassionate objectives of
the law.
Ultimately, under the plain language of the law, alienage by itself does not disqualify a foreigner such as the petitioner-husband
from adopting a Filipino child. Under Art. 338 of the Civil Code, the petitioner-wife who is also the natural mother, is authorized to
adopt her natural child and raise its status to that of a legitimate child while the petitioner husband is likewise authorized to adopt
his step-child and that such adoption would strengthen the family solidarity of the petitioner-spouses and the child.

G.R. No. 71370 January 3l, 1987

HONORABLE SYLVIA P. MONTES (in her capacity as Minister of Social Services and Development), respondent.

In our decision in this case promulgated on July 7, 1986 and which is now the subject of the motion for reconsideration filed by
the Ministry of Social Services and Development, this Court emphasized that in adoption cases, the interest and welfare of the
child is of paramount consideration and that "every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble
and compassionate objectives of the law (Malkinson vs. Agrava, 54 SCRA 66, and other cited cases) and the law should not be
made, as instrument to impede the achievement of a salutary policy." (Duncan vs. CFI of Rizal, L-30576,69 SCRA 298).
Applying the aforecited judicial guidelines, this Court directed the present Ministry of Social Services and Development "to
forthwith issue without undue delay, the requisite travel clearance certificate in favor of herein petitioners' adopted child, Adam
Christopher Bobanovic." In our decision, we stated that "all that MSSD had to do was to use a little of its time to verify the
correctness of the case study report, prepared and submitted by the Social Worker who acted upon instruction of the court
Respondent's motion for reconsideration of the decision in this case, dated August 5, 1986, although filed late, in the interest of
justice, was nevertheless admitted under our resolution of September 5, 1986. In said motion, public respondent stressed the
existence of the 1981 Memorandum of Agreement between the State and Territory Adoption Authorities of Australia and the
Ministry of Social Services and Development of the Philippines. Respondent Minister therein pointed out that under the stated
Memorandum of Agreement, it has been agreed among others, the following.
xxx xxx xxx
1.4. The adoption authorities in both countries will jointly approve of prospective adopting parents and the selection of particular
adoptive parents for a particular child. ... (Rollo, p. 140)
Respondent Minister further averred that certain significant procedures have been accepted and agreed to be observed, such as:
xxx xxx xxx
4.1. Any person or persons having their ordinary place of residence in an Australian State or Territory, who wish to adopt a child
from the Philippines will apply to the Director of the appropriate Australian State or Territory investigated, where he is satisfied
that the applicants are fit and proper persons to adopt a child from the Philippines, he will cause the preparation of a detailed
Family Study and will act as intermediary and forward the Family Study to the Philippines for consideration Only family studies
presented by an appropriate Australian State or Territory Adoption Authority to the Philippine Ministry of Social Services and
Development win be considered.
4.2. In an yapplication for approval as persons fit and proper to adopt a child from the Philippines, the following will be conditions
precedent to the approval of the application by the Australian State or Territory Adoption Authorities.
(a) Applicants must have attained the ages specified in the appropriate laws of both countries and be in a position to support and
care for their family.
(b) The State or Territory Adoption Authority investigating an application will confirm that applicants have no criminal record or
else make appropriate comment on that record. (Rollo, pp. 141-142)
The Court is constrained to consider the aforestated matters. We note the assertions of the respondent Minister which appear
uncontroverted in petitioners' reply, that "the preparation of the Family Study report from the home country on the prospective
adopters is a requirement in this Memorandum of Agreement with Australia. ... "(Rollo, p. 142).
The Court does not say nor do We entertain a belief that the herein petitioners are in any way disqualified to be adopting parents
in their home State or ordinary place of residence. What the Court simply wishes to express is that it would be more prudent and
desirable to require that the petitioners herein submit themselves to a Family Study Report in their home country so that if a
favorable report is thereafter submitted to the Ministry of Social Services and Development, then the corresponding travel
certification should then forthwith issue, in implementation of the judgment of adoption already rendered. This step, if taken by
petitioners win lead to the removal Of the basic reason for the reluctance and apprehension of the public respondent Minister
who, understandably, is concerned that the welfare of the adopted child might later be prejudiced a possibility that may arise
in the event that the latter's adoption is not sanctioned or recognized by Australia where petitioners are citizens and residents of.
It may not be amiss to state that the petitioners, in their Comment to the motion for reconsideration principally expound on the
finality of the decision in the adoption case and that the working arrangement between the adoption authorities of Australia and
the Philippines does not have the effect of law. But even as petitioners deplore the delay in the issuance of the certificate of
clearance to travel, they, however, fail to tender an explanation or state any reason whatsoever for their apparent reluctance to
submit themselves to a Family Case Study in their home State.
While the Court takes the view that the decision in the adoption case should not be disturbed and that all the technicalities that
were raised against the adoption should yield to the ultimate end of promoting the best interest of the adopted child, the same
guiding principle should be applied in the matter of the issuance of the travel clearance certificate. This subsequent aspect of the
adoption which was raised by respondent Minister was brought only lately to the Courts attention. Thus, it becomes relevant and
important to extend consideration to the aforementioned Memorandum Agreement entered into in 1981 by our country and
It is well worth considering that the welfare of the adopted child can be truly protected if there is at least an assurance that the
home State of the petitioners has undertaken a family case study concerning them. As it would be but a simple thing for
petitioners to submit to a family case study report, the Court finds it difficult to perceive the reason for petitioners' apparent
adamant attitude in declining to do so. As petitioners profess their desire to extend to their adopted child the warmth of a parent's
love, the comforts of a caring home and the material provision he needs, their sincerity in this regard can best be manifested by
laying aside any possible inconvenience on their part or searching for legal technicalities. Whether or not the referred
Memorandum Agreement has the force and effect of law should be of least consideration to the petitioners if they are truly
disposed to do their part to expedite the travel for their adopted child to their country. The best solution would be for them to
accept and submit themselves to a family case study which should not be at all a difficult thing for them to do.
In the same way that this Court took to task the Ministry of Social Services and Development for being, paradoxically, 'overly
concerned over its claimed exclusive prerogative to conduct the case study work instead of placing more importance on the
possible prejudicial effects of its refusal on the welfare of the child," a similar rebuke may be fastened on the petitioners for their
seemingly adamant attitude and reluctance to submit themselves to a family case study report, which if favorable to them would
quickly remove the last reasonable obstacle for the issuance of the subject travel clearance certificate. It will banish the
apprehension and any misgiving on the part of the local authorities concerned that the adopted child might be confronted with
unexpected problems seriously prejudicial to his welfare, should the latter's adoption be not sanctioned or recognized by the
State where petitioners reside and are citizens of.
WHEREFORE, and in the light of the facts and circumstances hereinabove discussed, the dispositive portion of our judgment in
the instant case directing the issuance of the requisite travel clearance certificate in favor of the child, Adam Christopher
Bobanovic, is hereby SUSPENDED and DEFERRED until after petitioners shall have submitted themselves to a Family Case
Study in their home State of Victoria, Australia where they are said to be residing. Upon furnishing herein respondent Minister of
Social Services and Development with the corresponding official report on said Family Case Study and if such is favorable to the
petitioners herein, then the requisite travel clearance certificate for the adopted child, Adam Christopher Bobanovic, should thus
be issued by the office of the public respondent Minister as previously decreed.

Republic vs CA and Bobiles

GR No. 92326, January 24, 1992
Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition to adopt Jason Condat who had been living with her family since 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 be changed to Bobiles.
ISSUE: WON the petition to adopt Jason should be granted considering only Zenaida filed the petition.
The petition for adoption was filed when the law applicable was PD 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code), where such petition
may be filed either of the spouses or both of them. After the trial court rendered its favorable decision and while the case was
pending on appeal in CA, Family Code took effect where joint adoption of both spouses is mandatory.
Non-joinder is not a ground for the dismissal of an action or a special proceeding. The Family Code will have retrospective
application if it will not prejudice or impair vested rights. When Zenaida filed the petition, she was exercising her explicit and
unconditional right under said law in force at the time and thus vested and must not be prejudiced. A petition must not be
dismissed by reason of failure to comply with law not yet in force and effect at the time. Furthermore, the affidavit of consent
attached by the husband showed that he actually joined his wife in adopting Jayson. His declarations and subsequent
confirmatory testimony in open court was sufficient to make him a co-petitioner. Future of an innocent child must not be
compromised by arbitrary insistence of rigid adherence to procedural rules on the form of the pleadings.
Hence, Petition was denied.

Republic vs. Toledano

On February 21, 1990, Spouses Alvin Clouse, a natural-born US Citizen and Evelyn Clouse, a former Filipino who became a
naturalized US citizen, filed a petition to adopt Solomon Alcala, a minor who is Evelyn's youngest brother. The trial court granted
the petition. Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General appealed contending that the lower court erred in granting the
petition for the spouses are not qualified to adopt under Philippine Law.
Whether or not Spouses Clouse are qualified to adopt
Under Articles 184 and 185 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 209, otherwise known as "The Family Code of the Philippines", private
respondents spouses Clouse are clearly barred from adopting Solomon Joseph Alcala.
Article 184, paragraph (3) of Executive Order No. 209 expressly enumerates the persons who are not qualified to adopt, viz.:
(3) An alien, except:
(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by consanguinity;
(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino spouse; or
(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her spouse a relative by consanguinity of the
Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption
as may be provided by law.
There can be no question that private respondent Alvin A. Clouse is not qualified to adopt Solomon Joseph Alcala under any of
the exceptional cases in the aforequoted provision. In the first place, he is not a former Filipino citizen but a natural born citizen
of the United States of America. In the second place, Solomon Joseph Alcala is neither his relative by consanguinity nor the
legitimate child of his spouse. In the third place, when private respondents spouses Clouse jointly filed the petition to adopt
Solomon Joseph Alcala on February 21, 1990, private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse was no longer a Filipino citizen. She lost her
Filipino citizenship when she was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in 1988.
Private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse, on the other hand, may appear to qualify pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of Article 184 of E.O.
209. She was a former Filipino citizen. She sought to adopt her younger brother. Unfortunately, the petition for adoption cannot
be granted in her favor alone without violating Article 185 which mandates a joint adoption by the husband and wife. It reads:
Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.
Article 185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and wife, a condition that must be read along together with Article 184.
Under the Family Code, joint adoption by husband and wife is mandatory. This is in consonance with the concept of joint
parental authority over the child, which is the ideal situation. As the child to be adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate
child, it is but natural to require the spouses to adopt jointly. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses.
The alien husband can now adopt under Sec. 7 (b) of R.A. No. 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998). The Supreme Court has
held in several cases that when husband and wife are required to adopt jointly, each one of them must be qualified to adopt in
his or her own right. However, the American husband must comply with the requirements of the law including the residency
requirement of 3 years. Otherwise, the adoption will not be allowed. (Desiderio P. Jurado, Civil LawReviewer, 2006 ed., p. 232)