Santos vs Republic Petitioner Santos spouses seek to adopt the 4-year old sickly brother of the wife.

It was established that the petitioners are both 32 years of age and have maintained a conjugal home of their own. They do not have a child of their own blood nor has any one of them been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Luis E. Santos, Jr., is a lawyer, with business interests in a textile development enterprise and the IBA electric plant, and is the general manager of Medry Inc. and the secretary-treasurer of Bearen Enterprises. His copetitioner-wife is a nurse by profession. The parents of the child testified that they entrusted him to the petitioners who reared and brought him up. Issue: Can a sister adopt her own brother? Held: Article 335 of the Civil Code enumerates those persons who may not adopt, and it has been shown that petitioners-appellants herein are not among those prohibited from adopting. Article 339 of the same code names those who cannot be adopted, and the minor child whose adoption is under consideration, is not one of those excluded by the law. Article 338, on the other hand, allows the adoption of a natural child by the natural father or mother, of other illegitimate children by their father or mother, and of a step-child by the step-father or stepmother. This last article is, of course, necessary to remove all doubts that adoption is not prohibited even in these cases where there already exist a relationship of parent and child between them by nature. To say that adoption should not be allowed when the adopter and the adopted are related to each other, except in these cases enumerated in Article 338, is to preclude adoption among relatives no matter how far removed or in whatever degree that relationship might be, which in our opinion is not the policy of the law. The interest and welfare of the child to be adopted should be of paramount consideration. Republic vs Court of Appeals James Hughes, a natural born citizen of the United States of America, married Lenita Mabunay, a Filipino Citizen, who herself was later naturalized as a citizen of that country. The spouses jointly filed a petition with the RTC to adopt the minor niece and nephews of Lenita, who had been living with the couple even prior to the filing of the petition. The minors, as well as their parents, gave consent to the adoption. The RTC rendered a decision granting the petition. Issue: Can the spouses adopt the minors? Held: While James Anthony unquestionably is not permitted to adopt under any of the exceptional cases enumerated in paragraph (3) of the aforequoted article, Lenita, however, can qualify pursuant to paragraph (3)(a). Lenita may not thus adopt alone since Article 185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and the wife, a condition that must be read along together with Article 184. Art 185 provides: Art. 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. As amended by Executive Order 91, Presidential Decree No. 603, had thus made it mandatory for both the spouses to jointly adopt when one of them was an alien. The law was silent when both spouses were of the same nationality.

The Family Code has resolved any possible uncertainty. Article 185 thereof now expresses the necessity for joint adoption by the spouses except in only two instances: (1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own legitimate child; or (2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other. It is in the foregoing cases when Article 186 of the Code, on the subject of parental authority, can aptly find governance. Article 186. In case husband and wife jointly adopt or one spouse adopts the legitimate child of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses in accordance with this Code. Republic vs Toledano Spouses Alvin A. Clouse and Evelyn A. Clouse who are aliens filed a petition to adopt the minor, Solomon Joseph Alcala. They are physically, mentally, morally, and financially capable of adopting Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor. Since 1981 to 1984, then from November 2, 1989 up to the present, Solomon Joseph Alcala was and has been under the care and custody of private respondents. Solomon gave his consent to the adoption. His mother, Nery Alcala, a widow, likewise consented to the adoption due to poverty and inability to support and educate her son. The RTC granted the petition. Issue: Can the spouses adopt Solomon? Held: 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 latter. 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. 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. Cang vs Court of Appeals Petitioner Herbert Cang and Anna Marie Clavano who were married, begot three children. During the early years of their marriage, the Cang couple's relationship was undisturbed. Not long thereafter, however, Anna Marie learned of her husband's alleged extramarital affair. Anna Marie subsequently filed a petition for legal separation which was granted. They had an agreement for support of the children and that Anna Marie can enter into agreements without the written consent of Herbert. Petitioner left for the US. Meanwhile, the brother and sister-in-law of Anna Marie filed for the adoption of the 3 minor Cang children. Upon

learning of the adoption, Herbert went back to the Philippines to contest it, but the petition for adoption was granted by the court. Issue: Can minor children be legally adopted without the written consent of a natural parent on the ground that the latter has abandoned them? Held: Article 256 of the Family Code provides for its retroactivity "insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws." As amended by the Family Code, the statutory provision on consent for adoption now reads: Art. 188. The written consent of the following to the adoption shall be necessary: (2) the parents by nature of the child, the legal guardian, or the proper government instrumentality. Based on the foregoing, it is thus evident that notwithstanding the amendments to the law, the written consent of the natural parent to the adoption has remained a requisite for its validity. As clearly inferred from the foregoing provisions of law, the written consent of the natural parent is indispensable for the validity of the decree of adoption. Nevertheless, the requirement of written consent can be dispensed with if the parent has abandoned the child or that such parent is "insane or hopelessly intemperate." In the instant case, records disclose that petitioner's conduct did not manifest a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims over his children as to, constitute abandonment. Physical estrangement alone, without financial and moral desertion, is not tantamount to abandonment. While admittedly, petitioner was physically absent as he was then in the United States, he was not remiss in his natural and legal obligations of love, care and support for his children. He maintained regular communication with his wife and children through letters and telephone. He used to send packages by mail and catered to their whims. Cervantes vs Fajardo The minor was born to respondents Conrado Fajardo and Gina Carreon, who are common-law husband and wife. Respondents offered the child for adoption to Gina Carreon's sister and brother-in-law, the herein petitioners Zenaida Carreon-Cervantes and Nelson Cervantes, spouses, who took care and custody of the child when she was barely two (2) weeks old. An Affidavit of Consent to the adoption of the child by herein petitioners, was also executed by respondent Gina Carreon. The adoptive parents received a letter from the respondents demanding to be paid the amount of P150,000.00, otherwise, they would get back their child. Petitioners refused to accede to the demand. Subsequently, the respondents took the child. Issue: Can respondents take back their child? Held: In all cases involving the custody, care, education and property of children, the latter's welfare is paramount. The provision that no mother shall be separated from a child under five (5) years of age, will not apply where the Court finds compelling reasons to rule otherwise. In all controversies regarding the custody of minors, the foremost consideration is the moral, physical and social welfare of the child concerned, taking into account the resources and moral as well as social standing of the contending parents. Never has this Court deviated from this criterion.

It is undisputed that respondent Conrado Fajardo is legally married to a woman other than respondent Gina Carreon, and his relationship with the latter is a common-law husband and wife relationship. His open cohabitation with corespondent Gina Carreon will not accord the minor that desirable atmosphere where she can grow and develop into an upright and moral-minded person. Besides, respondent Gina Carreon had previously given birth to another child by another married man with whom she lived for almost three (3) years but who eventually left her and vanished. Upon the other hand, petitioners who are legally married appear to be morally, physically, financially, and socially capable of supporting the minor and giving her a future better than what the natural mother, whp is not only jobless but also maintains an illicit relation with a married man, can most likely give her. Besides, the minor has been legally adopted by petitioners with the full knowledge and consent of respondents. A decree of adoption has the effect, among others, of dissolving the authority vested in natural parents over the adopted child, except where the adopting parent is the spouse of the natural parent of the adopted, in which case, parental authority over the adopted shall be exercised jointly by both spouses. The adopting parents have the right to the care and custody of the adopted child and exercise parental authority and responsibility over him. Sayson vs Court of Appeals Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro. Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15, 1976. Teodoro, who had married Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years later. Their properties were left in the possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to be their children. Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed their own complaint, this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, against the couple's four surviving children. Both cases were decided in favor Delia, et al on the basis of practically the same evidence. The Judge declared in his decision that Delia and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson by virtue of the decree of adoption. Doribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by her birth certificate. Consequently, the three children were entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation. Held: In consequence of the above observations, we hold that Doribel, as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson, and Delia and Edmundo, as their adopted children, are the exclusive heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple, conformably to the following Article 979 of the Civil Code: Art. 979. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants, without distinction as to sex or age, and even if they should come from different marriages. An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate child. There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela, Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents. Under Article 981, quoted above, she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived, which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents' other children.

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