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SC: Couples who want to adopt need their legitimate children's consent

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 04, 2024 11:13 am

The Supreme Court stressed the importance of parents getting the consent of their legitimate children before bringing in a new family member.

The reminder comes as a ruling from August 2023 about an adoption petition in the Supreme Court was made public on Dec. 28, 2023. 

The high court stressed the importance of Section 9(c) of Republic Act 8552 or the "Domestic Adoption Act," in which parents are required to get the written consent of their legitimate children aged 10 years old and above before adopting. 

The case

The Supreme Court denied the petition for review on Nena Bagcat-Gullas and her husband Jose, who filed for the adoption of a child abandoned by her mother in 2016.

Court records state that the child, Jo Anne, and her biological mother have lived with Bagcat-Gullas and that she also has no known father. The child has been in the couple's care since her mother left.

Bagcat-Gullas and Jose petitioned to adopt Jo Anne and correct her entries in her record of birth, which was initially granted by the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

However, the decision was set aside due to a motion by the legitimate children of Jose, who claimed they were indispensable parties.

Jose has three legitimate children who were all above the age of 10 years old at the time of the proceedings. 

“In the case of the respondents, it is undisputed that they were all over 10 years old at the time of the adoption proceedings. Their written consent, therefore, was necessary for the adoption to be valid,” the Supreme Court said.

The Court also reiterated its previous 2014 ruling, saying the consent of adopter's other children is necessary as "it ensures harmony among the prospective siblings."

Because of the absence of the indispensable parties, the previous RTC ruling affirming the adoption has been rendered null and void.