THE Supreme Court (SC) has maintained that in cases of adoption, the consent of the adopter’s legitimate children aged at least 10 years old is “indispensable.”
In a 10-page decision penned by Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh for the petition for review on certiorari filed by Nena Bagcat-Gullas, she said Section 9 of Republic Act 8552 cites that “the legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, 10 years of age or over of the adopter and adoptee if any” is required for the petition of adoption.
“The law could not be any clearer. The consent of the adopter's legitimate children, who are, at least, of the age of 10, is required for the petition for adoption to prosper,” read the decision.
It was also cited in the court ruling in Castro v. Gregorio case, which stated that “the consent of the adopter's other children is necessary as it ensures harmony among the prospective siblings. It also sufficiently puts the other children on notice that they will have to share their parent's love and care, as well as their future legitimes, with another person.”
In May 2016, Bagcat-Gullas and her husband, Jose Gullas, filed before a Cebu City court a petition for adoption and correction of entries in the birth record of a child who was abandoned by her mother under their care.
The petition was granted on May 18, 2018.
In June of the same year, the children of Jose, all of legal age, filed an Entry of Appearance but it was denied by the local court, noting it has no basis “because the respondents” are no parties of record.
The respondents argued that being the legitimate children of Jose, they are real parties in interest who are also indispensable parties.
The following month, the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 24 issued a certificate of finality on its May 2018 ruling.
The couple argued that the respondents were not essential to the case and that they had executed an affidavit of consent.
The local court later vacated its earlier decisions granting the petition for adoption.
The case has reached the Court of Appeals (CA), which upheld that legitimate children of the adopter are indispensable parties.
The CA also noted that the signatures attached to the affidavit of consent, apparently issued by the respondents, do not appear to be genuine.
The SC affirmed the CA’s decision denying the petition for certiorari of the couple, as well as their prayer for issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ if preliminary injunction for being moot and academic. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)