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IN RE ADOPTION OF EDWIN VILLA

G.R. No. L-22523

29 Sep 1967

Angeles, J.

Gan

petitioners LUIS E. SANTOS JR., AND EDIPOLA V. SANTOS


responden REPUBLIC OF THE PHILPPINES
ts
summary Petitioner-spouses wish to adopt the minor Edwin Villa. The petitioner-wife

happens to be the legitimate sister of Edwin. The lower court denied the
adoption ruling that said adoption will result in an incongruous situation or a
dual relationship between the parties.
The SC held that such adoption is not prohibited by law. To say that adoption
should not be allowed when the adopted and the adopted are related to each
other, except in these cases enumerated in NCC 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. Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, and designed to
provide homes, care and education for unfortunate children should be
construed so as to encourage the adoption of such children by person who can
properly rear and educate them.

facts of the case

- The petitioner-spouses filed before the court praying that the minor Edwin Villa, 4 years old, be
declared their son by adoption.
- Petitioners are both 32 years old, Filipinos residing in the City of Manila. Married in 1957 and
have maintained a conjugal home of their own; no child of their own blood; not convicted of a
crime involving moral turpitude. Luis is lawyer and Edipola is a nurse.
- Edwin Villa is a child of Francisco Villa and Florencia Mendoza who are the common parents of the
petitioner-wife Edipola Villa Santos and the minor. (in other words, Edwin and Edipola are
siblings)
- Edwin was a sickly child since birth. Due to his impairing health, his parents entrusted him to the
petitioners who reared and brought him up for the years thereafter, and as a result, there
developed between the petitioners and the child, a deep hand profound love for each other.
Trial Court: dismissed the petition.
The adoption will result in an incongruous situation where the minor Edwin Villa, a legitimate
brother of the petitioner-wife, will also be her son.

issue
Whether an elder sister may adopt a younger brother. YES.

Ratio
- There is no provision of law that prohibits relatives by blood or by affinity from adopting one
another.
Article 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.
Article 338. The following may be adopted:
(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.
Article 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.
- NCC 335 enumerates those persons who may not adopt, and it has been shown that petitioners
are not among those prohibited from adopting.
- NCC 339 names those who cannot be adopted, and the minor child whose adoption is under
consideration, is not one of those excluded by the law.
- NCC 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 stepfather or step-mother. 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 adopted and the adopted are related to
each other, except in these cases enumerated in NCC 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.
With respect to the objection that the adoption in this case will result in a dual
relationship between the parties, that the adopted brother will be also the son of the
adopting elder sister
- This fact alone should not prevent the adoption. One is by nature, while the other is by fiction of
law.
- The relationship established by adoption is limited to the adopting parents and does not extend
to their other relatives, except as expressly provided by law.
Thus, the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals
of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the
adoption except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of
adoption.
- Similar dual relationship also result under our law on marriage when persons who are already
related, by blood or by affinity, marry each other. But as long as the relationship is not within
the degrees prohibited by the law, such marriage are allowed, notwithstanding the resulting
dual relationship.