Adopted child wants to marry illegitimate child of adoptive mother

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I am 27 years old, Filipino and was recently engaged to my longtime boyfriend, also 27 years old. When I was a child, I was abandoned by my biological parents and was legally adopted by my adoptive parents. They brought me up abroad so I will not be bullied and discriminated for being an adopted child here in the Philippines. When I was about to enter college, they allowed me to go back home to the Philippines to pursue my studies where I met my soulmate, boyfriend and now, fiancé. I wasn’t able to formally introduce my fiancé to them due to different time zones and our busy schedule. When I finally had the courage to tell them about my upcoming marriage, my adoptive father suddenly burst out of anger. Little did I know, my fiancé was the illegitimate child of my adoptive mother. My adoptive parents are against this marriage because they insist that my fiancé and I are technically siblings and thus, cannot marry each other. I really love my fiancé and never treated him as my brother. I really want to marry him. Is this legally possible? Can I marry him even without the consent of my adoptive parents?

Dear Ashley,With regard to your first concern, Article 38 of the Family Code provides for the void marriages by reason of public policy, as follows:

“Art. 38. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy:

“(1) Between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;

“(2) Between step-parents and step-children;

“(3) Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;

“(5) Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;

“(6) Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;

“(7) Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;

“(8) Between adopted children of the same adopter; and

“(9) Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other person’s spouse, or his or her own spouse.”

The review of Article 38 of the above-mentioned law reveals that your situation is not one of the void marriages by reason of public policy. In addition, you are not required to secure the consent of your adoptive parents because that is only required for those who are between the ages of 18 and 21 as provided under Article 14 of the same law:

“Art. 14. In case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper local civil registrar, or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. The personal manifestation shall be recorded in both applications for marriage license, and the affidavit, if one is executed instead, shall be attached to said applications. (61a)” (Emphasis supplied)

In view of the foregoing, please be advised that, provided that there are no other legal impediments, you may legally marry the illegitimate son of your adoptive mother even without the consent of your adoptive parents.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to

Reference/s: The Manila Times