Monday, March 01, 2010

Legal lesson from “Panday Kids”

Last Friday, after several hours of trying and failing to update my Avast 5 engine and virus definitions, and as I sat down to eat dinner, I caught several scenes of “Panday Kids”, GMA 7’s newest teleserye. In one scene, the character played by Isabel Granada said to her daughter, “Kung alam ko lang na tutubuan ng sungay si Charlie, hindi ko na dapat pinayagan ang Papa mo na ampunin siya.” English translation: “If I only knew that Charlie would grow horns, I would not have given my permission for your father to adopt her”. Charlie is the character played by the cute Sabrina Man. (Incidentally, Isabel Granada is still very pretty despite marriage and motherhood.)

I don’t know the complete background of the story. but the scriptwriters of the show seem to have gotten their facts wrong. From the dialogue cited above, it seems that it was only the husband (I don’t know which actor plays this role) who filed the petition for adoption. As you can read from my post on adoption, under RA 8552 Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, joint adoption by a husband and wife is mandatory. The exceptions to joint adoption are:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.
The mandatory requirement is in consonance with the concept of joint parental authority over the child, which is the ideal situation. As the child to be adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to require the spouses to adopt jointly. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses.

Well, it is just a teleserye of course and who really cares about the legalities? As Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said,“Fiction is the willing suspension of disbelief.”

One other scene I saw last Friday was that of Maria Makiling (played by the alluring Iza Calzado) being manhandled by her captors Andreas and Cicero. Hmm, let me see, what legal lessons can we learn from Iza Calzado?