Monday, April 22, 2013

DRC Family Code (part 3)

This is part three in a series of posts about the Family Code Law in DRC.  It addresses many topics but also states adoption law in DRC.  My comments are in italics.  Bolded items are ones that really struck me as noteworthy today.  

Article 662

The mother and father of the minor adoptee must both consent to the adoption.  If either the father or mother are deceased, are unable to express his or her will, have no known residence, or have been deprived of parental authority, consent will be given jointly by the husband or wife and a member of his/her spouse's family designated by the peace court upon proposition of the family counsel.  When lineage of a minor established only with regards to one of its originators, that parent may consent alone to the adoption.

Article 669

Adoption of one person by another who is single, widowed or divorced and of the opposite sex may not be admitted unless there are circumstances justify it.

Article 671

The consent of the adopter and the adoptee shall be given in person, before the court.   When it is not given in person before the court, the consent of the father and mother of the adoptee, of the person charged to give his consent jointly with one of the parents according to articles 662 and 663, of the guardian or of the adoptee's family counsel, of the spouse of the adopter and of the adoptee, this must result in an authentic certificate established by a civil affairs officer, a notary or a diplomatic or Zairian consulate.  Consent given by an authentic certificate can be retracted in the same manner, until the petition to adopt is filed.

Article 672

The examination of the petition and, where appropriate, discussions shall take place in counsel chamber.  The court, after having, if appropriate, proceeded with an investigation by every qualified person, and after having verified if all legal conditions are met, shall grant the adoption...

Article 674

The adoption ruling is susceptible to appeal and to recourse of annulment by the adopters, the adoptee, by those from whom consent is required, as well as the public prosecutor.  The waiting period shall commence from the ruling.  The adoption granted by a decision made in force of res judicata cannot be attacked by way of invalidity...

Article 676

Adoption produces its effects from the day of the application filing.  The adoption is binding only when the ruling has been transcribed.

Article 677

The adoptee is considered in all respects as the child of the adopter.  He/she enters into the adopter's family.

Article 678

The adoptee retains his/her ties with his/her birth family.  His/her descendants have ties with the adoptive family of origin.

Almost sounds like this is mandating open adoption.

Article 679

In all cases where a choice must be made between the adoptive family and the birth family, the adoptive family is preferred, unless the law provides otherwise.

Article 680

Adoption does not cause any civil relation between the adoptive family and the adoptee's family.

Article 689

The adoptee, his/her spouse and their descendants may not request food/subsistence from the adoptee's birth family unless the adoptive family is unable to provide.  They must feed the ancestors of the adoptee's birth family in the case where the birth family cannot turn to another family member in order to obtain support.  

Does this say what it looks like it says?  The adoptee must feed the ancestors of their birth family if the birth family cannot turn to another family member for support.  Honestly, my first thought on reading this?  Zaire (now DRC) has it spot on!  (Go ahead, send all the criticism my way.)  I think we are tied irrevocably with our children's first families.  I think, because of this tie, if my children's birth family is starving and cannot turn to another family member for support, we should feed them.  Do you think I am reading this wrong?  What is your interpretation?  What do you think?  Should we feed our children's ancestors if they are starving and cannot turn to family members for help?  

I think DRC is an incredible country and legalized the care and obligation to support each others families.  Wow.  

I think I will stop there for today and finish in a fourth post.  


Emma Alexander said...

Thank you for posting this Holly. This is exactly what I want to do.

Emma Alexander said...

Thank you for posting this Holly. This is exactly what I want to do.

Mama Ethiopia said...

I love this and it feels right and natural, but it is also scary to me as that seems to be a huge issue in ethical adoptions. This is one of the main points of vulnerability in adoptions. What safeguards are in place to ensure that a first family doesn't have one child that they place for adoption to ensure provision for themselves and the rest of their children and furthermore (and much, much more serious IMHO) what safeguards are in place to prevent adoption agencies/facilitators/"recruiters", etc. from leveraging this in their desire to "find" children to place for adoption.