Monday, May 6, 2013

DRC family code/adoption law (part 4)

I want to finish up sharing the pertinent parts of the DRC Family Code tonight.  There is still the supplement to the Code to share (this does include the part of the code that delineates only heterosexuals may adopt from DRC) from May 2009, but first I will finish this one.  I will make it accessible as well so anyone can read over the adoption law themselves.  We all need to know what DRC law says about our adoptions.   You can find the first three parts of this series of posts here--part 1, part 2, and part 3.

(My comments are in italics below).

Article 690

The adoptee and his/her descendants retain all their hereditary rights in their birth family.  They acquire hereditary rights in their adoptive family.  In absence of inter vivos or testamentary provisions, the estate of the adoptee insofar as it does not return to his or her spouse or descendants, is divided into two equal parts between the birth family and the adoptive family.

So, that was my first time reading that article in detail.  This stuff gets more and more interesting.  "The adoptee and his/her descendants retain all their hereditary rights in their birth family."  Wow.  I think I would like to say I already believed this, but in practicality it is hard to imagine how that works out.  And then to see it in print even makes me more want to keep our adoption an open adoption.  It is their legal right in their country.  The last part is fascinating as well, that if the adoptee doesn't have descendants, his/her estates is divided between the birth and adoptive family.  

Article 691

Revocation of the adoption may, exceptionally, for serious motives, be pronounced upon request of the adopter or the adoptee.  The decision of justice having become definitive which pronounces the revocation shall be inscribed in the civil affairs register in the place or residence of the adoptee.  The Civil affairs Officer shall make mention in the margin of the adoption decree and the birth certificate of the adoptee and his/her descendants.  The effects of the adoption cease from the day the revocation ruling becomes definitive.

This is an important point I think, that adoption can be revoked upon request of the adopter or the adoptee by the decision of the justice based off of serious motives.  If it isn't revoked, then by DRC law, if you have an adoption decree, you are their legal parents in DRC. 

Article 695

Kinship results from birth lineage.  It results as well from legal paternity and the adoptive lineage insofar as determined by the provisions relative to lineage and adoption.

Article 714

The parents and relative mutually owe each other assistance and respect in accordance with the law and custom.  In all circumstances their behavior must be guided by concern to maintain and reinforce family harmony.

Article 721

Independently of their obligation of maintenance and education, the father and mother are required to support any of their children unable to work, and this, regardless of their age.


There are a lot of articles that are a part of the family law (but not directly relating to adoption) that I didn't share here.  After reading through them all, I am left feeling astounded by the laws that tie families together in a country that is now seemingly so torn asunder.  I am left feeling staggered by the beauty in their laws and the written obligation to care for one another.  And then I am left with more understanding about the resiliency and courage I saw and witnessed in the Congolese people.  People who care for orphans and each other.  People who would walk days to keep a newborn alive.  People who start indigenous orphan care groups that watch over 100s of vulnerable children (with no outside support).   Families who would walk through the darkness over the mountains to get their sisters to the hospital.  Women who, despite the horrors done to their bodies, rise up and find joy and a new start.  They are not people to be pitied, but admired.  I am left humbled.  

This amazing woman started an orphan care group helping 100s of vulnerable children.  Her funding?  She has 100s of others who give a monthly small amount (dues) which she then uses to buy food and other supplies.  Incredible.  

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