I have been living in Japan for 23 years and have three children (20 years old, 18 years old and 15 years old) with my Japanese husband. I am now planning to adopt the son (10 years old) of my youngest sister, who is currently in the Philippines since I want to give him a good life and bring him here in Japan
When I consulted with a lawyer about this case the other day, he suggested and taught me to carry out the late registration of her son and register as my “child by birth” so that he can apply for the visa and come into the country as my child by birth.
However, I gave up this idea because it’s illegal and I might get into trouble with the Immigration Office. I asked other lawyers most of which suggested that I go through with adoption and have him come here as my adopted child.
The problem is this lawyer cannot specifically teach me how I should do it since he has no experience to perform such kind of international case of adoption
May I ask for you how can I carry out the formalities if I would like to make him reside in Japan?
Adoption means that it forms the same identification on law as legitimate birth child-parent relationship between those who do not have blood relationship mutually, or those who do not have legitimate birth child-parent relationship even if he/she is in child-parent relationship in blood relative.
It means plainly that adoption is “forming child-parent relationship”.
It will be always processed and examined based on Japanese Act on General Rules for Application of Laws, Civil Code, the Family Registration Law, the Philippines Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (Republic Act-8043), and the Philippines Family Law.
By the way, as I mentioned before,there are two types of adoption in accordance with Japanese Civil Code. One is ordinary adoption; the other is special adoption. The former is so commonly called “Ordinary adoption (Futsu-Yohshi-Engumi in Japanese)” and defined that:
・the legal relationship between real parent and child still maintain after adoption,
・the legal relationship between a foster(an adoptive) parent and adopted child also maintain after adoption,
・it used be written on a copy of his/her family register (Koseki-Tohon in Japanese) as “adopted son/daughter”.
In addition, the condition of adoption is as follows:
- As a rule, the person concerned can do adoption of his/her own free will.
- However, the person concerned has to get permission from the Family court when adopted child is a minor who does not come under a lineal descendant (Ex; his/her grandchild or child brought by a second wife/husband).
- Adopted parent should be adult (major) and agreed the adoption with his/her spouse. And, adopted child should not be a lineal ascendant and superior in age than adopted parent.
While the latter is called “special adoption (Tokubetsu-Yohshi-Engumi in Japanese)” and defined that:
- the legal relationship between real parent and child (son/daughter) completely cut off upon the adoption,
- adopted child seems to be a real son/daughter of adopted parent upon adoption,
- no one can find the proof of adoption on a copy of his/her family register (Koseki-tohhon in Japanese)
Then, the condition of adoption is as follows:
- Special adoption admits to adopted parent only if special reasons exist on the adopted child. For example, care and custody given by parent is hard or unsuitable.
- Father or mother is 25 years or more who has spouse (20 years or more).
- Husband and wife should get together to be parent.
- Adopted child is under 6 years old when parent seek for ad judgment at Family court.
As it mentioned above and according to these laws, case of your adoption will be not approved when your Japanese husband is opposed to this adoption even if you may wish, because your case is supposed to come under Ordinary Adoption (Futsu-Yohshi-Engumi).
In addition to this, since your case is a typical case of “Inter-Country Adoption”, this adoption must fit in with Japanese law and the Philippine law of adopted child. Especially, it is necessary to fulfill the prohibited conditions of adopted child’s home country law as follows;
- Will of adoption
You must have will of adoption.
- A lineal ascendant and superior in age
Adopted child should not be a lineal ascendant and superior in age than adopted parent.
- Adoption of husband/wife’ will
Adopted parent should be adult (major) and agreed the adoption with his/her spouse.
- Age of adopted child
Adopted child who is now 15 years old and over can agreed the adoption and report it to municipal office by oneself. However, when adopted parent would like to adopt a child under 15 years old, it is necessary to get consent of legal representative and agreement of legal superintendent. Only legal representative can report the adoption to the municipal office.
- Family Court permission
As a rule, the person concerned can do adoption of his/her own free will. However, the person concerned must get permission from the Family Court when adopted child is a minor who does not come under a lineal descendant (Ex; his/her grandchild or child brought by a second wife/husband).
Therefore, I can comment and answer you not only that your husband agrees with this adoption but also you make me respond the following questions, which are very important to solve your case, because there are opaque background and circumstances of adoption in your case.
- What member is your younger sister’s family?
- Why doesn’t your younger sister do custody and bring up her child as mother?
- What kind of situation does your younger sister happened, and why did she request to you the adoption?
- You have already three children by birth. Will you carry out your adoption only under the situation of having been asked from your sister? Do you and she have any other reason?
If you case can fulfill the condition mentioned above, you must carry out the following procedure.
1) Common case (*)
(*) Your case is one of the common cases, which are all cases except for “No. 2)”.
(1) File the Adoption Case to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the Philippines by yourself through the professional Philippine lawyer.
(2) Submit the “Home Study Report” of your family, judge decision of RTC and other documents about adopted child to Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) by yourself.
(3) Receive the “Placement Authority” from ICAB.
(4) Submit the necessary documents of application for “Temporary Stay Visa” to the Japanese Embassy by yourself.
(5) When the visa gets available, you as a Prospective Adoptive Parents go to the Philippines to fetch the child.
(6) Send an “Adjustment Reports” to ICAB three times within 6 months from the time when adopted child would have arrived at Japan.
(7) Receive “Affidavit if Consent to Adoption” from ICAB.
(8) Submit necessary documents for a petition of adoption and change of child surname to a Japanese Family Court.
(9) Receive the “Adoption Decree” from the Japanese Family Court.
(10) Register the Adoption Decree to a municipal office.
(11) Register the adoption and change of child’s name into the Family Register.
(12) Submit the Family Register and carry out the authentication at a Notary Public Office in Japan.
(13) Submit the certificate of authentication by a Notary Public Office to the Philippine Embassy in Japan and apply for the Authentication by the Embassy.
(14) Submit the Authentication by the Embassy to ICAB.
(15) Change the Immigration status of adopted child from Temporary Stay to Long Term Resident at the Regional Immigration Bureau.
And, for our reader’s information, please find the procedure of “Special Case” as follows:
2) Special case (*)
(*) Adoption of companion child by Japanese and his Filipino wife.
(1) Submit the application of necessary documents for Certificate of Eligibility referring to the adopted child (=companion child of Filipino wife) to the Regional Immigration Bureau in Japan.
(2) Receive the Certificate of Eligibility of the Immigration status, “Long Term Resident/1 year” from the Immigration Bureau.
(3) Submit the Certificate of Eligibility and other necessary documents and apply for the visa to the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines.
(4) Receive the suitable visa on the passport of child.
(5) Arrive at Japan with mother and approved the Immigration status “Long Term Resident”.
(6) Submit necessary documents for a petition of adoption and change of child surname to a Japanese Family Court.
(7)Receive the “Adoption Decree” from the Japanese Family Court.
(8) Register the Adoption Decree to a municipal office.
(9) Register the adoption and change of child’s name into the Family Register.
(10) Submit the Family Register and carry out the authentication at a Notary Public Office in Japan.
(11) Submit the certificate of authentication by a Notary Public Office to the Philippine Embassy in Japan and apply for the Authentication by the Embassy.
(12) Submit the Authentication by the Embassy to ICAB.
Can you understand what I drew up? Yes, it’s very complicated as you see because these are based on the laws of Inter-Country.
Then, I hope you will consult with me in person when you would visit our office soon.
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