Q) I have been living in Japan for 18 years. Now, I have three children (18 years old, 16 years old and 13 years old) among my Japanese husbands. I am now planning to adopt the son (10 years old) of my youngest sister, who is now present in the Philippines since I was requested to make him enter and reside in Japan two months ago.
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 might come into the country as my child by birth.
However, I gave up this idea because it’s illegal and I thought that it would be perceived as false immediately by the Immigration Authority. Then, I confirmed it to other lawyers. They taught me about adoption, which is possible to make him enter Japan as an adopted child. But these lawyers cannot specifically teach me how I should do it since they have no experience in performing such kind of international cases in the past.
Then, may I ask you how can I carry out the formalities if I would like to make him enter / reside in Japan?
(Sonia in Nagoya-city)
A) The 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 relation.
It means plainly that adoption is “Forming child-parent relationship”.
It will be always processed and examined based on the Japanese Laws (❶ Act on General Rules for Application of Laws, ❷ Civil Code, ❸ Family Registration Law) and the Philippine’s Law (❹ Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (Republic Act-8043), ❺ Family Law).
By the way, as I mentioned before, there are two types of adoption in accordance with the Japanese Civil Code. One is ordinary adoption and the other is the 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 to 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 adopt his/her own free will.
・however, the person concerned has to get permission from the Family court when the 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).
・the adopted parent should be an adult (major) and agree to the adoption with his/her spouse. And, an adopted child should not be a lineal ascendant and superior in age than an 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,
・the 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:
・the Special adoption admits an adopted parent only if special reasons exist for the adopted child. For example, care and custody given by parents is hard or unsuitable.
・father or mother is 25 years or more who has a spouse (20 years or more).
・husband and wife should get together to be parents.
・the Adopted child is under 15 years old when parents seek a judgment at Family court.
As it mentioned above and according to these laws, the case of your adoption will not be 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. It is necessary to fulfill the prohibited conditions of the adopted child’s home country law as follows.
・Will of adoption
-You must have the 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 an adult (major) and agree to the adoption with his/her spouse.
・Age of adopted child
-Adopted child who is now 15 years old and over can agree to the adoption and report it to the municipal office by oneself. However, when an adopted parent would like to adopt a child under 15 years old, it is necessary to get consent of the legal representative and agreement of the legal superintendent. Only a legal representative can report the adoption to the municipal office.
・Family Court permission
-As a rule, the person concerned can adopt his/her own free will. However, the person concerned must get permission from the Family Court when the 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 to the following questions, which are very important to solve your case, because there are opaque backgrounds and circumstances of adoption in your case.
1. What member is your younger sister’s family?
2. Why doesn’t your younger sister do custody and bring up her child as mother?
3. What kind of situation has your younger sister had, and why did she request the adoption?
4. 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 can fulfill the condition mentioned above, you must carry out the following procedure.
1) Common (=Ordinary adoption) case (*)
(*) Your case is one of the common cases, which are all cases except for “Special adoption case”.
(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 the RTC and other documents about adopted children to the 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 parent go to the Philippines to fetch the child.
(6) Send an “Adjustment Reports” to ICAB three times within 6 months from the time when the adopted child would have arrived in 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 children from Temporary Stay to Long Term Resident at the Regional Immigration Bureau.
And, for our reader’s information, please find the procedure of “Special adoption Case” as follows:
2) Special adoption case (*)
(*) Adoption of a companion child by a Japanese man and his Filipino wife.
(1) To 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) To 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 the child.
(5) Arrived in Japan with my 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.
As I mentioned above, yes, it’s very complicated because these are based on the laws of Inter-Country. But it is now a more easy process than before. So, please consult with me in person.
For more details please Contact:
Office name: Miyoshi International Legal Counsel Office
Telephone/Fax (Japanese/English): 0463-61-6305 (Office) or 090-1436-4107(Mobile phone)
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Naka-gun, Oiso-cho, Higashikoiso 716-2
Nearest station: Oiso station by Tokado Line
Working hour/day: 09:00-18:00/Monday-Friday (Saturday by appointment)