§ 1631. Competency of District courts and High Court.
§ 1632. Adoption by decree.
§ 1633. Persons to be notified or consents to be obtained.
§ 1634. Best interests of child to control; Appearance of child.
§ 1635. Effect of decree.
An adoption authorized under this subchapter may be granted by any District court within whose territorial jurisdiction the person or persons requesting the adoption reside or within whose jurisdiction the child resides, or by the Trial Division of the High Court in such jurisdiction.
(1) Any suitable person who is not married, or is married to the father or mother of a minor child, or a husband and wife jointly may by decree of court adopt a minor child, not theirs by birth, and the decree may provide for change of the name of the child. If the child is adopted by a person married to the father or mother of the child, the same rights and duties which previously existed between such natural parent and child shall be and remain the same, subject, however, to the rights acquired by and the duties imposed upon the adopting parent by reason of the adoption.
(2) The term "child," as used in this subchapter and section 1615 of this chapter shall refer to the parent-child relationship.
Editor's note: The word "minor" appears twice in the first sentence of this section in the 1966 edition of the Trust Territory Code, but was deleted from the 1970 and 1980 editions of the Trust Territory Code.
No adoption shall be granted without either the written consent of, or notice to, each of the known living legal parents who has not been adjudged insane or incompetent or has not abandoned the child for a period of six months, nor shall any adoption of a child of over the age of 12 years be granted without the consent of the child.
(1) No adoption shall be granted under this subchapter without the child proposed for adoption appearing before the court, and the adoption shall be granted only if the court is satisfied that the interests of the child will be promoted thereby.
(2) Whenever an adoption petition is filed by a person who is not a citizen of the Trust Territory for the adoption of a Micronesian child who is either under the age of twelve years or not the petitioner's stepchild, the court shall:
(a) determine, after reasonable inquiry, whether any member of the child's immediate or extended family residing in the Trust Territory, or any other Trust Territory citizen residing in the State of the Federated States of Micronesia in which the petition is brought, is willing, able, and suitable to adopt the child;
(b) give preference in the adoption of a Micronesian child to a Trust Territory citizen whenever practicable;
(c) appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney to represent the child;
(d) not issue a final decree until the child has lived in the proposed adoptive home for a length of time sufficient for the court to determine that the placement is satisfactory; and
(e) not grant the adoption unless the petitioner has resided in the Trust Territory for at least three years prior to the filing of the petition.
(3) The standards to be applied in judging the interests of a Micronesian child shall be the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Micronesian community from which the child comes or in which the court is located.
(4) The term "Micronesian child," as used in this section, shall mean a child born in the Trust Territory, one or both of whose parents is a Trust Territory citizen.
(1) After a decree of adoption has become absolute, the child adopted and the adopting parent or parents shall hold towards each other the legal relation of parent and child and have all the rights and be subject to all the duties of that relationship. The natural parents of the adopted child are, from the time of adoption, relieved of all parental duties toward the child and all responsibilities for the child so adopted, and have no right over it.
(2) A child adopted under this subchapter shall have the same rights of inheritance as a person adopted in accordance with recognized custom at the place where the land is situated in the case of real estate, and at the place where the decedent was a resident at the time of his death in the case of personal property. Where there is no recognized custom as to rights of inheritance of adopted children, a child adopted under this subchapter shall inherit from his adopting parents the same as if he were the natural child of the adopting parent or parents, and he may also inherit from his natural parents and kindred the same as if no adoption has taken place.
Cross-reference: The statutory provisions on the FSM Supreme Court and the Judiciary are found in title 4 of this code. The FSM Supreme Court website contains court decisions, rules, calendar, and other information of the court, the Constitution, the code of the Federated States of Micronesia, and other legal resource information at http://www.fsmsupremecourt.org/.
Editor's note: The phrase "parent or" appears in the first and final sentences of this section in the 1966 edition of the Trust Territory Code, but was deleted from the 1970 and 1980 editions of the Trust Territory Code.