POHNPEI LAW REPORTS
VOL. 3
 
[3 PN.L.R. 236]
IN THE MATTER OF THE
ADOPTION AND NAME CHANGE OF
LEILANI ALMA MAXWELL,
A Minor

DANIEL PERIN,
Petitioner

Pohnpei Civil Action No. 233-88

Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court

December 1, 1988

     Petition by a citizen of the United States of America for the adoption and name change of his step-child, a citizen of Pohnpei. The natural father of the child never acknowledged paternity of the child and never provided care and support nor asserted any rights towards her since she was born. His consent to the adoption was not proved, though the child's mother consented. The infant had always lived together with her three siblings, her mother and the petitioner whom she regarded as her natural father.

     The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, EDWEL H. SANTOS, Chief Justice, granting the petition, held (1) that the consent of the father to the adoption of the child was not necessary and (2) that the provisions of 39 TTC 254 as amended by IC-28, relating to the adoption of a Micronesian child under the age of twelve years permitted the child's adoption without inquiry whether any member of the child's immediate or extended family residing in Micronesia was willing, able and suitable to adopt the child.

[3 PN.L.R. 237]

1.   Domestic Relations - Adoption - Parental consent
Where the natural father of a child proposed for adoption has never acknowledged paternity of the child, nor provided any care or support nor visited or asserted any rights toward the child since she was born the consent of the father to the adoption is not necessary.

2.   Domestic Relations - Adoption
Where a non-citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia who petitions for the adoption of a Pohnpeian child under the age of twelve years is the step-father of the child the Court has no duty to determine after reasonable inquiry whether any member of the child's immediate or extended family residing in the Federated States of Micronesia or other Micronesian citizen residing in Pohnpei, is willing, able, and suitable to adopt the child. (39 TTC 254, as amended by IC-28 of 1979)

Counsel for Petitioner:       Roberta Lindberg, Esq.
                                             Micronesian Legal Services Corporation

EDWEL H. SANTOS, Chief Justice
     This matter came on for hearing on November 30, 1988, by Thomas Tetteh, Esq., Law Researcher of the Court, who had been designated Master for the purpose of hearing, upon a petition by Daniel Perin, a citizen of the United States of America, now resident in Nett, Pohnpei State. The petitioner was represented by Roberta Lindberg Esq. Micronesian Legal Services Corporation.

[3 PN.L.R. 238]

[1] The child proposed for adoption is the step-child of the petitioner, born on March 19,1978. The natural mother of the child is Mamer Perin of Nukuoro, Pohnpei State, now married to the petitioner. The natural father of the child is a Steve Maxwell who never acknowledged paternity of the child, and has never provided any care or support for the child or visited or asserted any rights toward her since she was born. The consent of the father is therefore not necessary in this adoption.

     The Master examined the petitioner and the mother of the child whose consent to the adoption is on file in the form of an affidavit. The mother persists in her consent. The testimony of the petitioner and the mother of the child shows that the infant has always lived together with three other children in the family as siblings, and has always regarded the petitioner as her natural father.

[2] The child being the step-child of the petitioner, the provisions of 39 TTC 254 as amended by IC-28, relating to the adoption of a Micronesian child under the age of twelve years, permits the child's adoption without inquiry whether any member of the child's imme-

[3 PN.L.R. 239]

diate or extended family residing in Micronesia is willing, able and suitable to adopt the child. Accordingly, the Court being satisfied that the child is suitable for adoption by the petitioner, the husband of the natural mother of the child, and that the petitioner is fit and able to give the child a proper home and education, and the Court being satisfied that the interest of the child herein proposed for adoption will be promoted by such adoption, it is ORDERED, that Leilani Alma Maxwell is hereby adopted by Daniel Perin; and it is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the name of the adoptee which has hitherto been LEILANI ALMA MAXWELL, is hereby changed to LEILANI ALMA PERIN.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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