POHNPEI LAW REPORTS
[3 PN.L.R. 417]
IN THE MATTER OF THE
ADOPTION AND NAME CHANGE OF
GIORGIO DE ANGELO POLL,
MARCELO PANALIGAN AND MONIQUE P. PANALIGAN,
Pohnpei Civil Action No. 64-89
Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court
March 28, 1989
Petition for the adoption by a non-citizen of Micronesia of the customary adoptive child of his Micronesian wife. The non-citizen stepfather purported to have adopted the child under custom. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, CARL KOHLER, Associate Justice, granting the petition, held that though the customary adoption of the child by the stepfather was not valid, as the stepfather of the child who was under twelve years, the provisions of 39 TTC 254 as amended by is 28, permitted the child's adoption by the petitioner 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.
1. Domestic Relations - Customary Adoption of Micronesian Child by Non-citizen
A customary adoption of a Micronesian child by a non-citizen is invalid.
2. Domestic Relations - Adoption of Micronesian Child by Non-citizen
A Micronesian child under the age of twelve years, being the stepchild of a non-citizen of Micronesia, may be adopted by his stepfather without inquiry whether any member of the child's immediate or extended family residing in Micronesia is willing, able and suitable to adopt the child. (39 TTC 254, as amended by 1 c-28)
[3 PN.L.R. 418]
Counsel for Petitioner: Erwine Hadley
Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
CARL KOHLER, Associate Justice
This matter came on for hearing on March 22, 1989 in my chamber. Present for the hearing were: Marcelo Panaligan and Monique P. Panaligan, the petitioners, Lucielle Poll, the natural mother and the minor, Giorgio De Angelo Poll. Appearing as Counsel was Erwine Hadley from the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation.
The petitioners brought their petition seeking under the laws of this State a decree of this Court to name them the legal adoptive parents of the minor, Giorgio De Angelo Poll.
From the evidence adduced in Court, I find the following:
1. The petitioner, Marcelo Panaligan, is a citizen of the Phillipines and has continuously till now resided in Pohnpei State for 10 years.
2. The petitioner, Monique P. Panaligan, is a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia and a resident of Pohnpei State.
3. The petitioners were legally married in the Pohnpei State Court on February 14,1980. Together they filed this petition.
[3 PN.L.R. 419]
4. Giorgio De Angelo Poll, is the natural child of Lucielle Poll, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia and legal resident of the State of Pohnpei. Birth Certificate No. 290-87, which is on file with the Clerk of Court, issued in Pohnpei, indicates no name of the infant's natural father.
5. Lucielle Poll agrees and consents that her natural son be legally adopted by the petitioners and his name be changed to reflect the adoption.
6. Lucielle Poll is related to the petitioner, Monique P. Panaligan, as a younger sister.
Testimonies by the petitioners and the natural mother further show that the minor, Giorgio De Angelo Poll, was customarily adopted by the petitioners when he was born. Subsequent to this customary adoption, the minor has always lived with the petitioners and has always been regarded as their own son.
 However, since the petitioner, Marcelo Panaligan, is a foreign citizen, his customary adoption of the minor herein is not valid. To establish a parent and child relationship, the petitioner Marcelo Panaligan must apply for statutory adoption. In such case,
[3 PN.L.R. 420]
the petitioner Marcelo Panaligan, because of his foreign citizenship, needs to satisfy the adoption requirements under 39TTC 254 as amended by 1 c-28.
In this case since the minor is an adopted child of petitioner Monique Panaligan, that makes the co-petitioner, Marcelo Panaligan, a step-father, therefore the adoption requirements for foreign citizens do not apply here. See 39 TTC 254 as amended by 1 c-28.
 The child, being the stepchild of petitioner Marcelo Panaligan, the provisions of 39 TTC 254, as amended by 1 c-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 immediate 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, Marcelo Panaligan, the husband of the customarily adopted mother of the child herein, 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
[3 PN.L.R. 421]
IS ORDERED that Giorgio De Angelo Poll is hereby adopted by Marcelo Panaligan; and the customary adoption by petitioner Monique P. Panaligan is hereby confirmed; and IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the name of the adoptee, which has hitherto been Giorgio De Angelo Poll, is hereby changed to Giorgio De Angelo Panaligan.