VOL. 3
[3 PN.L.R. 75]

A Minor


Pohnpei Civil Action No. 246-87

Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court

March 18, 1988

     Petition under 39 TTC for the adoption of a twelve-year-old child. The natural parents were not present at the hearing although they had notice of the adoption and had filed an affidavit of consent. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice, granting the petition held that 39 TTC continued to apply in Pohnpei State, and that having given their written consent to the adoption, the actual appearance of the natural parents of the child was not essential under the statute.

1.   Laws of Pohnpei - Statutes
Title 39 of the Code of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands continues to exist and applies to Pohnpei State. .

2.   Domestic Relations - Adoption - Adoption Proceedings - Natural Parents of Child - Statutes.
All that is essential from the natural parents of the child under Title 39 in adoption proceedings is a written consent or a notice of the adoption to each of them. Their actual appearance at the adoption hearing is not essential if either one of the elements above has been fulfilled.

[3 PN.L.R. 76]

Counsel for Petitioners:      Tino Donre
                                               Trial Counselor
                                                Micronesian Legal Services Corporation

JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice
     Heard in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court for the State of Pohnpei, on March 18,1988. The petitioners and the minor were present with counsel the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation by Tino Donre. The petitioners as well as the child who had attained twelve years of age all testified. The following facts were found from the evidence:

     1. The petitioners, joined in the petition, are legally married, and are citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, domiciled in the State of Pohnpei, Uh Municipality. They are the natural parents of Etwise William, the natural mother of minor Pentrik. This is an older couple whose estate includes parcels of land, which are the source of their income. They are suitable and capable of providing for the welfare of the minor if the adoption is granted.

     2. The natural parents of Pentrik were not present at the hearing although the records showed that they had notice of this

[3 PN.L.R. 77]

adoption, and consented to the adoption of their child Pentrik to the petitioners as shown by an affidavit which they filed with this Court on December 10, 1987.

     3.  Pentrik consented to his adoption by the petitioners.

[1]   The petitioners brought their petition under Title 39 of the Code of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Although jurisdiction of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands ceased to exist in the State of Pohnpei beginning from November 3, 1986, this law continues to exist and applies to this State. See Pohnpei State v. Mack et al, PKD No. 453-86. A part of Section 252 reads,

". . . or a husband and wife jointly may by decree of court adopt a child, not theirs by birth, ' and the decree may provide for change of the name of the child. . ."

It is clear that the petition is brought properly under the statute.

[2]   The situation that arose in this matter that had not occurred in previous adoption proceedings pertained to the absence of the natural parents at this hearing, and the Court proceeded notwithstanding to hear and adjudicate the petition. While this may not have occurred before, this has been permitted in the statutes.

[3 PN.L.R. 78]

Section 253 provides,
"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. . ."

The natural parents of Pentrick were living and obviously within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court at the time of the adoption proceedings. They had not abandoned the child Pentrick but remained the parents known to the law. But they did not attend the hearing. All that is essential under Title 39 in adoption proceedings from the natural parents is, a written consent, or a notice of the adoption to each of them. Their actual appearance at the adoption hearing is not essential if either one of the elements above had been fulfilled. It is clear here that their written consent is on file. Notice of adoption had also been made to them.

     Accordingly, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:

     1.  The petition for adoption of Pentrik is granted to petitioners Nahson Adalpret and his wife Katarihna Adalpret. The child and the petitioners shall hold toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and have all the rights and be subjected to all the duties of that relationship. The natural parents of Pentrik are

[3 PN.L.R. 79]

hereby relieved from all parental responsibilities for the child and have no further right over it.

      2.  The name of the child is hereby changed from Pentrik William, so that he hereafter is named and known by the name PENTRIK ADALPRET.
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