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233 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF

HABEAS CORPUS OF MINOR ANGELIE ANNE C.


CERVANTES, NELSON L. CERVANTES and ZENAIDA
CARREON
CERVANTES, petitioners,
vs.
GINA CARREON FAJARDO and CONRADO FAJARDO,
respondents.

AUTHOR:
NOTES: (if applicable)

[G.R. No. 79955; January 27, 1989]


TOPIC: ADOPTED CHILDREN
PONENTE: PADILLA, J.

FACTS: (chronological order)


1.

Angelie Ann Cervantes was born on 14 February 1987 to Conrado Fajardo andGina Carreon, who are common-law husband and
wife. They offered the child foradoption to Gina Carreon's sister and brother-in-law, Zenaida Carreon-Cervantes and Nelson
Cervantes, spouses, who took care and custody of the child when she was barely two weeks old. An Affidavit of Consent to the
adoption of the child was executed by respondent Gina Carreon.

2.

The petition for adoption was filed bypetitioners before the RTC of Rizal, which granted the petition. It ordered that the child be
freed from the parental custody of her natural parents, and henceforth, that she shall be a child of Zenaida and Nelson.

3.

On March or April, 1987, the spouses received a letter from Gina and Conrado demanding that they be paid the amount of
P150,000.00, otherwise they would get their child.

4.

When the spouses ignored their demands, Gina took the minor from her yay a and brought the child to her house in Paranaque
City. The spouses demanded the return of the child, but Gina refused, saying she had no desire to give up her child; the affidavit

consent was not fully explained to her; however, she sent word that she will return Angelie to the spouses if they paid the amoun
of P150,000.00.
5.

Thus, the spouses filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Court to compel Gina to return custody of Angelie to them. Durin
hearing, the social worker who conducted the case study testified that she interviewed Gina in connection with the petition for
adoption and Gina manifested her desire to have the child adopted by the spouses.

ISSUE(S): Whether or not the adoptive parents have rightful custody over Angelie.
HELD: YES.
RATIO:

In all cases involving the custody, care, education and property of children, the latters welfare is
paramount. The provision that no mother shall be separated from a child under five (5) years of age, will

not apply where the Court finds compelling reasons to rule otherwise.[1] In all controversies regarding the
custody of minors, the foremost consideration is the moral, physical and social welfare of the child
concerned, taking into account the resources and moral as well as social standing of the contending

parents. Never has this Court deviated from this criterion.

It is undisputed that respondent Conrado Fajardo is legally married to a woman other than respondent Gin
Carreon, and his relationship with the latter is a common-law husband and wife relationship. His open
cohabitation with co-respondent Gina Carreon will not accord the minor that desirable atmosphere where
she can grow and develop into an upright and moral-minded person.

Besides, respondent Gina Carreon had previously given birth to another child by another married man wit
whom she lived for almost three (3) years but who eventually left her and vanished. For a minor (like

Angelie Anne C. Cervantes) to grow up with a sister whose father is not her true father, could also affect
the moral outlook and values of said minor.

Upon the other hand, petitioners who are legally married appear to be morally, physically, financially, and
socially capable of supporting the minor and giving her a future better than what the natural mother

(herein respondent Gina Carreon), who is not only jobless but also maintains an illicit relation with a marri
man, can most likely give her.

Besides, the minor has been legally adopted by petitioners with the full knowledge and consent of
respondents. A decree of adoption has the effect, among others, of dissolving the authority vested in
natural parents over the adopted child, except where the adopting parent is the spouse of the natural

parent of the adopted, in which case, parental authority over the adopted shall be exercised jointly by bot
spouses. The adopting parents have the right to the care and custody of the adopted child and exercise
parental authority and responsibility over him.

CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE:


DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):