POHNPEI LAW REPORTS
[3 PN.L.R. 83]
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION AND
NAME CHANGE OF DERNIHDA SILBANUZ,
WELNER LUKNER AND TERLIHNA LUKNER,
Pohnpei Civil Action No. 48-88
Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court
April 22, 1988
Petition for the adoption of a minor child. Though the alleged father was living he had never acknowledged being the father and had never provided support for the child. Consent for the adoption was given only by the mother. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice, granting an order of adoption, held that notice to the father and his consent was only necessary where he had not abandoned the child for a period of six months.
Domestic Relations - Adoption - Parental Consent
Where the mother of a child has given her consent to the adoption of the child notice to the alleged father and his consent are not necessary where he has abandoned the child for a period of six months.
Counsel for Petitioners: Stephen R. Skipton, Esq.
Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941
JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice
Heard before me on April 22, 1988, at Kolonia, State of Pohnpei. The petitioners, the natural mother and Mr. Stephen R.
[3 PN.L.R. 84]
Skipton, Esq. of the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation were present.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The following facts were established by the evidence:
1. The petitioners in their thirties, citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, and legal residents of the State of Pohnpei, are legally married, are joined in this petition: The husband is gainfully employed by the Pohnpei State Government as a classroom teacher in the Sapwalap Section of Madolenihmw Municipality, State of Pohnpei. The wife, older sister of the natural mother of the subject child, is self-employed. They have four natural issue, and own a parcel of land upon which they live, and own other personal properties common to standard Pohnpei livelihood. They took custody of the child Dernihda when she was at the age of four months. They are suitable and capable of assuming the responsibilities appertaining to the rearing of the minor.
2. Tersihda Silbanuz, the natural mother is a 19-year-old citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, and is a legal resident of Pohnpei State. She is unmarried, unemployed, and
[3 PN.L.R. 85]
performs her familial duties in her family household. She consents to the adoption of her child, Dernihda, by the petitioners.
3. Dernihda Silbanuz, a healthy baby girl born on July 30; 1987, was brought to court. The vital statistical record documenting her live birth filed with the Clerk of Courts on September 24, 1987, Registration No. 1056-87, does not show the name of the father of Dernihda, although the natural mother acknowledges having knowledge of the father who is living. The alleged father has nevertheless not acknowledged being father and has never provided support for the child.
CONCLUSION OF LAW
The petitioners bring this matter under Chapter 4, of Title 39 of the Code of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Section 251 of Title 39 vests jurisdiction of this matter in this Court. The petitioners are suitable under Section 252, of Title 39, to adopt the child. The appearance of the child in this proceeding fulfills Section 254 of Title 39. The necessary parental consent is complete, even though only the "consent of and notice to" the natural mother is complied with here under Section 253 of Title 39. While no consent
[3 PN.L.R. 86]
of and notice to the father is shown, this Court can proceed to determine the relief sought in this matter because such consent and notice is necessary only where a parent has not abandoned the child for a period of six months. Here the father has abandoned the child since birth, well over the period prescribed. The petitioners are entitled to relief.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
1. The petitioners are hereafter the adopted parents of minor Dernihda Silbanuz. Hereafter, they shall hold toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and have all the rights and be subject to all the duties of that relationship.
2. The natural parent is hereafter, relieved of all parental duties toward the child and all responsibilities for the child, and has no further right over it.
3. The name of the child shall hereafter be changed, so that she will assume the new family name Lukner, so that she will be named, known and referred to as DERNIHDA LUKNER.