The laws and regulation in Indonesia recognize two (2) types of public and private adoption. Public adoption is applicable in the event, the child was abandoned or neglected by his/her birth family, and raised by a foster care institution managed by the government. The relevant institution in this matter is Ministry of Social Affairs. As for the private adoption, the proceeding takes place between the biological parents and the adopting parents directly.
Adopting your step child in Indonesia can bring your family close together. You adopt your spouse's child, and legally you are family as if the child was born into your marriage. Your spouse may insist you to do it, but your willingness to do it that keep the marriage intact. You know, things a man do for his wife and his family. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case.
There are some pointers that you need to be aware of regarding the adoption of your step-child, they are:
Consent is required from the biological parents, both the child's father and mother, if the child was born into a legal marriage. In the event the child was born out of wedlock, the consent from the child's mother is a must. The mother has full authority as vested by the Civil Code as related to the child, including when the alleged father wish to acknowledge the child. The authority of the mother solely comes from the Article 284 of the Civil Code: "No acknowledgment of a natural child is, during the lifetime of the mother, notwithstanding that she may be of Indonesian descent or descended from a similar indigenous group, be accepted, if the mother does not approve the acknowledgment." I am not saying that as the alleged father of the child you don't have any right at all, you do. The Constitutional Court confirmed your rights, but you must willing to go the extra mile in order to do that.
The Best Interest of the Child
The adoption proceeding that you are conducting is promoting the interests and welfare of the child. You must be able to prove this by supplying information that you are doing everything in your power to provide the child. You need to prove that the aim of the adoption is obtaining the welfare and protection of the child. You need to enter into a declaration that you are willing to be responsible for supporting the child on daily basis.
Basically, we pride ourselves with our nationality principle that all the Indonesian men are subject to the Indonesian law, wherever they are. This is the basis from the continental legal system. If you were married to a foreigner, your foreign spouse must use the Indonesian partner's jurisdiction and therefore a choice of forum is applicable. You may choose the jurisdiction of your Indonesian spouse through her/his domicile. This can be seen on his/her ID card. Article 14 of Administration of Population Law certifies that the ID card (so called KTP/Kartu Tanda Penduduk) is the official identity of a resident and is valid within the entire territory of the Republic of Indonesia. So, this is your jurisdiction as well as our laws do not require you to have a habitual residence to perform an adoption of your step-child in Indonesia.
Indonesia is not one of the Common Law countries that imposed you to have a minimum contact by having a residency at least for six (6) months. Nevertheless, you need to further consider about the requirements from your country of origin if they require you to have a residency in Indonesia. You may retrieve a spousal dependent visa in order to meet the requirement imposed on you regarding the habitual residence during the adoption proceeding. Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this.
Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!