BASIC (10-04)

PR 01310.043 Puerto Rico

A. PR 04-283 RELATIONSHIP - Validity of Adoption after Age 21 (NH: Jacoba M~, SSN: ~) - ACTION

DATE: July 2, 2004

1. SYLLABUS

Under Puerto Rico adoption law, (1) the adopter must have resided uninterruptedly in Puerto Rico for at least six months prior to the date on which the petition for adoption was filed; (2) the adopter must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and have legal capacity to act; and (3) in the case of an adult adoptee, the adopter and the adoptee must have resided together continuously since before the adoptee reached the age of eighteen (18) and until the time of the adoption decree. Since these requirements are met in this case, the adoption of the 24-year-old child claimant by his grandmother is valid under Puerto Rico law.

2. OPINION

This office is responding to your request for legal advice regarding the validity of an adoption that occurred after the adoptee reached twenty-one years of age. Our research indicates that the adoption is valid.

The issue is whether the adoption of an adult, Raymond S~ ("Raymond"), by his grandmother, Jacoba M~ R~ ("Jacoba"), is a valid adoption. The adoption occurred in Bayamon, Puerto Rico when Raymond was twenty-four years old. Pursuant to the adoption decree, Raymond became the adopted son of Jacoba and his name was changed to Raymond M~ R~.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that for an adoption to be valid it must be valid in the State or foreign country where it took place. GN 00306.135. Furthermore, at least one party to the adoption (either the adoptee or adopter) must have been domiciled or actually residing in that jurisdiction at the time of the adoption. Id.

Puerto Rico adoption law goes one step further; it requires that the adopter must have resided uninterruptedly in Puerto Rico for at least six (6) months prior to the date on which the petition for adoption was filed. 31 L.P.R.A. § 531(1). It also requires the adopter be at least eighteen (18) years of age and have legal capacity to act. Id. Additionally, in the case of an adult adoptee, Puerto Rico adoption law requires that the adopter and the adoptee have resided together continuously since before the adoptee reached the age of eighteen (18) and until the time of the adoption decree. 31 L.P.R.A. § 533(2).

Therefore, if an adoption petition satisfies the requirements of Puerto Rico adoption law it necessarily satisfies the SSA adoption requirements. The Superior Court of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, after having examined the complete record of the case, held that: (1) Jacoba had resided uninterruptedly in Puerto Rico for at least six months prior to the date on which the petition for adoption was filed; (2) Jacoba was at least eighteen years of age; (3) Jacoba had legal capacity to act; and (4) Jacoba and Raymond had resided together continuously since before Raymond reached the age of eighteen and until the time of the adoption decree. Therefore, Jacoba and Raymond satisfied each of the requirements of Puerto Rico's applicable adoption laws. The court issued the adoption decree (Civil No. RF 77-2631) on January 27, 1982. It declared Raymond S~ to be the adopted son of Jacoba M~ R~ l and ordered that his named be changed to Raymond M~ R~.

Therefore, since the adoption is valid under Puerto Rico law and thereby satisfies the SSA adoption requirements, it is a valid adoption.

Vernon N~
Regional Chief Counsel


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1501310043
PR 01310.043 - Puerto Rico - 05/13/2011
Batch run: 05/13/2011
Rev:05/13/2011