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Adoption Law Rwanda

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Chapter 4: ADOPTION
Article: 332
The adoption is allowed when it is based on right reasons and if it has advantages for the adoptee. It is subjected to the conditions and is done in the forms prescribed by the following articles:

Section 1: Conditions of the adoption
Article: 333
The adopting parent must be at least fifteen years older than the person to be adopted. However, if the person to be adopted is the child of one of the couple, the difference in age required is at least ten years. This difference in age can be reduced for right reasons by the Minister of Justice. The adoption can be required jointly after five years of marriage by a spouse, of which one, at least, is more than thirty years. The adoption can also be required by any other person thirty five years old. When it is about the adoption of a child of one of the spouse, it is enough for the adopting parent to be twenty one years old. If adopting parent is married and is not separated, his/her assent is necessary, unless the spouse doesn’t have any possibility to express his will.

Article: 334
No one can be adopted by several people, unless it is by a couple. No spouse can be adopted except with the assent of the other spouse, unless if this one is in impossibility of expressing his/her will or is declared absent or there is a legal separation.

Article: 335
If the person to be adopted is a minor and still has his/her father and mother, they must express their consent for adoption. If one or both is deceased or is in impossibility of expressing his/her will, or if missing, the consent of the other is enough. In the event of divorce or judicial separation, the assent of the one with custody is enough. If the minor has neither father any more or mother or if they have no possibility to express their will, or if they are missing, the assent is given by the guardianship or the person with custody.

Article: 336
The adoptee keeps her/his bonds with his natural family and preserves his/her rights and obligations. Nevertheless, the adopting parent is only invested, with regard to the adoptee, of the rights of the parental authority including in particular the right to emancipate the adoptee, to authorize her/him to make trade and to manage goods during her/his minority. If the adoption was made by a couple, the rights indicated in the previous subparagraph are applied in accordance with the rules applicable to the legal father and mother. In the event of prohibition, declared absence or death of adopting parent, which has occurred during the minority age of the adoptee, the parental authority returns fully to the ascendant of this one. The family tie resulting from the adoption extends to the descendants from the adoptee. The penal provisions applicable to ascendant and downward are applicable to the adopting parent, the adoptee and his descendants.
Article: 337
The adoptee keeps his last name(s) and first name(s) of birth.
Article: 338
The acknowledgement or the legitimacy of a child made by a third party, subsequently to the adoption of this child, remains with all its effects.
Article: 339
The adoptive children have the same rights and the same obligations as the children of adopting parent, except the exceptions envisaged hereafter: - the adoptee and his descendants do not acquire any inheritance on the goods of the parents of adopting parent; - if the adoptee dies without descendants, the goods, given by adopting parent or collected in his/her succession and which exist substantially at the time of the death of the adoptee, turn over to adopting parent or his/her descendants to the responsibility of contributing to the debts and without damage of the rights of the third. The surplus of the goods of the adoptee belongs to his/her own parents; and those always exclude, for the objects even specified with the present article, all heirs to the adoptee other than his descendants. - if the adopting parent is alive and after the death of the adoptee, children or descendants left by this one die themselves without offspring, adopting parent succeeds the goods given to him. This right is not transmissible on his/her heirs.

Section 2: Procedure of the adoption

Article: 340
The person who proposes to adopt and that which wants to be adopted, if the later reached the eighteen years age, present themselves in front of the registrar of the residence of the adoptee to pass act of their respective consent there. If the adoptee has less than eighteen years, the act is passed on her/his behalf through her/his legal representative.
Article: 341
The consent of the father and mother, that of the spouse of the adoptee and that of the spouse of adopting parent, are given in the same adoption act or by separate notary act, in front of the registrar of their respective residence. In the absence of the father and mother, the consent is given by the guardianship or the person who assumed custody of the concerned person. However, their consent is subject to be authorized by the court which has jurisdiction over the residence of the adoptee. The court pronounces without stating the reasons in these terms: the adoption is approved or adoption is not approved.
Article: 342
The adoption can be revoked in justice at the request of adopting parent if, by his ingratitude, the adoptee is unworthy of the benefit that s/he received. The adoption can also be revoked in justice at the request of the adoptee or the Public prosecutor for serious reasons. The decision of court which announces the revocation of the adoption is registered in the register of the marital status of the place where the adoptee domiciled. The registrar in fact mentions in margin of the adoption act, the birth act of the adoptee and his descendants.