Sunday, July 18, 2010

Adoption in Adat Law (1)

Adoption is an action to take somebody else’s child into one’s family, making him/her legally one’s child. Adoption term is not strange in a community. Since thousands years ago, community of Indonesia has known adoption. It’s done by a couple or family that has no child.
Indonesia is a country that consist of thousands islands with thousands ethnics. Every ethnic has its own law. That’s Adat Law. So Adat Law or Adat in a region may be different from the others. For example, Balinese Adat is different from Javanese Adat, including about adoption.
In Bali, adoption process must be done clearly (terang). It’ s done by religious ceremony, by announcement, and witnessed by public figure and religious figure, in order that status of child is clear. After ceremony, the adopted child become full member of foster family. So his/her private relationship with his/her blood parent and blood family is broken.
In South Sulawesi, foster child still has private relationship with her/his original parent (blood parent) and original family. So she/he can inherit from her/his blood parent. She/he has no right to inherit from foster parent. But foster child can get property/goods from foster parent by hibah (gift) or wasiah (testament). That’s Adat Law in South Sulawesi about adoption that influenced by Islamic values.
Adoption stipulation in Java is different from Bali and South Sulawesi. According to Javanese Adat Law, foster child still can inherit from his/her blood parent and foster parent too. Alhtough can inherit from foster parent but there is limitation over there. The foster child only can inherit from foster parent limitated on harta pencarian, no harta pusaka (heritage). Harta pencarian is property that get husband and wife as long as marriage. Harta pusaka is property from husband’s family or wife’s family. Harta pusaka is just for blood lineage.
So in Java, foster child called ngangsu 2 sumur, take water from 2 wells. Mean, foster child get 2 advantages, can inherit from his/her blood parent and foster parent too.
B. Ter Haar said that right to heir of foster child in Java that limitated only on harta pencarian, because in Java adoption is not family’s business, and implementation of adoption is not terang (clear). It’s done without ceremony, without witnessed by public figure and religious figure.

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