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57. Legal Relationship as Impediment

1. Legal relationship is a bond arising out of adoption.Adoption is an act by which, under due process of civil law, aperson takes another who is not his child, to be in fact, hischild; or, at any rate, takes another to be a true member of thefamily or household.

2. Legal relationship is an impediment to marriage, and isregularly considered so in civil law as well as in church law. Itis not seemly or suitable for those who live together as a familyto intermarry.

3. Legal relationship exists between adopting parent andadopted child; also between adopted child and the natural childrenof the adopting parent; also between the adopting parent and thenatural parents of the adopted child. Legal relationship is animpediment to marriage in all cases. But this impediment, asexisting between the person adopted and the natural children of theone adopting, ceases when the adopting person dies, or when thechildren concerned come of age. In cases of legal relationship, thelaw of the Church follows the civil law of the country. Where civillaw makes legal relationship a diriment or nullifying impediment tomarriage, so does the Church regard it; where civil law makes thisimpediment only prohibitive, it is only prohibitive in churchlaw.

"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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