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Role of DSWD on Child Custody Disputes

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1 Role of DSWD on Child Custody Disputes on Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:53 pm


Arresto Menor
Hi! I want to know, does the DSWD have the right to award the custody of an underage illegitimate child to his father without undergoing any legal procedures?

My cousin had a son out of wedlock. She is now legally married and is working abroad with her husband. Her son was left to the child's father because the guy said the company he's working for will provide scholarship for their son. Thinking that it will be for the benefit of their son, she agreed. They have an agreement that the father will let their son stay with his maternal grandparents during weekends and holidays. However, it's been very difficult for my cousin and her family to "borrow" the child from his dad. He always have excuses. On one weekend that the kid's maternal grandparents was able to have the child stay with them, the child said that his father's new partner is hitting him physically quite frequently. He even said that he doesn't want to go home to his dad anymore. We later on found out that his dad's partner is pregnant and that he quit his job for some reason unknown to us. Knowing this, my aunt & uncle decided to not send back the child to his dad. They were surprised however when the father came to their house and showed them a letter from DSWD. They went to our baranggay to discuss the matter and I later on learned that our baranggay officials asked the maternal grandparents of the child to give him to his dad because his father have a letter from DSWD. I haven't seen this letter myself but I'm surprised that the custody of an illegitimate child be given to his father when the mother is fully capable to support and raise her child. Any advise on what we can do next so we can take my nephew back? Thanks.

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Arresto Menor
Hello Po.

Just call me Ellie. I'm from Cebu. I have a 1 year and 5 months son. Before I delivered my child, I moved to my boyfriend's house because I was living alone since I'm from Bohol. Everything was good. But few months after I delivered my child, something changed. I feel like I was deprived of deciding for my son. The parents of my boyfriend were almost always decide for my baby. I tried to open up to my boyfriend but he cannot do anything about it. He's very dependent to his parents. He was unemployed since I got pregnant until before my son's 1st birthday. But he doesn't have a stable job because as he said, he doesn't like working for others. It's not easy for him to get a job as well because he didn't finish college and he's kinda choosy when it comes to work.

There were times I suggested to live separately from his parents but he always refused because according to him we can save money since we no longer need to pay for rent. Since pregnant until now, I was the one who mostly support my baby financially because my boyfriend cannot provide on his own. And his parents also help us when I ran out of money. As an independent person, it's hard to ask help from other people.

This month, I decided to finally break up with him not only because I don't feel comfortable in their house anymore, but also because of some issues. The way he treats me in their house changed. Even before I got pregnant, we already have some trust issues. There were times I caught him flirting to other girls and ex girlfriends on Fb messenger. Same thing repeats. I would say I no longer trust him. He has no respect to me at all, he only wants sex and would force me to do it. He has no plans for us. He doesn't treat me well at their house. When he will go out with friends, he doesn't inform me, but he informs is parents even though I am around. I feel like I don't exist.

Two weeks ago, I already moved out from their house because it's healthy for emotionally and physically to keep on staying there. But he tried to get me back, but I don't feel any sincerity at all. And maybe I lost my feelings for him already.

Now, I told him that my child will stay with me most of the time and would just let my son visit them maybe 2 days a week. But he demands 3-4 days a week. My child is already close to his grandparents and I'm afraid it would be hard for me to get him once he grows up. He might choose them over me. Since I'm capable to raise him on my own, I want my son to live with me. During my stay in my now ex-boyfriend's house, I realized it's not a right place for my baby. My ex-boyfriend is lazy and very dependent to his parents. My ex-boyfriend also had some relationships where they cohabit in the same house for a year, but unfortunately they broke up because of third party. He is also not capable of providing my child because of his unstable job. And I also know that we will have time to go out because his parents can always look after my son when he's out with friends or i-don't-know-who. To make it short, he isn't a responsible father.

I told my son's father that I can only give him 2 days with baby for a week, when it's his day off. But he refused and insisted to have 3-4 days. I don't want to make my baby confused where his home is. I want my baby to realize that my home is with me. I have reasons why my ex boyfriend's home isn't good for my baby because there are many mosquitoes, their place is near the road and they don't even have a fence, and my baby won't have a chance to play with other kids because he only sees older people. Unlike in my new place, there are kids where he can play with and I already saw how happy he is when he was playing with them when I brought him to my place.

Am I doing the right thing?


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