There is nothing more heart-breaking than to see a mother have her child forcibly taken away from her. Such stories happen to many people of various nationalities from all over the world, but when this happens out of prejudice to a mother who does her best to her capacities to give his son a good life, it is only fair to see her do this in her own terms.
Many interracial families experience this kind of struggles, but for the parents, they have all the right to keep their children, especially when they only do the very best in their capacity to provide for their child despite all the circumstances they are facing, especially when living abroad.
OFW Mother Appeals for Custody of Son in Kuwait
This has been the cry of a distressed OFW mother in Kuwait who sought help via social media in regard to battling for the custody of her son against her in-laws, who do not see her as fit to raise her own child.
The Filipina salon worker, Josephine Shine Cacho, started her ordeals after her Kuwaiti husband passed away on September 14, 2017.
According to Cacho, her in-laws are against her in taking responsibility of her own four-year old son, as she has “no legal rights” to take custody of her son, being a non-Kuwaiti citizen.
To this, Cacho repeatedly sought help from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait but to no avail, considering that Josephine would only be pitted against the provisions of the “Family and Personal Status Law.”
Josephine recounts that she even received ill-advised statements from a local lawyer, discouraging her in filing a case against her late husband’s family, pointing out that her efforts will only be futile.
The lawyer also pointed out that the family was quite influential with high-ranking government officials in their clan including a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) General.
Given the fact that Josephine had no money on her and a non-Kuwaiti even, she was told by her father-in-law to go back to the Philippines and to drop the case for child’s custody.
Reluctant to give up her son, Josephine decided to leave the family’s residence along with her son on December 3, 2018.
She worked to the bone at a salon in order to earn the money they need to get a place of their own, a car, and to send her son to a good school. This all became possible as well when she received a good amount of government subsidy.
On February 14, however, police officers came over Josephine’s place and invited her to the police station without any court order. At the station, her son was forcibly taken away by his aunt and uncle despite the boy’s refusal and cries.
In regard to custody issues, Kuwaiti laws generally favour the biological mother of young children. However, being in a Muslim country, Islamic laws are also taken into consideration in such matters.
In Sunni law, custody is influenced by the religious faith of the mother, which grants her full custody of the child if she is a Muslim. If the court finds the mother to be unfit to raise her child, custody is given to the next closest female relative.
Meanwhile, under the Shi’a law, custody is decided based on the parent’s civil rights. By this, a woman should be Muslim and remain to be unmarried after her husband’s passing to gain full custody of her children. If the mother dies or is found to be incapable to raise her children, the father is granted full custody. However, if the father dies, the mother can assume full responsibility for the care of their child.
And while child custody regulations overseas depend on a lot of cultural factors, for Josephine, as a mother who only wishes to be with her precious son, any help the government can provide to help her fight this battle will mean the world to her.