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Philippines: Custody row over Taiwanese-Filipina child

Philippines: Custody row over Taiwanese-Filipina child

A pair of grandparents who hid their two-year-old granddaughter rather than hand her over to her mother said yesterday that they will adopt the child, despite an earlier court decision granting custody of the child to her Filipina mother.

The baby girl was born to Arao Bayby Candelaria Villanuev out of wedlock in Taiwan in 2008, with Taiwanese man Chen Tien-sheng recorded as the father. Villanuev used to work as a maid, but absconded from her job four years ago when she met Chen.

The two lived happily for a while until Chen died in August last year, and Villanuev, facing repatriation, began filing for custody of her baby. The court delivered its ruling in May granting her custody.

According to the law, if one parent dies, the living parent gets custody.

"How could the child be better off in the Philippines? She should stay in the family and be reunited with us, " said the grandmother, who has been hiding the child since the court ruling.

She told reporters that Villanuev was married in the Philippines with four children, and cast doubt on how she would be able to raise a fifth.

The grandmother also claimed to have reached an agreement with the mother on adopting the little girl a month ago, but the Taitung District Court said it had not received any such agreement from Villanuev, who is being held at a detention center in Yilan County.

The district court said the grandparents should give up the child and reunite her with her mother as soon as possible.

Updated : 2021-05-18 00:56 GMT+08:00