Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Definition Of A Single Parent

I have been guilty of branding single parents as single moms until recently I met Dave.  Dave, a 32-year old carpenter, is a single parent left with two children aged 4 and 9.  His wife left him three years ago for another man and he was left to take charge with everything. While I was tending with my own idea that men are irresponsible, the story of Dave made me realized that there are still a lot of men who are responsible to their families. And this made me ashamed to brand single parents as women only.  So kudos to all single dads out there who opted to raise their children responsibly despite of adversity. Thus said, how do we define  a single parent? A single parent falls under the following category:

(1) A woman who conceives and gives birth due to crimes against chastity such as rape   provided that she raises the child and does not give it up for adoption.
(2) Parent left solo due to the death of spouse.
(3) Parent left solo while the spouse is detained for criminal conviction at least for one year.
(4) Parent left solo due to physical as well as mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public doctor.
(5) Parent left solo due to legal separation from spouse.
(6) Parent left solo due to the abandonment of spouse for at least one year.
(7) Unmarried mother or father who prefer to raise their child on their own as opposed to giving them away to a welfare institution such as DSWD or orphanage.
(8) Any person who provides parental care and support to children regardless of blood relation.
(9) Any family member who assumes responsibility as the head of the family due to the abandonment, death or prolonged absence of parents.

The reason why it is important to understand the exact definition of being a single parent under the Philippine Law is that single parents can claim benefits from different institutions in the government and that there is a law governing the welfare of single parents all over the country. I’ll talk more about the law for single parents in the next blog entry. Until then.

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