Thursday, July 26, 2007

Can an unwed mother avail of the benefits of the Solo Parents Welfare Act?

Through an anonymous comment posted in my article on “Support for an abandoned woman and her children,” I was informed that in one case, the Social Welfare and Development Office of a town refused to give assistance to an unwed mother. The SWD reportedly required the unwed mother to present either the death certificate of the spouse or of a decree of annulment of the marriage.

Section 3, paragraph [8] of RA 8972, in the Definition of Terms, expressly includes unwed mothers (and unwed fathers!) as among those included in the term “solo parent,” and so they can be recipients of the benefits of this law. The paragraph defines a solo parent as an “unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution.”