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Important decisions about marriage and having baby in the PI

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Important decisions about marriage and having baby in the PI

Postby Winston » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:02 am

Important decisions about marriage and having baby in the Philippines: Need suggestions

Hi everyone,
I am a dual citizen of America and Taiwan with passports from both countries. I have been living in Angeles City for 9 months now. I have some complicated issues regarding my Filipina fiancée and our upcoming baby that I would like to get some input on. They have to do with steps that have to be done in order and timeline problems that make weighing the tradeoffs and costs difficult to calculate. Since there is so much misinformation around here (from both local Filipinos and foreigners with a know-it-all attitude), it’s hard to know what to believe, so the logical approach is to ask as many qualified people as possible to find the highest consistency in the answers.

1. The first issue is how and when to get married here in the Philippines. But I have some logistical and timeline problems that I need to assess the cost and tradeoffs of.

I was told at the Taiwanese Embassy Consular that I can’t get my Filipina girl to visit Taiwan on a tourist visa unless she shows that she has significant assets in her own country (same policy as getting a US tourist visa). And that my best bet would be to get married first and then apply for a spousal visa (even though I just want to bring her over for a visit).

But the problem is that in order to get married here in the Philippines, I have to apply through one of my Embassies, either the Taiwanese one or the American one. To apply through the Taiwanese Embassy, I have to have a Taiwanese resident card, which I don’t have since I don’t live there. I can get it when I go to Taiwan though, but that won’t be until October.

Of course, I can avoid that problem by just applying through the US Embassy, which doesn’t require a resident card for me to get married. However, the Taiwanese consulate told me that if my future goal is to get my fiancée to Taiwan, then it’s best to apply for marriage through the Taiwanese Consulate as a Taiwanese citizen, but if my goal is to bring her to America, then it’s best to apply for marriage as an American citizen through the US Embassy. That much is obvious. But I’m not sure which route to take as the future is uncertain.

My question is, if I apply for marriage as a US citizen and later I want to bring her to Taiwan on a spousal visa, what exactly is the trouble and cost I would have to go through? It is a huge hassle or a little one? I just want to know if it’s something I can deal with later. Or if I apply as a Taiwanese citizen and later I want to bring her to the US, what would be the difficulty exactly?

At this point, my fiancée doesn’t desire to live in Taiwan or the US. She prefers to be near her family so that they can help take care of her and our child. But I just want to leave that opportunity open for us.

(And frankly, I don’t think that America or Taiwan are good places to raise my child, because in the US, my child would face racism and probably develop an inferiority complex like I did, as well as a host of other psychological problems, such as fitting in, since the socialization process in America is “very badâ€￾ to put it mildly. And in addition, he/she might become a snotty bratty child rather than a meek modest one. The problem with Taiwan is that children there are stressed out like hell by teachers and parents to study many hours a day to pass exams. They are conditioned by fear to believe that they are failures if they don’t get good grades and bring shame to their families. It’s too much pressure put on them, and I don’t agree with any of that, as I never cared much for school and grades and see no logic in tying a child’s self-worth with their grades. Thus, I see no point in putting my child through such brainwashing and negative reinforcement systems that I don’t agree with and find illogical. But in the Philippines, teachers are nowhere as strict as in Taiwan and studying is nowhere near as stressful. In fact, it’s a joy and privilege to go to school here, rather than a big burden. But I’m not sure if I want to live in the Philippines forever, as there are so many places I still want to go to.)

2. The second issue is whether we really need to get married before our child is born. I was told by the Taiwanese Consulate that if we don’t get married before our child is due in January, that the child will be considered “illegitimateâ€￾ by legal standards, and that ascertaining me as the father will require some hassle and paperwork. Can anyone tell me what problems that will create for me exactly? Are they minor or major ones? I need to know so I can assess the risk and cost in case we can’t get married in time.

How important is it to get married before the child is born? What penalty is there really if we don’t get married in time? Can someone give me an idea of the tradeoff?

3. Also, my landlady said that to we can save 50 percent on the hospital costs of having our baby, if my girlfriend applies through “Phil Healthâ€￾ as an SSS status. But you have to do this early on, so we might be too late as she is already 4 months pregnant. Does anyone know an alternate way we can get it or how the program works? Dianne’s father is a government employee and so she should be covered by it, she says.

We were also told that in the hospital, there are two types of rooms that you can have babies in here – one is a public area where many people are having babies in stalls separated by curtains, the other is in a private room. Which is better? Does it matter?

4. Also, what is the approximate cost of having a baby here in the Philippines in a hospital in a way that is safe? I know there must be dirt cheap ways, such as having a midwife only, because poor people have babies here too (yet somehow poor people here who claim to always be broke are always somehow able to find money when they need it), but I was told that it’s better to be in a hospital in case something happens, like a cesarian is needed. I heard that a private hospital room costs around 8000 pesos. Any input on this?

How do you prevent a cesarian from happening anyway? I was told that if a girl is taller, like above 5ft 4, her chances of delivering normally are higher than for a shorter girl. Is that true?

5. If my baby is born in the Philippines, I was told that it can get a US passport immediately if I apply through the US embassy. The thing is, it depends on whether they believe it is my child or not. If they don’t, they might require a DNA test, which would be very expensive. Does anyone know what criteria they use to determine whether to believe me or not? Is there any objective criteria? How do I increase the odds? Will showing lots of photos of us help?

6. If me and my girlfriend get married in the Philippines, I heard that you can get a permanent residency card so that I don’t have to keep extending my visa. However, I was told that it costs 25,000 pesos to apply. Is there any way around that?

7. Regarding marriage in the Philippines, I’ve heard several different things. Everyone agrees that there is no divorce in the Philippines, but the differing opinions are in regards to whether you can remarry after separating/annulment or not.

Some people here said that although there is no divorce in the Philippines, if both parties agree to an annulment and sign papers for it, they can remarry again. Others say that is not possible. What is the truth?

I’ve also heard some say that to get a divorce in the Philippines, you can simply get it in another country, which would nullify the marriage in the Philippines. But again, others tell me that is not possible and very costly to even try to implement. Others told me that they are easy to implement. Which is it?

I’m not Catholic and I don’t believe in these strict Catholic laws of non-divorce, so I don’t wish to be bound by them. So what should I do?

Another option is to take my girlfriend to another country to get married where she doesn’t need a visa to get into (e.g. Malaysia or Thailand).

But how do I explain it to her? Wouldn’t saying to her and her family that “I don’t want to get married in the Philippines because there’s no divorceâ€￾ sound bad? How should I put it then?

Sorry for all these tedious questions. I don’t mean to impose my problems onto you folks. But everyone says different things here, and there is so much misinformation in the Philippines, that it’s hard to know what to believe. But I gotta know these things soon, as I’ve been putting them off too long.

Thanks in advance for any advice and input.

Regards,
Winston
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Postby Doc S » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:42 am

7. Regarding marriage in the Philippines, I’ve heard several different things. Everyone agrees that there is no divorce in the Philippines, but the differing opinions are in regards to whether you can remarry after separating/annulment or not.

Some people here said that although there is no divorce in the Philippines, if both parties agree to an annulment and sign papers for it, they can remarry again. Others say that is not possible. What is the truth?

I’ve also heard some say that to get a divorce in the Philippines, you can simply get it in another country, which would nullify the marriage in the Philippines. But again, others tell me that is not possible and very costly to even try to implement. Others told me that they are easy to implement. Which is it?

I’m not Catholic and I don’t believe in these strict Catholic laws of non-divorce, so I don’t wish to be bound by them. So what should I do?

Another option is to take my girlfriend to another country to get married where she doesn’t need a visa to get into (e.g. Malaysia or Thailand).

But how do I explain it to her? Wouldn’t saying to her and her family that “I don’t want to get married in the Philippines because there’s no divorceâ€￾ sound bad? How should I put it then?


How about just telling them the truth? You want to marry where you can divorce their daughter.

'
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Postby Chemist » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:31 am

Gee, Winston. These are very important questions that you need to get answered. Most people in your position would have already have had their answers and had this planned out far in advance. But that would mean knowing what your goals are instead of stumbling around go-go bars. You didn't plan very well for your Russian trips. Now history is repeating itself.

I'm also disturbed at the recurring theme of you trying to save money, even at the expense of the health of your fiancee and unborn child. I'd say that your situation is a very solid endorsement of my idea that you need to be financially solvent in order to do something like this. So much for living abroad on a paupers salary, huh?

My advice is to get the best possible care that you can afford for your family. In regards to education, I'd say you must give your child the best chance possible to succeed in life. Based on your discriptions of the educational systems, you should get citizenship to Taiwan and enroll your child in primary and secondary education there. Then he can study abroad in the United States on a student visa for post secondary education. That would be ideal. Maybe your parents can even sponsor him. You need to give your child the best chances in life. He can still decide to follow in your footsteps if he wants. But if you deny him opportunities, then he's screwed.

It also sounds like you are trying to arrange things so that you can divorce easily as a contigency. Don't expect Dianne's family to be sympathetic to this. There no good way to explain: "I want to marry your daughter in country X in case I need to divorce her later." And do I have to remind you what Dianne's auntie will say about it? Use your brain for once!
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Postby Winston » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:27 am

Chemist wrote:Gee, Winston. These are very important questions that you need to get answered. Most people in your position would have already have had their answers and had this planned out far in advance. But that would mean knowing what your goals are instead of stumbling around go-go bars. You didn't plan very well for your Russian trips. Now history is repeating itself.

I'm also disturbed at the recurring theme of you trying to save money, even at the expense of the health of your fiancee and unborn child. I'd say that your situation is a very solid endorsement of my idea that you need to be financially solvent in order to do something like this. So much for living abroad on a paupers salary, huh?

My advice is to get the best possible care that you can afford for your family. In regards to education, I'd say you must give your child the best chance possible to succeed in life. Based on your discriptions of the educational systems, you should get citizenship to Taiwan and enroll your child in primary and secondary education there. Then he can study abroad in the United States on a student visa for post secondary education. That would be ideal. Maybe your parents can even sponsor him. You need to give your child the best chances in life. He can still decide to follow in your footsteps if he wants. But if you deny him opportunities, then he's screwed.

It also sounds like you are trying to arrange things so that you can divorce easily as a contigency. Don't expect Dianne's family to be sympathetic to this. There no good way to explain: "I want to marry your daughter in country X in case I need to divorce her later." And do I have to remind you what Dianne's auntie will say about it? Use your brain for once!


W: Don't misunderstand me. I'd never put Dianne in a situation that compromises her health of that of our child, just to save money. But at the same time, I don't want to waste money unnecessarily either.

You misunderstand me and only want to see the negative things that you want to see.

I explained that I didn't want to take my child to Taiwan because the education system there is too strict and oppressive. What would you say, Chemist, to the families in Japan of the students who committed suicide for failing tests? Do you believe that's right?

I never had a good time in school, so I don't have respect for education as much as you do. Everything you are telling me is conventional. You don't show an ability to think outside the box, despite your claims.

You sound like a corporation, not a human being.

Other people told me to give a better reason for marrying outside the Philippines than the real one. Why should I say that I want to preserve the opportunity to divorce? That does not sound good.

Even Stefan didn't want to get married in the Philippines for this reason. He knew that you can't control the future, and if things went wrong in the marriage, it should not be bound for life. That's insane and inhuman. It's not reasonable.
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Postby momopi » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:22 pm

IMO Taiwan's academic standards as declined since 1990s. This is from personal observation of my younger cousin's school work and academic levels. Due to lower birth rate and increase in number of colleges, University acceptance rate has increased to 83% in 2003 and even higher today.

In other words, you have to try really hard to flunk out and not get accepted into an university in Taiwan. Japan will be facing the same issues as its lower birth rate will also lower academic standards for college entry.

I was told that the US education system and college entry requirements were dumbed down during the hippie era of 1960s-1970s. Today the trend is finally reversing and your child will get a higher quality academic education in school districts such as Diamond Bar and Irvine in S. CA. Another contributing factor is that CA has rapidly growing population and many foreign & immigrant students, but our schools aren't growing as fast, so more students with fewer schools = higher entry requirement.

If you're worried about your child being pressured into a bookworm in Taiwan, I wouldn't worry about it. First, you're the parent and you decide what you want to do with your kid. Second, your kid would have to score below the lower 7% on academic scale to not get into a 4-year university.

========================================

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003063027

College entry rate highest ever
HIGH PERCENTAGE: More than 83 percent of the 104,608 high-school graduates who handed in selection forms was granted admission to enter universities this year
By Jewel Huang
STAFF REPORTER
Sunday, Aug 10, 2003, Page 2

The university entry rate soared to more than 83 percent this year, which is the highest in Taiwan's history, the University Admission Committee announced yesterday.

Out of 104,608 high-school graduates who handed in selection forms to enter college, 87,059 students were granted university admission and the acceptance rate is about 83.22 percent, according to the admission list that was posted at the gates of the National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday. The youngest student to be admitted to Kaohsiung Medical University is only 15 years old.

Lei Chia-chia (???), the student who gave up her position at the National Defense Management College to fellow student Chang Ying-hua (???), was admitted to the law department of the Chengchi University. Lei and Chang were two high-school graduates who recently competed for a place in the law department of the National Defense Management College, where a strict quota on the number of women students is in place.

This event has been the focus of media attention because the two students were from poor families and could not afford the high tuition payment. Therefore they wanted to atend the National Defense Management College, where tuition is free. Lei declined to give any comments while holidaying in the mountains.

"We will deal with tuition payment on our own," her grandmother said.

Minister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (???) yesterday congratulated Lei and praised her selflessness.

"Even as a young college freshman, Lei could make the right decision at the right moment so and she has earned the public's admiration," he said.

Huang also encouraged Lei to continue working hard at college.

The so-called "star senior high schools" achieved 97 percent of the acceptance rate of the college admission. The Taipei Municipal Chun Shan Girls Senior High School recorded a 99 percent admission rate.

The medical school, electrical engineering department and the law department at NTU are still the hottest choices for freshmen this year. The Elite Class of he National Chiao Tung University was also popular this year, which exceeded the popularity of the information engineering department at NTU and the electrical engineering department at the National Tsinghua University.

Many students congratulated each other when they saw their names on the admission list.

==============================

p.s. Taiwan has universal health insurance for its citizens.
Last edited by momopi on Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chemist » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:20 pm

Don't misunderstand me. I'd never put Dianne in a situation that compromises her health of that of our child, just to save money. But at the same time, I don't want to waste money unnecessarily either.

Generally speaking. When it comes to healthcare for their family, people want the best that they can afford. They aren't trying to ask themselves how they can get the cheapest rate. I feel that you are back peddling.

Although if you were employed, you would likely have health insurance through your job and the cost wouldn't be an issue. Now, it seems that your bad decisions (you call it enlightenment) are catching up to you. You can't have it both ways.

I explained that I didn't want to take my child to Taiwan because the education system there is too strict and oppressive. What would you say, Chemist, to the families in Japan of the students who committed suicide for failing tests? Do you believe that's right?

Yes, and it's probably high quality education that will teach skills that your child will need later in life. I know discipline is a dirty word to you Wu, but you need it to be successful.

And I don't know of many students that had to committ suicide after failing a test so I think your full of it. But I do no many that experience shame from their families because they know that the child has so much more potential. Most children would be motivated to do better rather than kill themselves.

I never had a good time in school, so I don't have respect for education as much as you do.

School isn't suppose to be fun Wu. Most of us don't like work. But we realize that we need to do it to get the most out of life.

Everything you are telling me is conventional. You don't show an ability to think outside the box, despite your claims.

No, it only shows your ignorance. Qualities like obedience and discipline are high-order mental skills and there is wisdom associated with when it is appropriate to use these skills. They also lead to a wider variety of life paths that a person can choose in life.

What you advocate is having man be a slave to his own lust which is one of the most primal biological imperatives. It doesn't even require a developed brain to accomplish. And it would seem that you are condeming your child and family to this singular accomplishment.

At this point it should be evident which one of us is "thinking outside of the box".

You sound like a corporation, not a human being.

I'm an individual human being that is looking upon you in an amusing sense of irony. The corporation that you rejected, would likely be instrumental in obtaining the health insurance that you need.

Role that one around in your head for a while.


Other people told me to give a better reason for marrying outside the Philippines than the real one. Why should I say that I want to preserve the opportunity to divorce? That does not sound good.

My point is that there is NO WAY to make it sound good. Do you think Dianne's family are a bunch of idiots? They would figure out why you want to go overseas to marry and they aren't going to think well of you for it.

You need to spend your energy thinking of ways you can get on the good side of Dianne's aunt. Do you think when she finds out why you want to marry outside of the Phillipines, she's going to like you more? She would forbid it.

He knew that you can't control the future, and if things went wrong in the marriage, it should not be bound for life. That's insane and inhuman. It's not reasonable.

It sounds like it would be a good reason for you to pick a good partner than wouldn't it? But I guess you can't be too picky.
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Postby KristineTheStrawberryGirl » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:18 pm

Winston, I find it striking that you are already thinking about your options to divorce, while at the same time you have issues about getting genetic testing to determine paternity.

As much as you don't seem to like Chemist, he has a point. There is NO way that your Filipino in-laws will ever trust you if they know that you have divorce on your mind. Honestly, I doubt it would really be all that complicated legally, if you should decide to get a divorce. It would probably involve some type of correspondence agreement between Filipino and American lawyers, and family court officers. However, quite frankly, when the family would learn how much money they could get from you in child support, they would likely agree to a divorce arrangement. I guarantee that the child support amount would be far more than you would spend on her, yourself and the child put together as long as you are married. It's "cheaper to keep her" ... don't tell your aunties/in-laws that! The bottom line, from a financial perspective, divorce is not really an option for you anyway. You would never be able to maintain your current lifestyle with a child support or spousal support obligation.

In regards to your claims about Japanese kids committing suicide due to a failing test, I am likely to be inclined to believe that more people commit suicide when they cannot make ends meet in real life, due to a lack of opportunities.

I know that you love the free-spirited wanderlust way of life, and you seem to think that everybody else who works or try to show responsibility are just masochists and they just love to work and nobody else likes to "think outside the box" or have fun .... It's not quite that simple, and chances are, Winston, with an unplanned baby on the way, you will be forced to find out about this reality very quickly.

Anyway, to answer some of your questions ... If Diana is not comfortable giving birth in public, than you should shell out for the private room. You want to make her as comfortable as possible. Also, if paternity establishment is required for a passport, then it is possible that you may not have to pay for it, but I am not certain. More than likely, paternity establishment will be required. Most US agencies or government entities require paternity establishment before providing services to the child.
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