“Kopino” is a term which refers to Filipino child in the Philippines whose father is Korean. A “Kopino” is generally unrecognized by his father and is raised by the mother in the Philippines. Koreans are the number tourists in the Philippines for some time now. There is also an estimated 100,000 Koreans living in the Philippines as expatriates.
The term “kopino” came out around 2008 and because of the efforts of a Korean, Mr. Son Bum-sik, that the plight of the “kopino” children became known in South Korea. At around the same time, the issue on South Korean sailors visiting south Pacific islands and fathering children also came about.
The sad truth about the “Kopino” children is that the Korean government does not have any policy on them. They are not entitled to Korean citizenship as their parents are not legally married and many of them are not recognized by their fathers.
In a landmark case that was reported yesterday, a Filipino mom won a paternity suit for her two children.
According to the news report on MBN, the Korean father went to the Philippines in 1997 for business reason. He met the Filipina and had a relationship. He fathered two children and acknowledged them by giving his name on their birth certificates. However, he came back to Korea in 2004 and stopped communicating with his family in the Philippines.
In 2012, the Filipina came to Korea with only a photo and name of the Korean father of her two kids. She filed a paternity suit with the help of local lawyers. The court ruled in favor of the Korean-Filipino children based on DNA results AND their father’s acknowledgement on their birth certificate.
Hopefully, the Supreme Court will uphold the lower court’s decision. This will give hope to an estimated 30,000 Kopino children.