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Hastings Law Journal

Authors

Maria B. Montes

Abstract

The United States military presence in the Phillippines has created a legacy of Filipino Amerasian children, most of whom were abandoned by their fathers and live in poverty. This Note asserts that the United States has legal and moral responsibilities to contribute to the upbringing of these children.

In her Note, the author outlines U.S. efforts to provide for the abandoned children and concludes that existing legislation and a recent class action lawsuit, Acebedo v. United States, fall short of fulfilling U.S. obligations. Effective recourse may exist in the filing of a petition in federal court based on customary international law. The applicable norm in this case is that, in situations where people from different countries have met en masse to produce binational children, custom dictates that both parents' countries recognize and assist the children. The author provides arguments to support a summary judgment motion, and suggests that relief may take the form of preferred immigration status, funding grants, or the imposition of a program to identify absentee fathers.

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