Pinay wins paternity suit vs Korean in landmark ruling

Posted at 06/23/2014 12:15 PM | Updated as of 06/23/2014 12:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A court in Seoul has ruled in favor of two boys raised by their Filipina mother in a paternity suit against their Korean father, South Korean media reported.

The ruling marks the first time a Korean court has acknowledged the existence of Korean-Filipinos or "Kopinos", which are those born to a Korean father and Filipino mother.

Most of these Kopinos, estimated at between 10,000 to 30,000, were abandoned by their father and are in the Philippines.

The Korea Times reported the Seoul Family Court ruled the Korean man was the biological father of the two boys on the basis of a DNA test and their birth certificates from the Philippines.

The names of the people involved in the lawsuit were not identified to protect their privacy.

The lawsuit was filed by the Filipina, in behalf of her children, against a Korean businessman in December 2012.

Court documents quoted by the media said the Korean businessman, who is married and has children in South Korea, went to the Philippines to run a business. The Korean had two boys with the Filipina, and lived with them for several years.

However, the Korean returned to Seoul 10 years ago and abruptly cut off contact with the woman and the children.

The Korea Times said the ruling, if upheld by the Supreme Court, would allow the Filipina to demand child support from the father.

News agency Yonhap quoted the Filipina's lawyer Cho Dong-shik as saying the woman filed the case not just because of child support.

"I understand she wants to have the two boys included in the man's official family registry and be raised in South Korea," Cho said.