Today’s Guest Column is from Kevin Smith.
When my wife was pregnant I remember her telling me she needed to get her belly “adjusted”. I was confused. What did this mean? She said that some girls get their belly adjusted to make sure the fetus is in the right position. This adjustment was done by a hilot, a person with limited medical training who claims to make sure the fetus is in the correct position. This is a tradition for a hilot to visit the expecting girl in some parts of the Philippines. I asked my friends and family here in the states and nobody ever heard of doing this. I thought this was not safe, so I didn’t want my wife to have this done.
On my December visit to the Philippines, I was eager to see my wife as she was five months pregnant. I told her we would consult with her Ob-Gyn doctor when we visit her. When we went to the appointment, the doctor said that nobody should make any “adjustment”. This confirmed what I believed.
Fast forward to the delivery room in Digos in April. Thanks to God that we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. She was born in the Philippines which makes her a Philippine citizen. The total bill was about $400.00.
The next day when we arrived home, I started thinking what I needed to do to claim my daughter as an American citizen. Contrary to popular thought, offspring of American citizens are not automatic citizens in the Philippines. One has to make an appointment with the American Embassy in order to prove the claim. I’ll discuss a little more about this next time.