Cases supported by CAB

Children with foreign roots may have complex issues and needs depending on their experiences and living conditions before coming to Japan. In addition, their specific needs may not be understood by those around them and may be overlooked.

On this page, we will present cases that Children Across Borders (CAB) or ISSJ have managed concerning these children.

A case of supporting acquisition of nationality for a child from the Philippines
Requested from children’s home

Report of Birth

The mother returned to the Philippines and the father incarcerated

B”, who was born in Japan to Filipino parents, was living in a children's home. When CAB was consulted by the child guidance center, B was stateless, with his father in prison and his mother having returned to the Philippines without completing the necessary birth registration procedures for B at the embassy. It was later discovered that the mother had started a new life with another man in the Philippines.

CAB requested that a social worker from the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development visit the mother and obtain the necessary documents for birth registration. CAB also requested a visit to the prison where B's father was incarcerated from the Philippine Embassy, and was able to obtain his signature on a birth registration document and an acknowledgement of paternity. These documents enabled B to acquire nationality.

The documents required depending on the parents' circumstances

In B's case, as the whereabouts of his biological mother and father were known, the necessary documents for nationality acquisition were collected. However, if their whereabouts were unknown, investigation and procedures that substitute for official documents, such as a certificate of unknown whereabouts for the biological mother and father, would be required. CAB supports nationality acquisition while flexibly coordinating contact with foreign agencies and relatives, tailored to each individual case.

*Photo: A letter of address confirmation sent by CAB to the mother by mail.
Although it was returned due to an unknown address, it is important for the nationality acquisition process as proof of address confirmation.

A case where CAB assisted in assessing the post-repatriation care environment of a foreign national child.
Requested from Child Guidance Center

Parts of home study report 

A girl who lacks a suitable living environment and caregiver in Japan

A girl, ”A”, was born in a country in East Asia and came to Japan with her parents and siblings during her early childhood. When she became a high school student, due to family circumstances and her own behavioral problems, she could no longer live with her family and was admitted to a children’s home. However, she had difficulty adjusting to the facility and it became extremely challenging for her to continue living there, so it became necessary to find a different living environment and caregiver for her.

Initially, when CAB was requested for support, there were no further social resources or public systems available for her in Japan. However, through inquiries into A's parents' backgrounds and her own character traits, CAB explored the possibility of her relatives in her home country taking her in, and suggested an assessment of the relatives to the child guidance center.

The option to live with relatives in the home country

CAB received a formal request for assessment from the child welfare officer responsible for A and, through the ISS branch, requested an investigation by public agencies in A's home country. As a result, we discovered the whereabouts of A's grandmother, and a social worker from the public agency explained A's situation to her. The grandmother deeply understood the situation and expressed her willingness to take care of A. This report became an essential document for considering A's resettlement in her home country, including the grandmother's willingness to accept, her capacity to accept, and her home environment.

In the course of confirming the whereabouts of relatives, conducting home visits, and creating reports, various stakeholders, both domestic and international, such as related organizations and relatives, will need to be contacted and coordinated with. CAB's support focuses on providing options necessary for solving the child's problems while coordinating communication among stakeholders.

A case where CAB conducted on Japanese relatives residing in Japan to consider the repatriation of a Japanese child protected overseas.
Request for assessment came from a foreign court

The role of the court in protecting the child

There were siblings born to a Japanese father and an A country mother living in Western European country D. When the elder brother was in middle school and the younger brother was in elementary school, their father passed away due to illness. Their mother was raising the children for two years, but she was incarcerated due to a certain crime in the end. The public welfare agency in D country protected the siblings who had lost their caregiver. Under the system in D country, when minors are protected in such cases, the court determines the best environment for the child through a trial. Similarly, in the case of these siblings, soon after they were protected, the D authorities and the court began their investigation.

Finding a caregiver across national borders

The relatives of the children, other than their mother, did not reside in D country. Therefore, the D country court identified two potential environments for the children: the home of the father's friend who lived in D country, and the home of the father's sister who lived in Japan. The court makes the final decision based on the "Home Study Report" and the circumstances and background that led to the children’s protection, among multiple candidates.

As part of the investigation, CAB received a request from the D country court to conduct a home study and submit a report for the home of the father's sister. A CAB social worker conducted interviews, confirmed the willingness of the family to accept the children, and conducted a home visit. After approximately two months of investigation, CAB submitted a home study report to the D country court.

As a result of the judgment, it was determined that the children, who were born and raised in D country, would become foster children in the home of a friend of their father who lives in D country, based on a comparison of the candidate home environments.

For the sake of the children’s best interest

In many countries, particularly in Western countries, when a child is taken into custody by the state or public institutions, the court makes a decision after considering all possible options for placement.

The optimal environment for a child varies depending on various factors, such as the circumstances leading to their protection, their age, and the need for special care. In cases like this, where a child has the potential to move across borders, language and cultural barriers may also arise. Through a home study report, challenges that a child may face can be identified, and the scope of support can be broadened.

Note: This case is presented in a way that does not allow individuals to be identified in order to protect their privacy.