Is Christian Filipina a Marriage Broker, a Mail Order Bride Business, Or Just a Social Site?
There is a law in the USA called the “2005 Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005” with a subsection called “Regulation of International Marriage Brokers” (click here to download the whole 2005 Violence Against Women law if you wish, and see page 113 and the following five pages of the original law for the specific section on International Marriage Brokers). For any of our members who may be from USA or meet someone from USA on our site, it is worth spending a few minutes reviewing this law. For other members, it’s still worth considering this question to understand what Christian Filipina Is and Is Not.
Additionally, in 1990 the Philippines passed a law known as the Anti Mail Order Bride Act (http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno6955.html) prohibiting any business which has for its purpose the matching of Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction. For all our members, it’s worth understanding how Christian Filipina fits in with this act as well.
An “international marriage broker” as defined by the US law is one which as its primary business charges fees to facilitate dating, matchmaking or social referrals between US citizens and foreign nationals by providing personal contact information or otherwise facilitating communication between individuals. It specifically excludes an entity if its principal business is not to provide international dating services between US citizens and foreign nationals and it charges comparable rates and offers comparable services to all individuals it serves regardless of the individual’s gender or country of citizenship.
Christian Filipina is based in the United States, and we do have members from USA. However, Christian Filipina is excluded from being defined as an international marriage broker under the act because our business has a worldwide scope bringing Christians together from many different countries in the world. Indeed, a majority of our members are not from the USA. Finally, Christian Filipina does charge comparable rates and offers comparable services to all individuals it serves regardless of the individual’s gender or country of citizenship.
If any dating site were in fact to focus on US / foreign matchmaking, and to actually provide contact information of foreign clients for a fee, the implications due to this act would be significant:
- “An international marriage broker shall not provide the personal contact information of any foreign national client to any person or entity other than a United States client.” (In other words, they would not be able to share any contact information with those from countries other than the United States.)
- The marriage broker would be required to collect and provide certain background information to any foreign national prior to providing their contact information to any (US) clients who might receive their contact information. This information collected and provided from each US client for each foreign national would include the results of searching local and national sex offender databases, collecting certain arrest records, detailing restraining orders, marital history, children, and listing all states/countries where the US client has lived since age 18.
- The marriage broker would be required to get a signed, written consent in the foreign national’s primary language, to release the foreign national client’s personal contact information to the United States client.
Christian Filipina does believe that a marriage is a holy and important development for a man and a woman. We support a conservative idea of courtship and marriage. We hope that men and women will be so lucky as to meet at our site, become friends, and then find that they are meant for each other. But to be clear, we do not try to match our members up for marriage. We encourage our members to be friends first. Also, while we do screen our member base and remove what we believe are insincere, dishonest, and immature persons, we are doing so on the basis of whom we consider to be worthy friends for you to meet; we are not prescreening candidates for marriage. While we do offer you our best advice on how to meet friends and how you might choose friends and also choose your husband or wife, ultimately if you choose to meet people through our site, that is all in your own hands. We are only the place where you meet as friends first. Then you must take it from there on your own. Finally, we do not ever provide any contact information for any of our members to any other members. That is between those who meet on our site whether to take that step and if so to do it.
If you are from the USA (and possibly some other countries) and meet someone for whom you later apply for a fiance visa or spousal visa (USA IR1, CR1, K-1, K-3, or I-129F) (Links:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2994.html http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2993.html) when you fill out the U.S. visa application paperwork, you may have to answer the question whether you met through a marriage broker. Christian Filipina is not a marriage broker as explained above, and therefore we believe the truthful answer to this question is No. You might separately be asked in the visa processing where you did meet, and if so, we believe you can and should state that you met through an online Christian social site. If further specifically asked which one, we believe you can and should say you met at Christian-Filipina.com. However, we are not lawyers, and we encourage you to contact a lawyer if you would like to know for certain what is best in your case. Our advice here is not meant to substitute for or constitute actual legal counsel; we are simply sharing our interpretation of these laws as best as we can with our limited legal experience simply reading the law directly.
We want to be clear about our intentions for creating and supporting Christian-Filipina.com. We never promote our service as a marriage broker, because we are an online social website. If you desire and/or need the services of a marriage broker, which would include member background checks and identity verification among others, we apologize that we cannot offer this service and you will have to look elsewhere.
Regardless of where you are from, if you do meet anyone through our site or any site and consider having a relationship with them, we recommend that you learn about each other’s background. You should contact the appropriate government offices or embassies, and consult your pastor and attorney about how and when to get a background check, before becoming engaged or married. And you should always use your common sense. In most countries, background checks are a required part of the immigration process. But if this isn’t true in your case, contact the corresponding embassy for more information on background checks for yourself and/or someone you meet. Keep in mind, though, that a clean background check does not guarantee that a person shares your values and would make a compatible partner. If you have any further questions about this matter, please feel free to contact us.