Can illegitimate children use their father’s last name? What are the policies regarding a father’s acknowledgment of his illegitimate child when the child was born on or after August 3, 1988?
Sandra was born when both her parents were just fresh out of college. Her mom, Irene, still lived with her parents while her dad, Henry, stayed in the province to help in his family’s farm business. They were discouraged by their respective families from getting married just because a baby is on its way. They were given the freedom to think long and hard before making a final decision.
On October 25, 1988, Sandra was born. The family code dictates that illegitimate children born on or after August 3 of that year shall use their mother’s maiden last name whether their father admitted his paternity over them or not. Sandra grew up using her mother’s last name and have always known that she is an illegitimate child. Henry, on the other hand, never failed to provide support for Sandra’s needs while growing up. He was also present in all of the milestones of Sandra’s progress from infancy
In January 2004, a year before Sandra was due to graduate from high school, Henry was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He only had a few months left to live.
Upon realizing this, Henry immediately contacted Irene and said that he would like to leave all of his properties to Sandra. This will help secure her future even when he is no longer around.
The process would have been very simple except that Sandra’s birth certificate does not show Henry as her father – her last name is Paterno, Irene’s maiden last name. In order for Henry to bestow his assets to his daughter, he needs to show proof that Sandra is his heir.
They wasted no time and consulted a lawyer who advised them that Henry can actually prove his paternity over Sandra by executing an Affidavit of Acknowledgment and an Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF).
Here’s what they needed to do:
a. Write an Affidavit of Acknowledgment and an Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) and have both notarized.
b. Who shall file:
- The child, if of age
c. Where to file:
- Civil registry office where the birth of the child was registered.\
- If born abroad, file with the Consul of the Philippine Embassy where the child is born.
- In cases of children born abroad, the birth certificate shall be annotated by the NSO (PSA now).
The year of Sandra’s birth had a lot to do with the process that they went through so she can rightfully use her father’s last name. She was born after August 3, 1988 to unmarried parents; this resulted to her using her mother’s last name as her last name. In order for her to use her father’s last name, Henry had to execute and file the above affidavits.
With the help of a lawyer and kind employees at the LCR office where her birth was registered, Sandra was able to get the updated copy of her PSA birth certificate in time to complete her documents for graduation.
In April 2005, she proudly marched on stage and received her high school diploma as Sandra P. Rodriguez, daughter of the late Henry Rodriguez.