Legitimation

When a child is born out of wedlock, his or her birthright is marked as illegitimate.  The child carries the last name of his mother unless he is acknowledged by his father on paper or his parents decide to get married later on.  Should it be the latter, the child is able to carry the father’s last name by virtue of a legitimation process.  This means that the illegitimate child’s birthright shall be changed to legitimate without the need of a court order.

Such is the story of Dess, an illegitimate child whose parents got married before she turned 10 years old.  Her parents worked on her legitimation right after they got married so that Dess can rightfully carry her father’s last name.  However, when they requested for a copy of her PSA birth certificate to complete her college graduation document requirements, they found out that no changes on her last name, nor any annotations, were applied on her birth certificate. She was still marked as illegitimate and still bears her mother’s maiden last name as her last name.

What could have happened?

Dess and her parents already had a copy of her Certificate of Legitimacy.  This was the document they received from the LCR when they filed for her legitimation.  On their copy, there is an annotation that read:

Legitimated by subsequent marriage of parents (mother’s maiden name) and (father’s name) on (date of marriage) at (place of marriage) under Reg. No. XXXX-XXX.  Hence, the child should now use the name (name of child using father’s surname).

Dess has been using the name Odessa Castro Talajib – Talajib being her father’s last name – since she was 11 years old.

Dess’ parents should have submitted to the PSA the Certificate of Legitimacy that they got from the LCR when they filed for her legitimation.  This would have triggered PSA’s certification and updating of Dess’ records in PSA’s files.  In other cases, the LCR where the legitimation was applied for, may also submit the Certificate of Legitimacy on the client’s behalf.  You just need to make constant follow-ups to make sure that the documents are duly processed.

For our information, here is the list of requirements when filing the Certificate of Legitimacy at the PSA:

Legitimation by Subsequent Marriage

  1. Secure the following documents from the city / municipal Civil Registrar’s Office (C/MCR) where the birth of the child was recorded:
    • Affidavit of Paternity / Acknowledgement (Certified Photocopy)
    • Joint Affidavit of Legitimation
    • Certificate of Registration of Legal Instrument (Affidavit of Legitimation)
    • Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate with remarks/annotation based on the legitimation by subsequent marriage.
  2. Verify the original birth certificate at the National Statistics Office (NSO).  If negative result, secure it from the C/MCR Office where the child was originally registered (certified photocopy).
  3. Verify the marriage contract of parents at NSO.  If negative result, secure it from the C/MCR Office where the marriage was solemnized (certified true copy).

Source: https://psa.gov.ph/content/application-requirements

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