What’s in A Last Name? A Guide for Unmarried Couples When Writing the Last Name of Their Child

One of the common birth certificate problems encountered by Filipinos is an incorrect last name written on their birth certificate.  Frequent questions we receive in our mailbox are:

  • My mom is a single parent and in my birth certificate, I carry her maiden last name. However, her middle name is also written as my middle name, making it look like we are sisters. How do we repair this?
  • I want to start using my father’s last name. He and my mom got married after I was born.
  • My father now allows me to use his last name. How do I have his last name written on my birth certificate?
  • I am due to give birth to my child soon but I am not married to my child’s father. Whose last name should I place on my baby’s birth certificate?

I did a research no the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) website and found these rules on making the entry of the child’s last name in his birth certificate:

  1. For a child born to a legally married couple, write the last name of the father;
  • For a child born to a mother who is not married during a pregnancy and at the time of birth, the following rules shall apply:
  1. If the child was born on or after August 3, 1988, write the last name of the mother.
    1. If the child was born before August 3, 1988:
      1. Enter the last name of the father if both parents execute the Affidavit of Acknowledgment at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth.
      2. Enter the last name of the acknowledging parent if either the father or the mother alone acknowledges the child, that is, the space provided for the information about the parent must have “Not applicable” or “NA” as entry.
      3. If no parent acknowledges the child, enter the last name of the mother.

If the parents married after the child was born and the father now wants his child to use his last name, the child’s birth certificate must undergo a process called Legitimation Due to Subsequent Marriage.

This is how that works:

  1. Secure the following documents from the city or municipal Civil Registrar’s Office where the birth of the child was recorded:
  1. Affidavit of paternity/acknowledgment (Certified Photocopy)
    1. Joint Affidavit of Legitimation
    1. Certification of Registration of Legal Instrument (Affidavit of Legitimation)
    1. Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate with remarks/annotation based on the legitimation by subsequent marriage.
  2. Verify the original birth certificate at the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). If negative result, secure it from the LCR office where the child was originally registered.
  3. Verify the marriage contract of parents at PSA. If negative result, secure it from the LCR where the marriage was solemnized.

At the end of the day, it pays to make sure that your child’s birth certificate is properly and accurately filled-out. Any discrepancy or error, especially on the child’s name, middle name, and last name may cost him time and money later on. IF your child’s birth certificate has discrepancies, have it reviewed by the LCR as early as possible. 

Questions or comments? Drop me a line!

Please share this article too, if you found it helpful.  TYA!

Reference: http://www.psa.gov.ph

Published by MasterCitizen

I collect citizen facts and the usual stuff that might be important for a Pinoy's everyday life....Subscribe to get updates, opinions, and news.

3 thoughts on “What’s in A Last Name? A Guide for Unmarried Couples When Writing the Last Name of Their Child

  1. Asking for a friend. The mother is married but separated from her husband long time ago and is pregnant with the man who is also married. Can she use the father’s surname or not in the birth cert?

  2. Question?? My son is using his father’s last name, we are not married,he acknowledge the child,we have been separated for 4 years already and have not receive any financial support from the father,can i change my son’s last name to mine??

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