Perhaps one of the biggest concerns when a child is born to unwed parents is the last name that will be assigned to the child upon birth registration. When can an illegitimate child use his or her father’s last name, and when is this prohibited or not allowed? Can the child change his or her last name later on when the father finally acknowledges him? Can he change his last name when his parents finally marry?
Read the answers here.
RA 9255 is a law that allows illegitimate children to use the surname of their father, provided that the father has acknowledged the child. RA 9255 is an amendment to Article 176 of EO No. 209 (Family Code of the Philippines).
Scope of the RA 9255
This applies to all illegitimate children born before or after the effectivity of RA 9255 – including unregistered births or registered births where the child is given his or her mother’s last name.
- Public or private documents that show that the child is recognized by the father as his , including:
- Affidavit found at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth
- A private handwritten instrument made by the father, expressly recognizing the child as his. (must be in his handwriting and signed by him).
- The Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) is used in cases where recognition is made through a private handwritten instrument, or when the birth has already been registered under the mother’s surname, with or without father’s recognition.
- For private handwritten instruments, other documents are required to be submitted to support the claim. Any two of the following may be submitted, but take note that the LCR may require for additional documents that may not be included in the list:
- Employment records
- SSS/GSIS records
- Insurance policies
- Certification of membership in any organization
- Statement of Assets and Liabilities
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Consent of the child is necessary if the child has reached the age of 18 and above at the time of recognition.
Who may file the petition?
- The child’s father, mother, child (if of legal age), or the child’s guardian.
Where to file the public document or the AUSF?
- If the child was born in the Philippines and the public documents were executed in the Philippines, the public document or the AUSF shall be registered at the Local Civil Registry Office of the person’s birthplace.
- If the child was born in the Philippines and the public document or the AUSF was executed outside the Philippines, the public document or the AUSF shall be registered at the LCRO of Manila.
- If the child was born abroad, and the public document or the AUSF was executed in or outside the Philippines, the public document or the AUSF shall be registered at the LCRO in Manila.
After the registration of the public document or the AUSF, the LCRO of the place of birth shall annotate the record of birth and write the appropriate entry in the registry book. For births which occurred outside the Philippines, the annotation of the record of birth shall be done by the Office of the Civil Registrar General (OCRG).
For registered births, can the original surname of the child in the Certificate of Live Birth be changed or corrected after availing RA 9255?
No. No entries in the COLB shall be changed or corrected. Only annotations shall be written in the COLB indicating the surname that the child shall use.
For births that are NOT YET REGISTERED, can the child automatically use the surname of the father?
Yes, provided that the father executes an Affidavit of Admission of Paternity at the time of registration.
How to secure the first copy of the annotated document?
The first copy of the annotated document that underwent RA 9255 can be secured at the CDLI in PSA East Avenue. Succeeding copies may then be requested at any PSA Serbilis Outlet or through online ordering and delivery at PSAHelpline.ph.
When getting the very first copy at the CDLI, bring the following:
- Certified copy of the original Certificate of Live Birth (no annotation)
- Copy of the annotated document
- Certified copy of the public document and AUSF or private handwritten instrument and AUSF together with the supporting documents.
Never transact with fixers when having your PSA certificate corrected or amended. Always consult the LCR and make sure to only transact with LCR employees and staff. Always demand for your official receipt when making payments.