Tag Archive: Change Last Name


03-06

Of all the questions and clarifications we regularly receive through this blog, changing the last name of an illegitimate child tops our list.  These questions often come from single moms who either:

  1. Gave their maiden last name to their illegitimate child and now wants the child to use the last name of the biological father;
  2. Gave their maiden last name to their illegitimate child and now wants the child to use the last name of the adoptive father;
  3. Gave the biological father’s last name to the illegitimate child and now wants the father’s last name dropped from the child’s name and replace it with her last name.

Today’s blog shall focus on these three circumstances and how the processes of achieving the desired results differ from each other.  If you are about to become a single mom, this article may help you in deciding whose last name your child should carry.

What does the Family Code say about illegitimate children?

According to Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, illegitimate children are children conceived and born outside a valid marriage (Art. 164).  Under the same E.O., illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother. (Art. 176).

In 2004 however, Article 176 was amended by virtue of R.A. 9255.  The new law allows illegitimate children to use the surname of their biological father, provided that the father acknowledges his paternity over the child.

How does this new law affect the three cases of changing the last name of illegitimate children?

Before R.A. 9255 took effect, an illegitimate child shall carry its mother’s last name (while the middle name field is left blank) until the biological parents marry and the child is subsequently legitimated.  With the amendment of Article 176 (of R.A. 209), single mothers (and fathers!) now have the option to have the child carry the biological father’s last name in their birth certificates.

a. If an illegitimate child, carrying his mother’s maiden last name, wants to start using his father’s last name, he needs to execute a document, private or public, where he is recognized by his father as his child.  Such documents may be:

  • The affidavit found at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB); or
  • A separate PUBLIC document executed by the father, expressly recognizing the child as his.  The document should be handwritten and signed by the father; or
  • A separate PRIVATE handwritten instrument such as the Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF).  Note that the AUSF is used when the birth has been registered under the mother’s surname, with or without the father’s recognition.

b. If an illegitimate child, carrying his mother’s maiden last name, wants to use the last name of his adoptive father.

  • This shall follow the process of legal adoption.

c. If the single mother wants to drop the last name of the illegitimate child’s biological father from the child’s birth certificate.

  • This is a relatively new scenario that may have surfaced after R.A. 9255 took effect.  When unmarried parents decide to let the child use the father’s last name and then separate later on, the single mother may soon decide that her child’s birth certificate is better off without her ex-partner’s name on it.
  • This case needs to undergo court hearing and the results are entirely dependent on how the proceedings will go.  This may also entail more costs, time, and effort before a favorable result is achieved.

While the said amendment gives parents the liberty to let their illegitimate child carry the biological father’s name (or any other man’s name for that matter, as long as he is willing to let his last name be used by the child), it also opens opportunities for problems on the child’s birth certificate when the mother and the father do not end up marrying each other.  Keep in mind that after a child’s birth certificate has been duly registered at the LCR and a copy has been released to the PSA, any changes, especially those affecting the child’s last name, may prove to be more complicated than we would care to admit.

What is a single parent’s best recourse in order to avoid problems on the child’s last name?

If we are to base our answer on the above scenarios, then the best option would be for a single mother to simply let her child use her maiden last name, sans the middle name.  This leaves enough room for changes later on, minus the hassle of a court order.

a. If the child is using his mother’s maiden name, he can easily adopt his biological father’s last name in case his parents marry later on;

b. If the child’s mother marries a different man, the stepfather may simply adopt the child and give the child the legal right to carry his name.  Without adoption, the child is free to carry his mother’s maiden last name.

This is merely a personal opinion based solely on the numerous cases of dropping the last name of an illegitimate child due to unforeseen circumstances between his unmarried parents.  You are free to choose the option you deem best and applicable to your situation.  As an additional option, consider it best to consult a lawyer who may be able to provide you with professional advise on your situation.

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

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30

A most common issue encountered by Filipinos with their birth certificates are misspelled first, middle, or last names.  These can go from just a single misplaced letter to an entire unknown name that somehow made it to the person’s birth certificate by mistake.  If you need to have your name corrected or changed, you may do so at the city or municipality where your birth was registered.

Here is the list of requirements and fees when filing for an affidavit for clerical error and change of first name at the Quezon City Hall.  This is also otherwise known as Republic Act 9048.

Requirements for Clerical or Typographical Error:

  1. Certified true machine copy of the Certificate sought to be corrected.  Make three copies.
  2. Documents showing the correct entry/entries upon which the correction shall be based such as Baptismal Certificate, Voter’s ID, School Records, GSIS records, SSS records, medical records, business records.
  3. Other relevant documents as the Registrar may require.
  4. Filing Fee: PHP1,000 and additional service fee for Migrant Petitioner of PHP500.00.

Requirements for Change of First Name/Nickname:

  1. Certified true machine copy of the Certificate sought to be corrected.  Make three copies.
  2. Clearance from the following authorities (these are MANDATORY):
    • Clearance from Employer or Certification that the applicant has no pending case with the company (if employed).
    • Affidavit of No Employment (if the applicant is not employed).
    • NBI or PNP Clearance
    • Documents showing the correct entry/entries upon which the correction shall be based, such as: Baptismal Certificate, Voter’s ID, School records, GSIS records, SSS records, medical records, business records.
    • Other relevant documents as the Registrar may require.
  3. Filing fee: PHP3,000.00 and additional service fee for Migrant Petitioner of PHP1,000.00.

Applicants must proceed to the Civil Registry Department for further instructions.

Source:

http://quezoncity.gov.ph/index.php/qc-services/requirements-a-procedures/261-civilregguide

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Single Mom

Illegitimate children are able to carry their father’s last name by virtue of an Affidavit of Acknowledgment and an Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF).  Should the parents decide to get married later on, the illegitimate children’s birth rights may also be changed from “illegitimate” to “legitimate” through the process of Legitimation Due to Subsequent Marriage (of parents).

In some cases though, the father exits the picture and the mother is left to take care of the children on her own.  This can go from bad to worse when the father ends up marrying a different woman, completely abandoning his responsibilities with his children from his previous relationship.

Such is the case of Patty, a single mother of 2 children, born 2 years apart.  She is a call center agent and is raising her kids with the help of her parents.  Her boyfriend, Alex, left her and their children before her youngest son was even one year old.  He said that he was leaving for the U.S. to work and promised to send financial support for the children’s needs and education.  A few months after he left, Alex told Patty that he needs to marry his high school classmate who is now a U.S. citizen in order for him to legally work in Florida.  “Marriage for convenience lang.”

Patty’s worst fears were confirmed when she received an email from Alex telling her that he and his wife will be migrating to New Zealand soon and he could no longer promise to send his regular support for their children.  A few months after that, Patty found out that Alex and his new wife were expecting their first child.  She was devastated.

Patty’s children carry Alex’s last name in all of their identifications, including their PSA birth certificates.  Now that Patty is left to raise both kids on her own, she would like for the children to drop their father’s last name and carry hers instead.  She would not allow for Alex to have the honor of giving his name to his children when he has now clearly abandoned them for his new family.

Question is, can Patty have Alex’s last name dropped from the children’s birth certificates?

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website, www.psa.gov.ph, an illegitimate child has the right to carry his father’s last name for as long as the father duly acknowledged him by virtue of the following:

  • The father executed an Affidavit of Acknowledgement
  • The father presents a Private Handwritten Instrument (PHI)
  • The father acknowledged the child at the back of the birth certificate or in a separate public instrument.

With respect to any of the above conditions, the child’s birth certificate bears his father’s last name as his last name.  Although he is still considered “illegitimate” (since his parents were not married at the time of his birth), he is given the right to use his father’s last name.

Dropping or removing the father’s last name from the children’s birth certificate, even if their birth right is illegitimate, must go through a court order.  It is not considered a clerical error and therefore, changing the child’s last name cannot be done by simply filing a petition for clerical error.

Source: https://psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/problems-and-solutions/born-after-august-3-1988

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