Tag Archive: 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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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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No BC_Illegitimate_No Mother

Alona is an illegitimate child, born to parents who were barely out of their teens.  Her mother gave her up for adoption when she was just a few days old, in exchange for a plane ticket from Manila to Iloilo.  She was never heard of from again.  Upon learning that his daughter was given to a complete stranger, Dexter (Alona’s father) requested for assistance from the barangay so he can take his daughter back.  After negotiating with the family who paid for Alona’s adoption, Dexter was finally able to take his daughter home and promised to do everything he can to raise her on his own.

Father and daughter sailed from Manila to Dumaguete and there, Alona grew up in her grandparents’ farm house while Dexter continued his studies in Cebu.

Alona is all grown up now and would like to apply for a passport so she can work abroad.  Her only problem is that she does not have a birth certificate and is clueless on how to get one.  Her father, Dexter, told her that she was born in Manila but since they have both migrated to Dumaguete, he is not sure if Alona’s birth can be registered in Dumaguete.

She has three problems:

  1. Alona does not have a birth certificate.
  2. She has not heard from her mother ever since she was born and in spite of several attempts to get in touch with her mother, all her efforts returned futile.
  3. She no longer lives in the city where she was born.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website (www.psa.gov.ph) , cases such as this can be worked out by filing for an Out-of-town (because she no longer lives in the city where she was born), Delayed Reporting of Birth.

The requirements for delayed registration of birth are in this previous article we posted last month.  Once Alona has these documents on hand, she can present these to the civil registrar of the LCRO of Dumaguete who shall then forward the documents to the Manila City Hall for proper registration.

Since Alona is an illegitimate child and born on September 21, 1990, there is the issue on her last name and her parents’ acknowledgment of her birth.  Only her father is present, and essentially, willing to acknowledge her as his child.

According to the PSA, if the child’s birth certificate is not yet registered and the father acknowledges his paternity over the child, the child can use the father’s last name following the procedures for R.A. 9255.

Since Dexter wanted for Alona to use his last name on her birth certificate, they need to include these documents when filing for Alona’s registration of birth:

  1. Affidavit to Use Surname of Father (AUSF)
  2. Consent of the child, if 18 years old and over at the time of the filing of the document (this applies to Alona).
  3. Any two of the following documents showing clearly the paternity between the father and the child:
    • Employment records
    • SSS / GSIS records
    • Insurance
    • Certificate of membership in any organization
    • Statement of Assets and Liabilities
    • Income Tax Return (ITR)

Sources:

https://psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/technical-notes-vital-statistics

http://www.psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/problems-and-solutions/birth-certificate-not-yet-registered-and-father

http://www.census.gov.ph/civilregistration/republic-act-9255

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Middle and Last Names Were Interchanged

What if you found out that your last and middle names were interchanged so that you are actually carrying your mother’s maiden last name as your last name?  How do you correct these kinds of errors in your NSO Birth Certificate (now PSA Birth Certificate)?

This error is considered an error in encoding and can be rectified by filing a petition for correction of clerical error.  Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare the following documents:

  1. Certified machine copy of the birth record containing the entry to be corrected;
  2. Not less than two (2) private or public documents upon which the correction shall be based like Baptismal Certificate, Voter’s Affidavit, Employment Records, GSIS/SSS records, medical records, business records, driver’s license, insurances, land titles, certificate of land transfer, bank passbook, NBI / Police Clearance, civil registry records of ascendants;
  3. Notice / Certificate of Posting;
  4. Prepare payment of P1,000 as filing fee.  If the petition is filed abroad, filing fee is USD 50.00 or equivalent value in local currency.
  5. Other documents may be required by the civil registrar.

The following may file the petition:

  • Owner of the record
  • Owner’s spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Guardian
  • Other person duly authorized by law or by the owner of the document sought to be corrected;
  • If owner of the record is a minor or physically or mentally incapacitated, petition may be filed by his spouse, or any of his children, parents, siblings, grandparents, guardians, or persons duly authorized by law.

The petition must be filed at the Local Civil Registry (LCR) office of the city or municipality where the birth was registered.  If the petitioner has moved to a place that is far from the place of birth, the petition may be filed at the LCR of his current location.  If the owner was born abroad, the petition must be filed with the Philippine Consulate where the birth was reported.

Source: http://www.psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/problems-and-solutions/interchanged-middle-and-last-name

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