Tag Archive: RA 9255


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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Manila City Hall_5

An illegitimate child, using his mother’s last name as his family name, may be permitted to use his father’s last name by virtue of an Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father or AUSF.  This includes children born whose births are yet to be registered at the LCR and were born on or before August 3, 1988.

Here are the steps to be taken when filing an AUSF at the Manila City Hall.  Kindly take note that fees and schedules of interview may vary depending on the municipality; the following were lifted from the website of the Manila City Hall and are applicable to parties transacting there.

What You Need To Bring:

(a). Latest certified copy of birth certificate of the child.

(b). Valid ID of Father and Mother (original and photocopy).

(c). Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) of Father.

(d). Original and photocopy of child’s baptismal certificate.

(e). Certified true copy and original school records showing the names of the parents.

(f). If child’s mother is deceased, submit certified copy of Death Certificate (latest copy).

(g). If child is of legal age, submit a valid ID.

Note: Both parents must accompany the child (even if child is of legal age) during the interview.

Additional requirements for the father in case he does not expressly recognize filiation with the child.  This is applicable in cases when the father could not be present during the filing of the AUSF (residing abroad, deceased, physically incapable):

(a). Employment records

(b). SSS/GSIS records

(c). Insurance

(d). Certificate of Membership in any organization

(e). Statement of Assets and Liabilities

(f). Income Tax Return (ITR)

Submit all documents to the Manila City Hall.  Please note that all applications are subject for evaluation.

Interviews for RA 9255 are conducted every Monday only.  Below are the filing fees:

P420.00 (with Paternity)

P520.00 (without Paternity)

Source: http://manila.gov.ph/services/civil-registry/

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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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