• Correcting date of marriage in birth certificate

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,

    Please help me with my problem regarding the birth certificate of my oldest child. We have indicated that my child’s father and I are married at the tim e of his birth so that he would became a legitimate child since it is really our intention with the father to marry each other. However, I was only able to marry my husband when my child was already 10 years old. My sister wants to petition my son to live abroad and we might encounter a problem with the date of our marriage in his birth certificate. We were advised to go for court proceeding which is very inconvenient. Is there any way to change the error aside from court proceeding since the information in the birth certificate is not absolutely incorrect since we eventually got married with his father?

    I. Mariano

    Dear I. Mariano,

    As defined under the Family Code, illegitimate child is one conceived and born outside a valid marriage (Article 165). Your oldest child is considered as illegitimate since, as admitted, he was born when you and your husband were not yet married. However, you made it appear in his birth certificate that he was legitimate by providing a date in the entry therein pertaining to the marriage of parents. The inclusion of a date in said entry is clearly considered as falsification of a document considering that you have made an untruthful statement. In fact, the stating of incorrect information or fact in the birth certificate may subject the doer thereof to criminal liability of falsification of document (Article 171 and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code [RPC]) and simulation of birth certificate (Article 347, RPC).

    The falsity in the birth certificate is not cured by the celebration of marriage in a later date because the status of a child is determined by the condition of the parents at the time of child’s birth as to whether they were married or not. But a child who is illegitimate based on his birth certificate can become legitimate by legitimation or subsequent marriage of his parents in accordance with Article 177 of the Family Code, which provides that:

    “ART. 177. Only children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be legitimated.”

    In this regard, only the court has the power to correct an entry, such as the date of marriage of the parents, in a birth certificate. This court proceeding is initiated by the filing of a petition for correction of entry in the civil registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. In the same proceeding, you may ask that the correct entry of your marriage be entered thereto so that your child would be declared legitimate by your subsequent marriage.

    We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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